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Early detection reduces unplanned maintenance

1 min read / February 14, 2024 / Staff writer

Figure 4. The RemoteCare report identified a high number of events in which the exhaust temperatures declined sharply

The RemoteCare team received an alert from the MineCare system about frequent low exhaust temperature events in cylinder 9 of the right bank of a haul truck.

Figure 5. The RemoteCare analyst leveraged data from the MineCare system to generate a report for the site’s maintenance technicians, which identified a drop in the engine’s coolant pressure below the allowable and configurable threshold.

The RemoteCare analyst immediately leveraged the MineCare system’s real-time and trend monitoring capabilities to diagnose a potential failure in the truck’s temperature sensors. In addition to producing both OEM-generated and custom, user-defined alarms to help miners identify potential component abnormalities, the system enables the mine’s maintenance department to prioritize necessary maintenance activities based on component condition criticality.

By scheduling lesser-severe component repair or replacement needs for a more opportune time, the mine can favorably shift their ratio of planned-to-unplanned maintenance to enable a more proactive maintenance approach.

Conversely, an equipment unit that triggers a more critical alarm can be removed from the circuit and assigned for immediate repair to prevent damage to other components. Recognizing that a temperature sensor malfunction is a lesser-critical alarm, and therefore did not yet require immediate attention, the analyst recommended an inspection during the next scheduled maintenance cycle.

When the truck was sent to the maintenance bay a few days later for its scheduled maintenance, crews confirmed the damaged temperature sensor; after replacing the sensor, the truck was returned to the haul cycle and its exhaust temperatures recovered.

Figure 6. Unscheduled maintenance decreased by nearly 71% from September 2019 to February 2020

By identifying the faulty temperature sensor before its malfunction resulted in damage to other engine components, and scheduling its repair for the next maintenance cycle, the MineCare system and RemoteCare analyst helped the mine favorably shift its ratio of scheduled vs. unscheduled maintenance.

If the mine had relied on the truck’s OEM sensor alone to identify this failing component, its deterioration would have likely progressed to the point of extensive engine damage, incurring significantly higher costs for unplanned repair and longer downtime. Unscheduled maintenance can cost 3-10 times more than scheduled, so identifying such deteriorating component conditions early, and scheduling their repair or replacement for an opportune time, provides a significant opportunity for cost savings and minimal downtime.

Electric haul trucks have a high potential for unscheduled maintenance as a result of the various electrical components that asset health systems like MineCare cannot control.

To help the mine avoid future breakdown events related to the truck engines’ electrical systems, the RemoteCare analyst monitored the condition of those components and compiled a historical report of the related unscheduled maintenance activities from September 2019 through February 2020. At the end of the period, the proactive, real-time monitoring enabled by the RemoteCare team and MineCare system had helped the mine reduce their unscheduled maintenance by nearly 71%. For more information view the following case study.

Early detection reduces unplanned maintenance

Download the case study

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