To enhance its standing as a leading Australian supplier of Cat equipment, Hastings Deering has developed an asset performance management platform to unlock the full potential of a mine.
Technology has entered almost every facet of our day-to-day lives.
With many of us now living in a ‘smart’ world, it is a given that Industry 4.0 technologies, such as performance management solutions, have become an interesting option for many mining operations.
An experienced distributor of new, used and rental Cat machinery and services, Hastings Deering has launched an Asset Performance Management (APM) solution that bolsters the company’s business strategy of helping customers use Caterpillar equipment more productively.
Hastings Deering asset support supervisor Kurt Pidgeon says the new APM solution complements the company’s traditional value proposition.
“Hastings Deering has always been very effective with analysing the reliability and availability of equipment,” Pidgeon says.
“However, customers buy machines for productivity, so we decided to start providing productivity solutions to complement existing traditional reliability analysis that we perform.”
Starting with load and haul machinery and expanding into other operational areas, the APM solution delivers a wide range of reports and recommendations to improve productivity.
According to Pidgeon, APM is concerned with how the entire mining circuit is performing as-a-system, rather than a single facet of an operation, or individual machine.
“There are many information systems that aim to bolster productivity, but APM is unique in providing insights into how the whole circuit is performing as a system and specific recommendations on how to improve. We help customers achieve their maximum sustainable production rate circuit-by-circuit, as the mine plan evolves, as opposed to looking at one machine at a time,” he explains.
“Analysing machine productivity has been done well for many years. KPIs like truck payload have been a strong area of focus, for example. What if trucks are not the constraining factor on site and it is the load tool instead?
“Using APM we focus on the broader mining operation so that we can better understand exactly where the improvement opportunities are.”
When customers purchase a Caterpillar fleet from Hastings Deering, the APM solution allows them to unlock its full potential.
“For a customer not to have a really good understanding of what is driving the productivity of their operation as-a-whole, is problematic in a competitive world,” Pidgeon says.
APM analyses the data from an entire mining operation to provide in-depth insights that lead to boosts in productivity and efficiency.
For Pidgeon, this means finding areas of improvement that may otherwise go unnoticed.
“Mining clients receive insights from the APM software via a team of specialists here,” he explains. “That leads to productivity improvements and efficiencies gained.
“Treating a mine like a team is important – like the way a champion team beats a team of champions. A high performing circuit of machines is better than a group of individual high performing machines that aren’t working together.
“It’s about providing a broader perspective and identifying those bottlenecks.”
Hastings Deering will soon expand the APM platform to other mine disciplines, such as drill and blast, with the aim of supporting the entire value chain of an operation.
“We’re about to start a module for the analysis for drill and blast processes. Further to this, we are developing analytical tools for each of the processes in mining,” Pidgeon says.
“This will also include wash plant and material handling aspects to properly understand how one part of the value chain effects the performance of another. You need the complete picture to find the weakest link in that whole value chain.”
Remote operations have become critical to sustain mine operations this year in response to the restrictions enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hastings Deering has developed the APM solution to enable miners to analyse performance remotely when required.
“Remote management of mining is well accepted now,” Pidgeon says. “Working remotely in all facets of productivity monitoring is no different.
“It certainly enables clients to review site operations without having to be there. Mining is an industry where people work and live in different locations. Minimising travel if we can do so is an important thing to do at this time.”
This feature also appears in the December edition of Australian Mining.