IM 2021 February 21 | Page 41

A new challenge – addressing scheduled break efficiencies
The mine previously implemented the DISPATCH Parkup module and achieved a 10 % increase in shift change efficiency . Based on the earlier success , the mine ’ s Senior Dispatch Engineer approached PA to see if the module could also help to optimise the site ’ s scheduled daily breaks .
The mine divided its truck fleet into two groups : A and B , and scheduled its four daily breaks ( two per shift ) in a staggered pattern , similar to the following : n Group A : Cease operation , travel to break area , take break
n Group B : Continue operation while Group A is on break n Group A : End break , travel back to haulage route , resume operation n Group B : Cease operation , travel to break area , take break n Group B : End Break , travel back to haulage route , resume operation In this scheme , as Group A returned to the haulage route after their break , Group B was simultaneously e route to the break area . This brought a twice-daily halt in loading activity at the shovels , which led to recurring periods of costly hang time and lost opportunities for production .
To combat the issue , the PA team configured the DISPATCH System Parkup module to insert a 20-minute buffer between the end of Group A ’ s break and the start Group B ’ s break . By doing so , traffic flow to the shovels was maintained between breaks , thus dramatically improving optimisation by reducing shovel hang time and recovering lost productivity . The PA team also worked with site personnel to fine-tune the timing and other related settings in the DISPATCH MineGraphics view , to ensure that the MineGraphics display reflected the most current haulage road conditions , including changes such as hazards , closures , or re-routes . With the MineGraphics view updated , the FMS is better able to optimise truck activity based on travel times to and from the break area and loading locations . Lastly , training was provided to educate the mine ’ s dispatchers and operations personnel on the changes made to the breaks schedule and on best practices for keeping the FMS ’ settings up-to-date and accurate . Results Following the site ’ s switchover to the new staggered breaks routine , the mine experienced significant improvements in equipment utilisation , increased availability , and reduced shovel hang times . As shown in the figure , hang time for the loading unit decreased by an average of 7.6 % per hourly load , equating to a monthly average of 23,560 additional tons moved during the fifth and ninth hours of the shift . Additional realised benefits include : n An 18.2 % average per-load reduction in break hourly hang time
Figure 3 : Hang time reduction during staggered break hours
n Overall increase in efficiency of the mine ’ s previously-underperforming fifth and ninth hours of each shift With the help of Modular Mining ’ s Performance Assurance experts , the gold operation now has a continuous improvement plan in place to ensure that productivity is maintained at shift change , as well during their daily scheduled breaks . Through the implementation and configuration of the DISPATCH FMS Parkup module , and in-depth dispatcher training , Modular Mining ’ s PA team helped the mine overcome two of its greatest challenges , while simultaneously enabling the DISPATCH FMS to better optimise the shift change and breaks processes for maximised efficiency and productivity . The mine saw extremely positive results , achieved a higher degree of maturity in their use of the DISPATCH FMS , and increased their production volumes which contributed to financial gains . IM


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