Metso Insights Blog Aggregates blog When uptime matters most
Nov 11, 2021

When uptime matters most

Heikki Laxell
Heikki Laxell
Director, Value Selling Development
In the aggregates industry, crushing and screening equipment are frequently on the move from site to site, often in remote areas or quarries. One of the primary concerns for aggregates producers is how to keep production up and running to minimize unnecessary service stops. In many cases, it comes down to avoiding unexpected failures and minimizing equipment downtime. When equipment is down, there is no production, which can lead to a significant hit to a site’s revenue.

Parts, people, and service timing

There are essentially three elements that need to be considered to get the most uptime for your fixed or mobile equipment. Parts and people need to be considered as well as finding the right service timing. Each of these bring their own unique challenges that need to be addressed.

To reach success, quarry owners and contractors need to first have the right components and spare parts on site while keeping inventory costs low. It is important to understand which parts break more often, as well as their typical life span. When something does break, having only some of the needed spares rather than all of them is never enough. However, at the same time, stocking too much can increase carrying costs so it is important to keep the right or optimal amount on hand. Inventory costs need to be compared to the cost of lost production hours due to missing a simple component. Even though this analysis can take time, the cost of doing nothing is too high.

Determining which parts to keep on-site must also take place. Smaller parts such as electrical components (fuses, modules, contactors, and sensors) are usually inexpensive, but if they are not available, down time can increase which results in significant lost revenue. Workers at the sites often find a work around solution when one of these breaks and components are not available. This tends to be more of a band aid solution and if it happens too many times, the accumulation of small work arounds can cause major problems. Vibrations, dust, and oil contamination are also all hard on the machines. Other areas of the machine including seals, pulleys and screens need to be checked and site personnel need to be aware of parts that need attention.

Beyond the parts, what also needs to be planned, is whether the work should be done in house by site teams or by bringing in service personnel from the OEM. Having OEM technicians do the changes is a better option in terms of safety as they are often more familiar with these service operations and do them more regularly. Timing also plays an important part in terms of maintenance, and machines often have set components that need to be changed, for example, at 250, 500 and 1000 hours. These regularly changed parts need to be readily available at the designated service intervals.

For the longer maintenance interval activities such as the 1000-hour mark, OEM service technicians may see other problems or spare parts that need to be addressed. At that point, should it be them who fixes it on the spot, or will it be repaired later locally? In many cases, OEM technicians can ensure proper calibration, helping the machine perform as it should and can also spot parts that are wearing out more quickly than anticipated and make recommendations.


“In the future, we will expand our digital offering to provide more customer value through our availability services. Being able to catch issues before they escalate allows operators to be more flexible in their approach to service. Better data can amplify the results from our other offerings and alert us to when parts need to be changed or when we need to look for other solutions.”
Pekka Itävuo, Metrics application specialist

Availability services delivering additional production hours

Availability services focus on avoiding unexpected failures, minimizing downtime, and increasing available production hours. This supports keeping your mobile plant or the production at your quarry running smoothly. For key availability service elements that Metso Outotec provides are:

  • Recommended parts lists – Can be used to determine which parts are needed, depending on certain conditions. Lists should be modified as conditions and operating usage change.
  • Field Service expertise to keep the equipment in good condition. When it comes to changing components and conducting inspections, it is critical to understand your teams’ capabilities. This includes what they can provide, what training they have had and what problems they are capable of troubleshooting. Finding the right mix between your team and OEM support is important and can make a huge difference on your asset’s uptime.
  • Selecting the correct chamber for the application to give maximum wear life. Even though the crusher is operating, it doesn’t mean it is operating at its true or full potential. Bringing in people with lining or chamber expertise can make a tremendous difference to the life of your wear parts by helping you select the optimal chamber.
  • Metrics remote condition monitoring and online trouble shooting. In the end, it all comes down to data. The more visibility you have on the right data, the more correct decisions you will be able to make. Metso Outotec provides performance and data to help make better decisions in terms of maintenance, scheduling and spare parts needed.
Metso Outotec Lokotrack Liveroom
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“Availability services covers our value adding availability offering from our services and consumables wear part teams under one umbrella. We want to focus on delivering customer benefits instead of individual products and services from separate silos. Bringing them all together into one offer can make a big difference."
Merja Tyyni, Vice President, Standard crushers product group

Keeping the plant running keeps the money coming

Every hour your equipment is down can mean reduced or no income. Finding the right balance between keeping the right parts in stock and spending too much on inventory, as well as understanding what service work can be done in house or by the OEM, can have significant consequences on the overall production of your quarry or aggregates plant. Availability services focus on helping sites avoid unexpected failures and minimize their downtime by better managing parts, people, and service timing to bring about the best results.

Check the video
Parts for aggregates equipment
Rely on OEM experts because not all parts are created equal