Downtime has a significant financial impact on operations globally with an estimated opportunity cost of $18,000 in lost earnings per hour for a typical sized concentrator. If you then add in equipment and labour costs, the value of lost earnings can blow out considerably.
It should come as no surprise that managers are under ever increasing pressure to maximise income by reducing downtime, finding productivity gains and optimising existing operations.
One of the easiest ways to do this is through preventative maintenance. This well-known approach is being used in up to 78% of operations globally, however, only 59% of operations are using a computerised maintenance management system to help them manage the process. While the more advanced and digitally savvy operations are now exploring the use of machine learning and AI techniques to drive a data-driven maintenance schedule.
But not all plants have the time, money, or infrastructure to deploy such advanced techniques. Fortunately, these operations can use simple techniques that support the increased interval of maintenance activities whilst still checking equipment regularly using operators in the field.
Applying regular operational checks in addition to an existing CMMS or ERP system is a simple approach to help keep assets operating while minimising downtime and lost earnings.
Poor housekeeping not only increases the likelihood of workplace hazards but lowers the visibility of potential production issues and negatively impacts productivity. Effective housekeeping can eliminate most workplace hazards and help get the job done safely and enable operations to see when things are going out of control by detecting spillage and overflows.
Furthermore, simple activities such as scheduling the operational testing of standby equipment is an effective way an operation can be confident their standby equipment is ready to go, preventing outages when the duty fails.
Some operations carry out regular activities using paper-based or excel systems to record results, yet the collected data is not stored centrally and is rarely used collectively for decision making. Sometimes the existing systems lack the ability for operations to raise issues with supervisors or management.
Furthermore, the readiness of the data can be slow given the nature of the roster patterns within industrial operations. This can result in feedback being delayed until the next shift when it is too late to take corrective action.
Ultimately, the lack of timely and consistent data can result in bad or delayed decisions that impact the plant operation and cause equipment to be taken offline.
By establishing an electronic record of time-critical activities visible to operators, supervisors and management, an operation can be confident that all information is readily available and that the history is captured in a central location, helping operations make decisions faster and more reliably.
Sometimes operations have a good regime of regular activities that support their maintenance systems, yet the systems they use do not support operators conducting the activity. This can result in inconsistency in the way activities are completed, or a difference in how management thinks they are being performed.
By using a system that supports the embedding of standard operating procedures, operations teams can see the procedure as they complete the activity. This ensures the approach is in line with procedure, and where it is not, it will likely result in the operators raising the discrepancy with supervisors.
Mipac’s TCard is an operations management solution that enhances stability across your entire operation.
Simple and easy to use
Whether it’s scheduling regular inspections or housekeeping activities to help minimise downtown, TCard offers enhanced operating practice within as little as four weeks across your whole operation. By standardising operator activities, the same activity can be easily set to recur across all shifts and crews at an interval that best suits an operation.
Its features are simple yet powerful. Templates are available to simplify and automate tasks involved in everyday operations, whilst offering functionalities to prioritise operational activities and ensure the right things get done on time.
TCard provides a simple way for operators, supervisors, and management to see all tasks across shifts and crews. With a quick glance, operators can see what activities have been completed and what activities are remaining. Daily emails provide management with a summary of key insights from the shift by allowing them to see any issues that have been flagged for a response. Management can see contextual operator comments, allowing them to understand the issue and provide the required feedback.
With TCard, operators update the status, provide commentary, and can request assistance in real-time. The storage of activities and comments enables operational teams to check the history of activities across different shifts to see what was or wasn’t done.
Contextual information can be stored and data mined for future improvements, together with productivity summaries that help you schedule critical, operational, safety and housekeeping activities to maximise production.
The value of TCard
As a proven operations management solution, TCard allows you to manage daily activities that will help your operation reduce downtime. Not only will TCard deliver short-term benefits to your plant operations, but it will allow you to: