Blog: Mining Minds

Blog: Four proven ways to improve your next shutdown

When it comes time to perform a planned shutdown on your crusher or grinding mill, the stakes can be high, with significant dollars linked to each minute of downtime. Coordinating all the resources, equipment, tools and parts to keep everything on track can be challenging for even the most experienced team. Here are 4 key actions that you need to consider.

1. Baseline your performance

Assessing your shutdown performance and understanding where you have delays is critical. With so much going on during planned shutdown, it is not realistic to catch and record every improvement opportunity. But what if you could record an entire shutdown and then review it to find every delay? In fact, you can if you have the right tools and expertise. Frequently used by mining companies, a Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) or time and motion analysis, uses Time-Lapse video sequences to examine repetitive tasks, such as mill and crusher relining. Cameras are strategically positioned to capture the entire process. Maintenance and reline experts then analyze the video sequences to highlight issues and recommend improvements.

2. Evaluate your tools

Maintenance on crushing and grinding equipment can be hazardous to crews without the
proper tooling. Having the right tools that can facilitate maintenance while improving safety, is another important element to maximize performance. Observations from shutdown crews or data collected from a formal SMED analysis are used to develop special tooling that will save time and mitigate safety risks. The below customized tools can be a better solution:

• Customized concave setting fixtures for gyratory crushers
• Special liner lifting devices for Vertimills
• Concave removal trays for crushers
• Custom work platforms, stands and ladders

3. Plan, share and execute

Small planning adjustments can make the difference between a successful changeover and one that runs hours over schedule. Planning is about making sure that all resources, parts and tools are available to execute work in a safe and optimal manner. This includes having the right checklists on hand such as pre-planning, tools and previous shutdown checklists. Prior to execution, sharing the plan with the entire team can help raise and solve any unanswered questions. A plan is only useful if everyone is on the same page. Executing the plan is easiest when you know what needs to be done ahead of time. When last minute decisions are eliminated, safety risks and delays are minimized.

4. Review to improve

Even after a successful shutdown has been completed, it doesn't end there. One of the most important things to do once the shutdown is completed is to take a step back and once again assess your performance by holding a post mortem analysis. Did everything go according to plan? Were there any new safety concerns? How did the shutdown compare to the last one? Were there other unforeseen delays or other issues? In some cases, new problems and possible solutions can be easily identified. In other cases, another SMED analysis may need to be done. In any event, holding a post mortem to assess performance and set targets for the next shutdown is often a neglected step, but if done right can be served as a cornerstone to continuous improvement.

The fact is that shutdowns don't just happen on their own. They need to be measured, analyzed and improved on a continual basis to ensure maximum results. Metso's Life Cycle Service Shutdown and Optimization package looks at all these elements, bringing them together to minimize your downtime and get you back up and running fast. To see what an LCS package can do for your shutdowns, watch the video or click the link on right.


René Blanchet

Maintenance & Planning Specialist

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