Wenco Fleet Management Systems has been selected by PT Kayan Putra Utama Coal (KPUC) to install a fleet management system at its coal mine in Kalimantan.

Wenco, working with its Indonesian distributor PT Hexindo Adiperkasa Tbk, has begun deployment of the first phase of the fleet management system for production monitoring and control of Hitachi excavators and haul trucks. Wenco’s regional director, Australia and Africa, Jayson Bebek spoke with The ASIA Miner about its deployment, expected efficiency improvements and Wenco’s ‘fleet management centre of excellence’.

How will the Wenco fleet management system assist with productivity and efficiency improvements?
It is typical for Wenco Fleet Management System users to realize 10% or more productivity improvement. Expressed in its simplest form, this would mean that for a mine with 100 trucks it would be like adding 10 extra trucks to the fleet or would allow them to park 10 trucks and still achieve the same production.

Some of this gain is made immediately upon the system going live, with intuitive applications and dashboards showing real-time information about the location and activities of the mining equipment, as well as various KPI statistics allowing dispatchers and supervisors to identify bottlenecks and opportunities, and make appropriate decisions to maximize production and achieve the mining plan. The critical point here is that the information is real-time, so you can make a decision now to change the outcomes in the current shift, rather than looking at reports at the end of the day when it is too late to change the outcomes. When the system is first turned on we are usually able to identify very quickly some opportunities to gain a few more minutes of productive time per item of equipment, especially around meal breaks and shift change.

Further productivity gains are recognized as the more advanced features such as Automatic Dispatch are brought online. Automatic Dispatch utilizes advanced algorithms and real-time knowledge of fleet movements to dynamically assign trucks and shovels to maximize productivity, blend material and achieve targets.

And finally, very importantly, we store a comprehensive history of the mine operations into our open SQL Server database. The database becomes an invaluable tool for engineering and management to perform trending and analysis to identify further opportunities as part of their ongoing continuous improvement process. Wenco advocates that the data collected by the system belongs to the mine and it is our duty to make access to the data as easy as possible. We therefore provide a suite of standard web-based reports and a report builder, but importantly, we also provide them with the database schema so that they can develop more complex reports or extract data for third party systems.

How does the ‘fleet management centre of excellence’ support a mine site?
At Wenco we approach each customer with a view to partnering for the life of mine and providing a high level of personalized service. Together with our distributor, Hexindo we believe that the best way of achieving this is through the establishment of a centre of excellence within Hexindo’s Balikpapan office. Here we plan to develop a group of Indonesian FMS support and training experts, who can support and advise our customers in how to get the most from their investment. During the ramp-up of the centre we will be using personnel from our other established regional offices to mentor and develop the Balikpapan team.

Fleet Management Systems and the associated technologies are still not widely adopted in Indonesia, however, there is a growing interest in technology investments. Unfortunately, with relatively few mines using fleet management systems there is a limited pool of experienced FMS users in the region. By partnering with a well-established and resourced company such as Hexindo, we believe we can make a major contribution to the adoption of mining technology in Indonesia, and most importantly, assist our customers with developing the skills of their employees and getting the most out of their mining equipment.

What are the challenges of training the KPUC workforce?
As with entering any new region, there are always communication and cultural differences that present challenges, however, Wenco has worked closely with Hexindo and taken guidance from them throughout the process of getting established in Indonesia – and we will continue to take advice from them. They also have considerable experience working in the often remote mine sites.

One of the first things Wenco has done is translate the software into Bahasa, which will go a long way towards user acceptance, but all our software is very intuitive and user friendly – with most equipment the operators will work out how to use the onboard interface before they have attended the training.

Establishing the centre of excellence to provide local, high quality, training and support in Bahasa is also a key part of our strategy. Having Indonesian support and training personnel greatly assists with our credibility.

With any system deployment into an existing mine there is always a cultural change that needs to take place where people stop seeing the FMS as an extra task that they need to do and start seeing it as something that will assist them and the mine to achieve the common goal of a successful operation.

The key to this change is communication. We have already done presentations to mine employees and let them know what we will be deploying and why. Once everyone, from the operator up to the CEO, is fully aware that the system will assist them in being more productive and that this can have flow-on rewards for all in terms of profit and job security, acceptance and enthusiasm for the use of the system will follow.
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