As is the case with a majority of businesses, mining companies are always looking for new ways to cut costs and increase productivity. What makes mining unique is that there are countless avenues to make this happen, whether you’re looking at digital innovation or good old-fashioned training. Here are the best methods to boost productivity in mining.
Autonomous machines have revolutionized the process of mining, and they’re only getting more and more sophisticated as time goes by. Automation helps reduce the need for actual workers to go into dangerous environments, while also getting work done more efficiently. It’s not hard to see how a machine that doesn’t need food, rest, or healthy air to breathe can be useful for mining operations.
Driverless trucks, excavation vehicles, and mining machines are great tools for any business in this line of work. Many of them are only semi-autonomous, but that doesn’t take away from their efficiency. Procuring them for your business is no small investment, but they’ve become an essential part of mining, so it’s well worth the effort and cost.
Introduce GPS technology
Precision is a key part of modern mining. Knowing how and where to guide your tools has a massive impact on productivity. While there are pieces of equipment and methods to increase precision, few of them are as effective as GPS technology.
They produce accurate 3D visualizations of tool locations and positioning as they’re being used. An operator can use this technology to track the tool and get it to exactly where it needs to be. This can all be done from a remote location, making it extra convenient when you implement robotics. Open-pit and iron ore mines utilize these systems to a great extent, and they’ve been shown to be extremely effective.
Track employee health
It’s no secret that mining can be detrimental to the health of the miners themselves. Even with the use of remote technology, there are personnel that have to be present in the mine and interact with various tools.
Monitoring their health is of the utmost importance for a productive work environment. Use digital records to track health changes throughout the years. Implement safety training exercises to help miners mitigate the negative health effects of the job. A database that compiles data about the employees can be of assistance.
Clean equipment regularly
In a mining environment, dust and small particles will get inside equipment rather quickly. This goes double for any machinery that regularly handles dusty materials.
Conveyor systems are durable, but they are also susceptible to damage from debris. As the belt moves material around, small bits and pieces can get caught up in the mechanism and do damage. It’s essential to have a conveyor belt cleaner on the system to keep it functional for long periods of time. The less unnecessary material is left on the belt during operation, the more smoothly it will run.
It’s inevitable that your equipment and machines will sustain damage, no matter how well you take care of them. As a result, they may break down at inopportune moments, causing delays and other issues. There’s no way to prevent the need for maintenance, but you influence the timing.
All you have to do is complete a regular maintenance check on all equipment. Don’t wait for it to start malfunctioning before you act. Stick to a well-planned schedule and test the machines before you begin a project. This will allow you to avoid significant delays, and it’ll make repairs much simpler.
There’s no shortage of methods you can use to up the productivity of your mining operation. You should evaluate the individual parts, and see where you can make the most of major changes. Use the above pointers to get a good idea of what kind of improvements would have the most impact on your business and its operation.