With mobile crushers moving frequently between sites, often in remote areas, it can be difficult to track, monitor and maintain these types of equipment to ensure their performance. Without having the right information at the right time to make important operational or maintenance decisions, extended downtime can quickly set in and production rates can suffer, challenging producers bottom lines.
Preventive maintenance technology explained with Metso Metrics
Metso Metrics technology for aggregates customers helps monitor, maintain and manage clients’ assets. Connected equipment is ensured by many advanced sensors installed on each plant, tracking various elements around the performance of the machine. An intuitive interface, accessible through any internet-connected device, allows the customer to know exactly what is happening with their equipment 24/7.
Our teams, combining global and local expertise, can also use Metso Metrics to monitor customer assets, allowing them to better meet customer plant maintenance and servicing needs and helping to troubleshoot issues remotely. Fitted as standard on Metso Lokotrack LT mobile jaw and cone crushers and Lokotrack ST mobile screens since its launch in 2016, Metso Metrics for Aggregates can also be retrofitted on older plant models.
From Metso Metrics, users can see key data for their whole fleet connected to Metrics. When logged in, the user can see right away the combined data from their fleet in KPI (key performance indicator) windows. This includes fleet operating hours, fuel/power consumption, next maintenance events and machine location for each machine. There are many other KPI windows and users can customize their main page view to show what they want to see when they log in.
Users can also open and see machine specific data sheets by clicking a particular machine from their fleet. From there, users can see how the machine has been running each day during the time it has been connected to Metso Metrics. Data shown for the machines are operating hours, fuel/power consumption, upcoming maintenance events, maintenance log, alarm log, parameter changes and machine location. If belt scales are installed, then it’s also possible to show tonnage data in Metso Metrics from the machine. Users can run different reports from their fleet or on specific machines in Metso Metrics. Also, users can order email notifications for upcoming maintenance events and active alarms about which users want to be notified. The benefits of Metso Metrics can be summarized under three headings.
Get the most out of assetsCritical maintenance and operational data at the touch of a button, helping a company identify underperforming assets and training opportunities for continuous improvement. With access to the right data, a firm can take appropriate actions for improved utilization rates and operational efficiency, so it gets the most out of its assets.
Improved operational efficiencyHelping to reduce routine site checks and manual reporting by providing remote visibility and reporting on the condition and performance of a company’s productive crushing and screening assets.
Lower operational costsHelping to lower a business’s inventory costs by mapping out which parts are required for upcoming service events. With the maintenance plans of its equipment integrated into Metso’s solution, a firm can stay on top of its equipment needs and make sure it has the right parts available at the right time, helping to control maintenance and upfront inventory costs.
Win-win situation: Predictability to customer and the servicing engineers
Metso Metrics technology is popular among quarry customers and plant hire companies. We got comments from Anthony Ryan, sales manager for McHale Plant Sales, based in Tipperary, Ireland, who says Metso Metrics is very useful for preventative plant maintenance and servicing.
“We can predict when a plant service is needed, allowing us to better prepare our engineers. Also, if you get a call from a customer saying that a plant alarm is on, you can see where on the plant the alarm has been activated and offer appropriate advice. Metso Metrics also enables our engineers to see exactly where a machine is, helping them to locate it as quickly as possible, rather than potentially having to phone and ask for further directions to a customer site. You can make useful notes on the system, such as when a servicing was last completed and when the next one will be due, or when parts will next need changing. You can also create records highlighting specific servicing and maintenance milestones.”
Beyond preventive maintenance technology
On average there are around 30 new machines connected to Metso Metrics every month. It is now a standard offer on all new Metso C-Series jaw crushers and GP-Series cone crushers with Metso IC plant automation control: MX and HP-Series cone crushers, and Nordwheeler portable plants will soon also follow with this standardized offering. Following customer feedback, we are also working on making Metso Metrics portal more mobile device screen compatible as well as having benchmarking functionality so we can compare how they are running their Metso plant compared to other local Metso plant operators locally and globally.
We will develop Metso Metrics so when the most critical plant fault alarm is activated, let’s say three times in one day, the solution will automatically email a designated person saying, ‘This is urgent. Please take action.’ A category two alarm might mean that an alarm will need to be activated five times in one day to prompt the same automatic email. Category three alarm automatic emails might be sent only after ten alarm activations are recorded in one day. Critical faults that trigger an alarm may include the machine operating pressure being too high, which could lead to a major plant breakdown if ignored.
We are using a dual-type modem which includes satellite and SIM card compatibility. For remote work sites where there is no terrestrial GSM [global system for mobile communications] network, the satellite should allow Metso Metrics to work everywhere except when the machine is in a tunnel, for example, as the satellite needs to ‘see’ the machine. With the SIM card, it allows you to use Metso Metrics when there is a GSM network on-site. In some countries where the government bans the use of satellites for communications, we offer SIM-only modems for accessing Metso Metrics.
Examples of real-life experiences from Germany
In Germany, Metso Metrics is being used by customers in the quarrying, gravel processing and recycling sectors. Hugo van Benthem, Metso’s local distribution business manager and Ralph Phlippen, co-owner and sales manager of one of our distributors, Fischer Jung, have been pleased with the rental and owner-plant customer response to Metso Metrics, since its introduction nationally a year ago.
“Generally, plant units with the highest number of operating hours will gain the biggest benefits from Metso Metrics. In the past, in 50% of cases where a problem with the plant has been reported we could advise the customer over the phone to ‘press this’ or ‘check that’, but with Metso Metrics we can look at the plant ourselves and properly advise the customer 80% of the time. We can support the customer in optimizing the performance of the plant for each specific application. Through Metso Metrics, Metso can also advise on what filter kits are needed so a service technician can fill up the car with the appropriate filters before he drives there.”
Karl-Werner Bierbrauer uses Metso Metrics with his Metso plant fleet at Bierbrauer und Sohn’s quarry in South-West Germany. Says Bierbrauer “With Metso Metrics, I can follow my units and their production. But most important, however, is the fast troubleshooting it offers”.
This article first appeared in Aggregates Business Europe/International Sep-Oct 2019.