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Maximising earthmoving equipment performance

As Australian commodity prices are expected to remain elevated in the near term there is no doubt that the industry is heavily invested in maximizing fleet performance and reliability, we see this in practice with many of our customers investing heavily in equipment condition monitoring.  

It’s no secret that unplanned downtime has a significant impact on equipment utilisation and the ability to meet increased production targets. 

It’s always a balancing act to ensure maintenance of the equipment to the highest of standards whilst minimising the impacts on production and equipment downtime; this is where effective maintenance and equipment inspections come into effect. 

Here are three key boxes to tick when ensuring you get maximum performance and minimum downtime from your fleet. 

Primec Team Members

One of the many effective ways to track and monitor component condition is fluid analysis. This is like giving your machinery a blood test. 

1. Fluid analysis 

One of the many effective ways to track and monitor component condition is fluid analysis. This is like giving your machinery a blood test. 

Conducting an in-depth analysis of your oils, fuels and coolants will assist in the early diagnosis of premature failure or exacerbated wear of your rotating equipment. Naturally this will prevent early failure causing heavy contamination and significant downtime on your equipment.  

Fluid analysis is a simple process using state of the art technology which should not be overlooked when maintaining your fleet.   

2. Realtime machine monitoring systems 

Realtime monitoring systems use smart interfaces enabling the collection of live data for ongoing fleet performance and health. 

There are a vast range of these systems available and at a minimum, will cover the following parameters: 

  • Live operating temperatures 
  • Realtime machine performance  
  • Realtime alerts on live or active fault codes 
  • Operational trends and patterns 
  • Track and trend equipment performance 
  • Air flow restrictions 

Effective interpretation of this data enables you to make better informed decisions on how best to manage the maintenance of your fleet therefore maximizing productivity. 

Gathering live data during operation also ensures the safety of maintenance personnel, mitigating the requirement to be on board the machine during operation. 

As always, there is a significant cost involved in procuring this technology. However, OEMs are continuously working on new ways to keep you in tune with your fleet’s needs and, if the technology is utilised to its full potential by fully trained staff, it will undoubtedly pay dividends.   

3. Understanding the application  

Following manufacturers’ guidelines should not be considered an arbitrary exercise. The reality is OEMs conduct thousands of hours of testing and analysis to produce optimum performance from their products. These guidelines should be viewed as a useful tool and used as such.  

Of course some say rules are made to be broken and the boundaries can be pushed here and there, but the ramifications of doing this can come at a significant cost.  

Using machinery outside of its intended purpose can cause significant damage or exacerbated wear, costing you more downtime in the long run. 

There is also the issue of operator safety. Pushing your fleet outside the recommended limits exposes both your plant and operators to unnecessary risk. An incident can come at the cost of machinery or worse, somebody’s health.  

Knowing and managing the equipment to suit the application is key in preventing events of this nature.  

Effective interpretation of this data enables you to make better informed decisions on how best to manage the maintenance of your fleet therefore maximising productivity.

The reality is you can analyse, monitor and follow the rule book to the letter, but breakdowns, incidents and failures can still occur. However, you can mitigate the risk of these occurrences and put yourself in a better position by using all the tools available to their maximum capacity.   

Primec employee Shaun Pimm

Shaun Pimm

Business Development Manager

Contact Shaun

Repairing and rebuilding machines and components for optimising reliability