Eritrea Needs a Modern Preventative Maintenance Program for Mining and Transport

Eritrea Needs a Modern Preventative Maintenance Program for Our Mining

and Transport Industries.

Eritrea needs a modern preventative maintenance (P.M.) program for our

mining and transport industries. To understand how preventing sudden

machine failure during operations is the largest preventable expense

in mining and transportation one must understand how machines work.

Think of oil as the blood of any machine. When you go to the doctor

for a check up you have a blood test done to see what is going on

inside your body.

If oil is the blood of a machine by testing the oil you can see what

is going on inside the machine. Testing oil, or oil analysis, is

nothing new, what is new is how easily it can be done in this modern

technological age.

A modern site based oil analysis preventative maintenance program

could reduce breakdowns, equipment failure, by 85% by finding out what

is going wrong inside the machine and repairing it during scheduled

down time without any lost production.

Lost production, when a machine should be putting out and isn’t, is

the largest preventable expense in the mining and transport industry

accounting for up to 50% of total operating expenses in inefficient

mines and transport companies. In other words if the machines keep

failing, less work is being done, less money is coming in while the

bills pretty much stay the same.

To understand just how critical oil analysis is take for example one

of the huge rock excavators at Bisha which loads something like

$20,000 an hour worth of copper ore. If a mechanical part in the

machine fails without warning and the machine can no longer operate,

the company, 40% of which is owned by Eritrea and our people, is

losing almost $500,000 a day, $3.5 million a week in lost production.

If can take up to a week to fly the parts in via DHL, a day to

complete the repair with $3.5 million worth of copper ore not being

delivered to the mill. And this is just one machine for a week, and

there are a lot of big machines running round the clock at the Bisha

mine. Even more when the Dubarwa/Embadurho copper mines starts

production in 2019 followed by the giant potash mine in the Danakil,

home to some of the most hostile conditions to humans and machines on

the planet.

These days modern mining and transport companies are able to keep

preventative maintenance to only 20% of total operating expenses by

instituting a modern oil analysis (think blood testing) program.

When you add up as much as 30% reduction in operating expenses due to

lost production by adopting a modern P.M. system in Eritrea’s mining

industry over the decades to come, alongside 40% Eritrean mine

ownership, you are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars that

could be saved for our peoples benefit.

The Bisha mine for years operated under the If it A modern site based

oil analysis preventative maintenance program could reduce breakdowns,

equipment failure, by 85% by finding out what is going wrong inside

the machine and repairing it during scheduled down time without any

lost production. broke, don’t fix it principle and its high levels of

lost production time tell the story best.

The Zara gold mine is owned and operated by a Chinese construction

company and the new Dubarwa/Embadurho mine in the highlands outside of

Asmara is the next Chinese construction company owned mine in Eritrea.

The Chinese don’t practice preventive maintenance, they run their

machines until they break.

It is really simple to do preventative maintenance in this day of the

microchip. A smart phone with an infrared camera can tell you

instantly with a picture of a passing machine if any part of that

equipment was running hot and automatically text this message to the

central office. The person using the infrared smart phone does not

even have to read and write very well, just take a picture with the

smart phone and technology does the rest. Knowing the operating

conditions of a machine on the road allows you to flag that machine

and prevent equipment breakdown in the field.

There is another smart phone sized device that in 1 minute tells you

what condition your engine is in. Whenever you check the engine oil

you put a drop of oil on a spot in the smart phone and quickly find

out if there is any water leaking into the engine oil, the number one

cause of premature engine failure. This Fluidscan hand held computer

along with fuel sniffers to detect fuel in the engine oil in one

minute, the number two cause of premature engine failure, a

ferromometer to detect amounts and iron particle size in a minute,

the best indicator of pending engine failure and a desk top computer

that in 15 minutes does an in depth precise analysis of the oil of any

moving part in the machine, including transmissions, differentials,

final drives and hydraulic systems.

There are vibration analyzers that measure sound waves being emanated

by a machine and tell you just what bearing in what part of the

machine is going bad, even as the machine is traveling past the hand

held sensor. Like the infrared camera, this information is real time

data that can flag problematic machines during operations and prevent

roadside or in the field breakdowns.

Knowing what is going on inside the machine allows you to plan repairs

efficiently when the machine is scheduled to be shut down anyway for

maintenance. You order the parts before hand and Sunday night when the

plant shuts down for maintenance you do your repairs eliminating 85%

of unscheduled repairs.

This is the key to preventing production loss, the largest

controllable expense in mining and transportation.

Eritrea needs a modern preventative maintenance program and training

for its drivers, operators and technicians to help save our country

tens if not hundreds of millions of our peoples money, money

desperately needed for other priorities.

Source: Dehai Eritrea Online


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