Metso Insights Blog Mining and metals blog How to improve plant performance in three ways by using maintenance, reliability, and planning
Aggregates Mining
Nov 30, 2021

How to improve plant performance in three ways by using maintenance, reliability, and planning

Edwin Gutierrez
Edwin Gutierrez
Manager, Reliability Engineering
Do you know where the opportunities for improving your process plant or equipment are? Initially, you may view them as hurdles and roadblocks, but instead they should be seen as ways to improve or optimise safety, availability, production, and maintenance costs. In this blog, we look at three areas that will help you address your opportunities and get the results you expect from your plant, using maintenance, reliability, and planning.

Improving plant performance using RAM analysis & FMECA

Maintenance, reliability, and planning approaches plant performance improvement by using tools to maximize the availability of the process plant and equipment. The approach starts by undertaking Reliability, availability & maintainability (RAM) modeling, which simulates the configuration, operation, failure, repair, spare parts strategy, and planned maintenance of the equipment in a production system. The inputs for the RAM model include items such as component failure and repair data which is very important information to determine the available production. Part of the RAM modelling includes the use of Failure modes, effects & cause analysis (FMECA), to provide insights into the most critical part of a plant or system by evaluating the individual equipment against the probability of failure, the effect of the failure mode, and the ability to detect a failure during the design or normal operation. Once these inputs are combined and analysed, the results provide recommendations to maximize the plant or system availability, identifying the bottleneck equipment, and determining the revised production outputs.


Gains: Increased availability and production, reduced bottlenecks

Improving asset performance with RCM & Root Cause analysis

At the equipment level, issues such as the high maintenance cost adding to the backlog, unreliable assets, plant safety risks, assets in poor condition, and repetitive failures can be viewed as opportunities. It’s very common that mine sites experience these issues which are often associated with a lack of maintenance strategies, unavailability of technologies or skills for conditional monitoring as well as a reactive maintenance approach, which results in repetitive failures and frequent breakdowns.

Maintenance, reliability, and planning approaches asset performance by evaluating the assets’ performance and maintenance strategy by analyzing historical maintenance data, Mean time between failure (MTBF), and Mean time to repair (MTTR) by failure mode. Based on the results of the analysis, MRP can improve the assets’ performance and maintenance strategies through the implementation of Reliability centered maintenance and/or a Failure modes and effects analysis eliminating or mitigating recurrent failures. An action plan is generated through implementing a Root cause analysis and creating a culture of continuous improvement. Part of the key success in this stage is to work with our product and maintenance experts for new or existing assets, evaluating the design, the actual operational context, and to design an action plan to enhance reliability and maintainability.

Gains: Maximized asset reliability, optimized maintenance strategies

How about shutdown performance, and how can it be optimised by SMED analysis?

The most frequent impact on planned shutdowns is that they exceed their forecast duration, resulting in additional downtime and cost overruns which impact the mine site production and profitability targets. MRP approaches shutdown performance by undertaking an audit, which enables MRP to identify the areas of opportunity to reduce and optimize the shutdown duration. At this stage, it will pre-evaluate the planning, programming, and, during the execution, the use of resources, parts organization, method, and logistics. With all aspects being evaluated, a technical report and action plan is generated and issued to the customer.

Once the action plan is implemented, the next step is to implement a Single minute exchange of dies (SMED) analysis. This method is basically a time motion analysis tool which uses GoPro cameras to record the whole shutdown with time lapse pictures, which are then transformed into time-lapse videos. Time motion analysis enables MRP to capture all the details about the shutdown, such as delays, sequences, critical tasks, idle tasks, tooling and wears management, and crew skills. Once all those improvement opportunities have been identified, a new shutdown plan is developed with a revised timeline target. All the shutdown results become part of our Shutdown & SMED databases, which is our main benchmarking tool for references and a comparison tool. For the mill reline shutdown optimization, our engineers use Metso Outotec mill reline software, which will determine the optimal mill reline sequence and the required tooling and resources. This software implements the best practices gained from thousands of shutdowns globally.

Gains: Less safety incidents, improved safety practices, and optimized shutdown duration

The demands of operating a mining process plant have never been greater, whether it’s because of the operational risks and environmental risks, water scarcity, carbon emissions, turbulent commodity prices, or unexpected events like a pandemic. Therefore, it’s important to eliminate or mitigate those factors that can impact the ability of a mining process plant to operate efficiently and effectively. It’s essential to identify the main issues that your process plant and equipment are experiencing and to generate long-term solutions that will provide the highest availability and reliability outcomes, and therefore contribute to achieving the production and profitability targets of the business.

Maintenance reliability & planning can provide you with support to identify the main issues that your process plant and equipment are experiencing and to generate long-term solutions that will provide you with the highest availability and reliability outcomes.

Aggregates Mining
3 ways to improve plant performance using Maintenance, Reliability & Planning