Published on 20-Dec-2012
"With IBM Maximo software, we’ve reduced production delays by 22 percent." - - Gregor Železnik, Assistant to the Head of Maintenance, Velenje Coal Mine
Velenje Coal Mine
Asset Management, Industry Framework , Smarter Planet
IBM Business Partner:
When Gregor Železnik speaks about enterprise asset management, one theme is repeated throughout his presentation: the importance of predictive maintenance. Železnik is the assistant to the head of Maintenance for the Velenje Coal Mine in Slovenia. Operating within Slovenia’s Šalek Valley, the Velenje Coal Mine is one of the largest and most modern deep coal mining sites in Europe. The company mines more than four million tons of coal per year, producing one-third of the electricity in Slovenia.
Many companies aspire to achieve a 90:10 ratio of preventive-to-corrective maintenance for their enterprise assets. At Velenje Coal Mine, executives are setting a new standard as they work to attain continuous availability of equipment.
By using a powerful enterprise asset management solution combined with analytics, maintenance staff can identify the combination of factors that lead to equipment failure and implement measures to prevent problems before they happen.
● Reduces delays in production by 22 percent through preventive maintenance ● Lowers maintenance costs by 16 percent through automated tracking of asset information and predictive analysis of equipment performance and availability ● Anticipates increase in the preventive-to-corrective maintenance ratio based on the solution’s predictive analysis
Smart is...Minimizing production delays through the use of predictive maintenance.
Many companies aspire to achieve a 90:10 ratio of preventive-to-corrective maintenance for their enterprise assets. For the Velenje Coal Mine, executives are setting a new standard as they work to attain continuous availability of equipment. By using a powerful enterprise asset management solution combined with analytics, maintenance staff can identify the combination of factors that lead to equipment failure and implement measures to prevent problems before they happen. In less than a year, this work has resulted in a 22 percent reduction in production delays and a 16 percent decrease in costs.
When Gregor Železnik speaks about enterprise asset management, one theme is repeated throughout his presentation: the importance of predictive maintenance.
Železnik is the assistant to the head of Maintenance for the Velenje Coal Mine in Slovenia. Operating within Slovenia’s Šalek Valley, the Velenje Coal Mine is one of the largest and most modern deep coal mining sites in Europe. The company mines more than four million tons of coal per year, producing one-third of the electricity in Slovenia.
For any company, equipment failures can cause production delays. But in the coal mine business, those delays often can be extensive as equipment can’t be repaired on site.
“As in all coal mines, we have a lot of safety precautions because of methane and coal dust,” explains Železnik. "We cannot do any maintenance in the mine that requires cutting, welding or other operations that would create a spark or heat. That means that all equipment that needs to be repaired in this way must be disassembled and removed from the mine. This can create long delays in production and increase our costs substantially. Because of this, we need to see small changes in equipment operations and address them before they become big problems.”
Gaining a single view of operations
The company had used two internally developed applications, one to manage maintenance that was performed in the mines, and one to manage maintenance that required outside contractors. Neither system incorporated data from the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) application or notifications from equipment sensors. It meant that staff often had to piece together information from several different databases to manage each asset.
“We wanted one solution to cover all our maintenance departments and that would integrate financial information from our ERP and SCADA [supervisory control and data acquisition] systems,” says Železnik. “We decided to go with IBM Maximo software because it offered the capabilities and visibility we needed. In our maintenance, we are about 90 percent proactive and only 10 percent reactive. We believe that IBM Maximo software can improve this even more.”
IBM Business Partner Kopa d.d. assisted Velenje Coal Mine with the implementation of IBM® Maximo® Asset Management software. Kopa was selected for its extensive experience and based on references from major organizations within the energy industry. As part of its work, Kopa provided the integration between IBM Maximo software and Velenje Coal Mine’s ERP, inventory, human resource and business reporting systems. The company also helped Velenje Coal Mine to identify the key performance indicators necessary for effectively controlling costs.
Smarter Mining: Minimizing risk and cost with preventive maintenance
- Instrumented: Sensors collect data from equipment, such as ventilation and pumping stations. This data is sent through fiber optic cables to SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems and IBM Maximo software for equipment analysis.
- Interconnected: A unified view of maintenance costs, equipment availability and replacement equipment helps staff track key performance indicators and respond quickly to operational issues.
- Intelligent: Analytics help staff identify the combinations of factors that lead to mechanical failures and take action before faults arise.
Predicting problems before equipment fails
By deploying a single enterprise asset management system based on IBM Maximo Asset Management software, maintenance staff now has a centralized dashboard from which to manage operations. Sensors placed on the equipment collect and send performance data through fiber optic cables to the asset management solution for analysis. For example, the system captures the number of hours a machine has run and can, based on business rules, automatically initiate a preventive maintenance request for an oil change based on this information. The system also alerts staff of asset problems so that immediate action can be taken.
When a work order is complete, the engineer enters the information into IBM Maximo software and records the work performed, keeping a historical record of all work performed on each piece of equipment. This data along with data from the ERP regarding job costs provides executives with a “big picture view” of operations.
“Now we can see the assets, where they are and how they are doing in almost real time,” says Železnik. “We have dashboards that help us see the impact of any repair on our operations. We have a better overview on which locations have delays and which equipment causes lengthy delays so we can determine what’s really happening, if it is just coincidence or something that is repeating over time.”
The use of analytic tools with IBM Maximo software also help staff identify the combinations of factors that lead to mechanical failures and take action with predictive maintenance before faults arise.
“We can now see patterns that may lead to failures,” says Železnik. “An example of this is if a machine is using a lot of oil over a period of time. It’s a small problem which has a large impact on maintenance costs and could be a sign of a bigger problem.”
With this insight, availability of equipment has increased and production delays have decreased.
“With IBM Maximo software, we’ve reduced production delays by 22 percent,” Železnik says.
Reducing costs by 16 percent
Additionally, with maintenance costs integrated into the systems, staff can quickly determine whether it’s better to repair or replace equipment.
“Equipment costs present quite a big cost for us and we need to make sure that we get the most of our equipment,” says Železnik. “IBM Maximo helps us view an asset’s costs over its life so we can see when it’s better to replace a machine instead of repairing it. This visibility has enabled us to reduce maintenance costs by 16 percent.”
The inside story: Getting there
According to Železnik, maintenance staff initially rejected the idea of moving to a new asset management system. “People usually don’t want to change the way they work,” he says. “I think this was the biggest issue in moving to a new system.”
However, as staff saw how the system could help them better do their jobs, their resistance faded.
“The dashboards can be personalized so each user has a single screen that shows the equipment they are responsible for,” says Železnik. “I think as people saw they had better control over their equipment, they began to really like the system.”
● IBM® Maximo® Asset Management
IBM Business Partner
● Kopa d.d.
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Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Maximo Asset Management
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