Defeating downtime from all angles

downtime

Uptake’s Asset Strategy Library is the largest of its kind.

With the world’s most comprehensive knowledge base of industrial asset content, Uptake conquers downtime with precision and accuracy, improving anticipation and preventive maintenance.

In a sector known for its expensive machinery and high expectations regarding productivity, mining companies must put preventive maintenance processes in place to ensure breakdowns are minimised and downtime is reduced. Millions of dollars are riding on it.

Modern mining companies seek to create value through optimising their operations, managing risk and improving the business intelligence of their operations and maintenance organisation. Leaders do that through leveraging data-driven insights and content.

Armed with the world’s most comprehensive knowledge base of industrial asset content, industrial intelligence software company Uptake is helping mining companies see around corners and spot opportunities that impact medium- and long-term decisions.

Uptake’s Asset Strategy Library has more than 58,000 failure modes for over 800 asset types, with about 5000 preventive maintenance tasks to mitigate those failures.

Through this database, Uptake has more equipment strategies to prevent problems than any other asset-management software provider.

Uptake Asia-Pacific vice president Tom Fisher says the Asset Strategy Library’s sheer breadth means mining companies are always one step ahead.

“For asset health experts and reliability engineers, they can understand at any given time the best strategies they should put in place to prevent failures from ever occurring,” he said.

“Then if a failure is about to occur – because our predictive applications tell them that – we give them the recommended actions they should take in order to mitigate that failure.”

Uptake’s solutions unlock millions in additional revenue for miners.

 

Uptake integrated the Asset Strategy Library into its product portfolio as part of its acquisition of US-based Asset Performance Technologies in 2018.

Combining the Asset Strategy Library with Uptake’s Industrial AI and Internet of Things (IoT) products, the company solidified its standing with asset performance management and advanced industrial analytics products.

While Uptake has the exclusive licence over the world’s most comprehensive library of asset-failure data, the company doesn’t overcomplicate its offering. Uptake prides itself on providing products that can be commissioned quickly and efficiently.

“We see a lot of companies, particularly in the Australian marketplace, they come in and they sit down and it’s months or sometimes years to get the end result of a piece of consulting work,” Fisher says.

“One of our applications can be delivering value within a couple of days, and some, depending on the complexity, can be up and running within a few weeks.

“Then you have access to data that’s generally locked up in a whole bunch of systems at the organisation and our role is to give that in a single pane of glass so employees are able to make better-informed and faster data-driven decisions.”

It’s precise but also simplified, and it’s not only saving mining companies spending millions on mopping up the machinery mess, but also ensuring companies enjoy the economic benefit of increased operational uptime. 

One Uptake client is a miner operating in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, who engaged the company about shoring up its rail infrastructure. Fisher says Uptake was able to deliver a specific product that anticipated the imminence of a fault in stages.

“Where we can really claim our pit-to-port coverage is an Australian case from the Pilbara. Here what we’re doing is analysing faults on ore railcars, specifically wheels and bearings,” Fisher said.

“When a fault is manifesting over time, it impacts the integrity of the asset and can lead to early failure. But it can also be a real safety concern because faults in wheels, cracked bearings, or brake failures can lead to some pretty catastrophic derailment issues if undiagnosed or detected too late.

“This is an example of where we work with our clients to tweak our model based on what’s important for them, and what is important for this client is to get the level of accuracy really, really high.”

Preventative maintenance is crucial to reducing downtime on mine sites.

 

So Uptake went to work, providing the client a clear blueprint for recognising the immediacy of a fault and when to action it, with the evidence that the service would save them money in the long run.

“We initially give this particular customer on average about 30 days lead time as a fault starts to manifest where it’s just starting to appear in the data. Then we upgrade that failure prediction generally within a two-week period to a medium severity alert,” Fisher said.

“Then it becomes a high severity, critical failure alert with 100 per cent accuracy at seven days’ lead time. Think of that as going from a green alert to a yellow alert to a red alert.

“This lead time gives them sufficient runway to operationalise our insights, and accordingly they’ve told us they’re realising $35 million in additional revenue and cost savings over a five-year period.”

Data is extensive and critical business insights are often hidden within a mining company’s data. With the right personnel, data offers an opportunity to comprehend, analyse and then strategise – three things Uptake has down to a tee. 

This feature appeared in the March issue of Australian Mining.

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