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How Mine Site Operators Can Reduce Costs Using Technology

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Mine operators are being forced to sharpen their focus on operational efficiency as commodity prices continue to fall and margins get thinner. They must drive inefficiency out of their business at every opportunity to reduce costs and sustain long-term profitability.

Whether you're a large multinational or a smaller local company, GPS fleet management technology is a great way to improve operational efficiency. On a mine site this spans everything from light vehicles and huge trucks to heavy machinery and stationary assets. Due to the rugged and remote environment, your equipment must be designed to withstand unstable landscapes, extreme temperatures, dust and other harsh conditions.

With this in mind, here are the four main areas where smart and durable technology will help you reduce costs:

  • Asset utilisation - When a mining company takes delivery of a shiny new vehicle or piece of machinery, the day it gets deployed onto a remote site could be the last time it's seen by anyone except the operators who work around it. There are often hundreds, if not thousands of moving parts on a mine site, from bulldozers to haul trucks to stationary assets. With so many assets in the field, how can you ensure they are all being used effectively?

Fleet management systems provide accurate data about how assets are being used to help you make important business decisions. For example, you might challenge the size of the fleet based on usage and reduce costs. If a vehicle is only being used twice a month, do you really need it? Telematics also offers insight into financial metrics so you can clearly see operating costs across the fleet and how they're tracking to budget. For example, one of our South American customers recently reduced their contractor fleet by approx. 1000 vehicles, which led to a saving of US$3 million dollars in the first 6 months.

Fleet maintenance

Without closely monitoring fleet operations it's difficult to know when a vehicle requires attention. This can result in insufficient maintenance ? putting the asset, driver and operation at risk ? or burning through cash by over maintaining. With GPS technology, you can generate reports for every vehicle in the fleet to understand exactly how far each asset has travelled or how many hours it's been operated this month. If a particular vehicle has covered a high number of kilometres, for example, you might decide to bring forward its scheduled maintenance based on real time service alerts. At the other end of the spectrum, you could delay maintenance on another asset that's been

Driver behaviour

In addition to addressing safety concerns, there are several productivity gains to be achieved from improving driver behaviour. With GPS fleet management technology you can gain valuable insights into driver and vehicle performance, identifying 'at-risk' behaviour and scheduling targeted This has a knock-on effect that will help mitigate risk, reduce general wear and tear, minimise fuel consumption and help extend the life of the asset.

Static assets

It's important not to forget about static assets. If you have 100 lighting towers on a mine site but you're not using telematics, you have little visibility of how and when they're being used. Somebody is responsible for going around and turning them on and off each day. This is where automation comes in. Visibility of tank levels allows for smarter fuelling cycles while asset hording is eliminated. This means you can redeploy human resources to help save costs. You can also receive an alert if somebody tows an asset offsite preventing loss. While people often forget about small assets, there are real savings to be made when you multiply the numbers across an entire operation.

 


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