Tracked Excavator loading sediment into Articulated Dump Truck in quarry Supporting Image: Tracked Excavator and dump truck in the background

Optimising Mining Equipment Profitability: Barriers and Opportunities

Three things to know about maximising returns from mining equipment and reducing Total Cost of Ownership.

Tracked Excavator loading sediment into Articulated Dump Truck in quarry Supporting Image: Tracked Excavator and dump truck in the background

Creating a more profitable mining operation and maximising the returns from your equipment investment means paying attention to critical maintenance measures such as lubrication.

For those mining businesses considering upgrading equipment or even making the leap to industry 4.0 technologies 1, proper lubrication and maintenance will help seize the potential of these important new technologies.

However, a lack of expertise on effective maintenance and lubrication could prevent companies maximising the potential of their new equipment investment.

Here are three things to know.

1. Opportunities to increase profitability are being missed

Mining companies are optimistic about the potential benefits of industry 4.0 equipment, but 79% state they are concerned about the specialist maintenance requirements. Almost all recognise that these new technologies will have an impact on their choice of lubricants, but only 52% feel they will need to place more emphasis on equipment protection and only 33% would focus more on longer oil life 2.

As a result of these misunderstandings, opportunities for lubrication to increase profitability are being missed.

Shell’s experts have worked hand in hand with mining customers and collaborated with OEMs to deliver millions of dollars in savings.

2. Optimising lubrication can impact the bottom line

Proper equipment lubrication can have a significant impact on the bottom line. For example, with mining equipment working under heavy loads and extreme environmental conditions, wear protection is critical at high-pressure contact points, such as in the engine valve train and gearbox. High quality lubrication is designed to protect these critical components by reacting under heat and pressure to form a protective film to reduce wear. This helps lower the occurrence of unplanned downtime, and as such, can contribute to reduced TCO and improved equipment productivity 3.

3. Shell can work with you to help deliver TCO savings

Effective lubricant selection and management can help enable companies to achieve total cost of ownership savings from lower maintenance costs, reduced equipment downtime and productivity improvements. Shell’s experts have worked hand in hand with mining customers and collaborated with OEMs to deliver millions of dollars in savings. Whether you need to upgrade your lubrication management, monitor oil and grease usage, get expert advice on site, or train and empower your own staff – we have a team that can help. 

1 Industry 4.0 technologies are defined as technologies that support the digitisation and automation of operations (e.g. sensors, connected equipment, autonomous equipment, robotics, cloud based or big data-based technologies)
2 This survey, commissioned by Shell Lubricants and conducted by research firm Edelman Intelligence, is based on 350 interviews with Mining sector staff who purchase, influence the purchase or use lubricants / greases as part of their job across 7 countries (USA, China, India, Germany, Russia, Indonesia and the UK) from March to April 2018
3 Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is defined by Shell Lubricants as the total amount spent on industrial equipment, including cost of acquisition and operation over its entire working life, including costs of lost production during equipment downtime

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