How Asset Management Helps Mining Companies

A mining company’s operation is highly dependent on the state of its capital assets. As more and more resources are extracted from mines to meet rising demands, leveraging the availability of assets like trucks, bulldozers, distribution equipment, and processing plants, becomes a key determinant in dealing with increased production.

An asset management solution (Enterprise Asset Management, or EAM) helps employees gain full visibility into asset use and current conditions. It is designed to help companies coordinate maintenance, operations, and budgeting aspects of asset heavy industries like mining and resource management. Furthermore, it can help managers make the right decision with regards to asset use, asset investments, and disposals during the assets’ lifecycle, always bearing in mind the financial consequences of each.

Help with Capital Planning and Budgeting

Planning and budgeting for assets includes accounting for all aspects of the asset’s lifecycle and determining when to take action with regards to maintenance, disposal, and deployment of the asset. An EAM solution appropriate for the mining industry will:

Track the asset’s financial performance, as well as the associated costs and revenues generated by the asset during its lifecycle.

Provide managers with the information they need to make asset investment decisions focused on the actual financial value of the asset

Allow users to effectively create and manage a maintenance budget for assets of different classes, from small machines to large bulldozers, setting up control points of when further action should be taken

Help with Managing Operations

An EAM helps mining companies streamline operational processes by doing away with paperwork, decreasing work cycles, and delivering real-time visibility into asset operations in multiple locations. This visibility lets users:

Track asset activities, including current status, to determine the allocation of assets to the correct business unit.

Provides users with detailed reports relating to the asset’s performance, tracking historical and real-time data to measure quality and plan for improvements

Ensures that best practices (or standards established by the company) are in place, including performing safety checks and establishing standards relating to safe use and safety regulations to ensure employee safety.

Managing mining operations with EAM goes a step further it is often sold as a component of an ERP solution, integrating asset related information to operational data, presented on dashboards that are easy to use.

Help with Maintenance and Repairs

An asset management application helps mining companies develop a well thought-out maintenance strategy that minimizes downtime and keeps assets running at full capacity. A well planned maintenance strategy via an EAM solution streamline maintenance processes and helps increase the productivity of employees by:

Scheduling maintenance around operations and informing staff affected by the maintenance schedule, while matching employee skills to specific maintenance tasks

Reduces downtime and ensures consistent service levels of assets through in-depth scheduling of routine maintenance and performance tests

Automates the ordering of spare parts and supplies directly from vendors helping manage supplier relationships and storing documents, important to ensure contractor compliance by integrating contracts into the system.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solutions can help mining companies balance maintaining assets working at full capacity (meeting present and future production demands) with the corresponding maintenance costs. Managing asset comes down to the desire of increasing mining revenues as a small percentage increase in asset utilization can generate a much higher percentage increase in production, and therefore revenue. Getting more out of current assets and administering their use efficiently can also cut into new revenues, as it leads to costly asset maintenance services and downtime costs, as the asset is not used during maintenance and repairs.

Related Reading:

The “How-To-Guide” to Start a Successful ERP Implementation