With decades of reliable supply and added value to its clients, Total Mining Solutions has become the partner of choice to mining companies. Today, Total supplies fuel, lubricants and associated services to more than 200 mining sites in over 40 countries.
Total’s mining specialists are always looking for ways to help customers reduce their controllable costs. They have put together six practical tips for mining companies to make savings on mine sites. The tips are simple and have worked for many mining clients.
1. Rationalize your oil
A core fundamental of oil management is to rationalize the number of lubricants and lubricant packaging. The Total mining team has observed that this can result in savings up to 17% of your total oil cost! This is done through savings in physical inventories, costs associated with handling, spoilage, theft, storage space and stock obsolescence.
Quite often we find two or three oils covering similar applications, with slightly different specifications or pack sizes.
One way in which Total can help is to go through your oil range at site and select the most appropriate product to cover as many applications as possible. For example Total has developed the TP Star Max lubricant which is suitable for engine, hydraulic and transmission systems thus reducing the need to store three different oils on site whilst still meeting the required OEM specifications.
2. Standardise your oil packaging
Another way is to standardize your oil packaging wherever possible: Do you really need the same product in pails, drums, Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC’s) and bulk? Too many options can result in increased costs and duplication of effort. A thorough look at where and how each pack size is being used and dispensed will allow you to reduce the number of disposable packs. Not only will you simplify your ordering processes, but you will also free up valuable storage space and reduce your cost of working capital.
3. Avoid Contamination
Contamination control is often overlooked when considering why premature failure occurred or why oil life has been diminished. The two primary contaminants in oil are dirt (environmental dust) and moisture. When oil is contaminated, it accelerates wear which can result in early breakdown, thus leading to significant increase of the operating cost.
Thus, maintaining clean oil is a key investment initiative for mining companies.
Total suggests using contamination control techniques such as desiccant breathers on bulk and intermediate containers as well as filtration on bulk fluid dispensing. The use of filtration on fluid dispensing on IBC and Drums can also be applied.
The benefits of sound contamination control in lubricants will extend the life of lubricated equipment and reduce overall maintenance costs.
4. Get your used oil analysed
The aim of oil analysis is to get a ‘snap shot’ of the condition of both the lubricant and the equipment at a point in time. Used over a period of time, used oil analysis allows predictive maintenance which helps you to know when to plan your maintenance operations at the optimal moment. It also allows you to optimize your oil change frequency, to avoid costly emergency repairs, and to increase lifespan of your machines.
For example TOTAL ANAC Laboratories perform over 200,000 diagnostics each year for mining companies and other automotive and industrial customers. All that is required is to collect the oil sample at regular intervals (without having to stop the machine!) and send it to Total’s oil analysis laboratory using the ANAC analysis kit.
ANAC automatically sends a full comprehensive report via email with the analysis of the sample. This report can also be viewed over the internet.
Contact Total to find if there is an ANAC lab in your region.
5. Get a FIFO approach with the storage of your oils
When a 205 litre container or a 1000 litre container (IBC) has reached the end of its product shelf life, its use can have detrimental effects on your equipment. The product should be discarded which comes with increased cost. This can be attributed to the term ‘obsolescence cost’ and it occurs when proper storage practices are not in place.
Total suggests a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) approach to storage of oils on mining sites. Improving overall warehouse management of stored products as well as a FIFO approach to product storage will help reduce these obsolescence costs.
Total’s site facility audit can help identify areas of improvement.
6. Get the lube supplier to audit the mine
Total employs oil specialists to assist Total’s clients in identifying areas of improvement that contribute to cost saving initiatives.
For example, replacing just one lubricant with another can contribute to the reduction of many different types of costs. These may include:
- Purchasing cost
- Maintenance cost
- Energy cost
- Fuel cost
- Waste oil cost.
Contact Total Mining Solutions team today to find out more.