Ideas to reduce train dumping cycle time

Up to six minutes could be saved per train dumping cycle thanks to a number of initiatives identified by Rio Tinto Iron Ore staff during Coastal Operations first Quick changeover (QCO) exercise.

Up to six minutes could be saved per train dumping cycle thanks to a number of initiatives identified by Rio Tinto Iron Ore staff during Coastal Operations first Quick changeover (QCO) exercise.

QCO, one of the main tools of the Lean process, has been underway at East Intercourse Island for the past three months and has involved all island crews, two of which acted as the primary exercise participants.

Lean coach John Bennetts said Lean advisor Tammie Craven, with assistance from Aaron Watts from Rail, guided the exercise which identified initiatives ranging from ‘quick fix’ ideas to major logic changes in the system.

“Some of the opportunities for change identified were as straightforward as standardising the training processes and assessments. While this will not happen overnight, it is fairly easy to implement and can make a big difference,” he said.

“Other initiatives included ‘quick fix’ ideas that were as simple as putting a marker in the ground so that the driver knows where to park the locomotive.

“While it is possible to shed six minutes off the train dumping cycle with these initiatives, even four minutes would be a massive improvement.”

Other suggested initiatives included:

• 506 and 507 points to be automated

• standardise the position of the load when ready to pass the 506 points

• empty not to be indexed out after the last trip

• adjustments in Citect with the train complete and first trip actions

• Start dumping when the end of train monitor reads 450 kpa

• Standard work procedure to be reviewed and updated

John said even though Coastal Operations was undergoing a lot of change, teams were starting to embrace the Lean process.

“If an issue is identified and it is possible to do something about it, a change will happen,” he said.

This article was first published in Coastal News [September 2007, Issue No. 2] – Rio Tintos Coastal Division Newsletter.

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