Extend Life of Machinery through Equipment Health Management
The Overall Equipment Health Management Process
Equipment operators around the world are feeling the effects of a downturn in the mining boom as this permeates throughout the economy. Decisions are being made to either dispose of equipment in a depressed second hand market, or obtain extended life and operation from existing equipment. Managing equipment health becomes a greater requirement in this current economic climate, in order to extend the life of the equipment and thus leading to a lower cost per hour and a better return on the investment. Labour, which is continually becoming more expensive needs to be used more efficiently and focused in labour intensive repair and inspection activities.
Managing Equipment health requires continual monitoring of the vital signs and indicators of individual component health. Each component has a very different life span, indicators of health and then tasks to repair when corrective actions are required to achieve full life. All of these components are put together to make up the Equipment. The Equipment and Component Health Management process is as follows:-
The Major steps include:-
1. A Summary Fleet dashboard shows Equipment Health updated in real time, with indicators flowing from multiple sources, intervals and components. This data includes
1.1. Used fluid Analysis
1.2. Fluid Top-up and replacements
1.3. Filter changes and Filter cut analysis
1.4. Magnetic plug analysis
1.5. Component repairs and replacements
1.6. On-board alerts and faults
1.7. Visual Inspections results
2. On occurrence of an Issue, the overall Equipment evaluation indicates an evaluation requiring attention, and alerts are triggered where interpretation and actioning are required.
3. Subject matter experts will then examine the data alert information, prior history and supporting data in order to provide an explanation of the current condition along with recommended actions to correct the issue and return the component to is normal expected life trajectory.
4. Action recommendations made, will be kept on a follow-up list to ensure they are completed as required, and the equipment component does not reach critical failure.
5. Records of all repairs and replacements of components and sub components are kept for future reference through the dashboard Equipment Interpretation process.
6. The machine is returned to work and the process continues
Achieving Component Life.
All of the above steps are to monitor the condition of each component on the equipment to ensure that the component is able to reach its full potential life, and that any potential problem which can reduce its expected life can be identified and treated as soon as possible before it can cause sufficient damage to reduce the life of the component below its expected life. Any reduction in life leads to extra dollars being spent on repair replacement or rebuild costs before they are due.
Extending Equipment and Component Life.
Where Equipment and components are well managed and monitored, component lives can be extended. The savings can be large provided the risks are managed. Take for example, and Engine whose typical replacement/rebuild cost is $150.000 and expected life is 18,000 hours. This provides a cost per hour of $8.33/hour of operation. If the life of this engine can be extended to 21,000 hours without catastrophic failure, the cost per hour becomes $7.14/Hour of operation, a significant saving.
Effective Management of Equipment Health
1. Protects your equipment from catastrophic failures
2. Highlights problems quickly before they cause failures and disruptions to production
3. Ensures events are planned rather than unplanned
4. Ensures full life of components are achieved
5. Maintains the market value of the asset
6. Enables you to achieve considerable costs savings through extended component life