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Uncovering The Hidden Benefits

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Coal,

With an operation as complex as coal mining, it is easy to overlook certain aspects of loading and haulage that seem pretty straightforward, yet offer substantial advantages with closer attention.

Uncovering The Hidden Benefits

Focusing on bucket payloads is a prime example. There are numerous ‘hidden’ benefits – such as increased gains in productivity, sustainability, and lower total cost of operations – when each bucket payload is optimised using advanced technology and the resulting data.

While any improvements may seem small, profits in soft rocking mining rely on how efficiently operations can complete the same tasks thousands of times a week. Even a 1% improvement in the load-haul process can ultimately result in a dramatic increase in material moved by the end of the week, month, and year.

For instance, Komatsu’s payload monitoring system case studies consistently show a 3% or more productivity improvement – total volume of material moved per load cycle – with a return on investment achieved in an average of just five months. This progress can be made without increasing the number of trucks, haul cycles, or other production costs. In most cases, the percentage value is much higher and can result in asset or operational savings costs, such as removing trucks from the haul cycle. Put simply, this solution unleashes the full human (operators, supervisors, dispatchers, maintenance, etc.) and machine potential of load-and-haul processes.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that technology will not solve all the bucket payload challenges. However, it will provide the valuable insights and information needed to solve them in real time and post-review. All in all, bucket payload data can be a powerful tool.

The value of bucket payload technology and data

If hesitant to allocate capital and resources to optimising bucket payload or uncertain about the value of these efforts, it is worth doing a deeper dive into the advantages.

Maximise fleet potential

A proven bucket payload solution is the best barometer for determining the optimised performance of shovels, excavators, and draglines. For instance, there have been substantial improvements in truck loading performance in accordance with the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) payload specifications.

Avoid underloading and overloading – and the negative impact

Based on an analysis of a mine’s truck and shovel fleet before implementing a bucket payload weighing system, there is often broad inconsistency with no normalisation of truck payloads.

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