How to improve business processes: A Sandvik story
Applying business process improvement measures has played an important role in Sandvik’s Canning Vale Productivity Center in Perth successfully completing a highly complex rebuild of a DL420-10C production drill for gold producer La Mancha Resources Australia.
The rig, LH002, has been working at La Mancha’s Frogs Leg mine near Kalgoorlie, since October 2009, as the mine’s front line production drill in a long-hole stoping capacity.
Fitted with Sandvik ST58 drilling consumables, it predominantly bores 89 mm up-holes to a depth of ±25 meters. At times, it is also required for reaming to 200 mm in rock and 252 mm in paste.
• Related content: [PHOTOS] The Super Pit: Australia's largest open pit mine
Since its initial delivery – operating around the clock – LH002 had logged approximately 9000 percussion hours, 14,000 power pack hours and 1000 engine hours.
According to Wayne Stewart, maintenance manager at Frogs Leg, over its life the rig’s drill module had been overhauled several times, but little work had been carried out on the carrier.
“We were encountering increased issues with hydraulics, hosing and electrical downtime which was affecting its productivity and increasing the unit cost,” he said.
Cost effective option
To overcome these issues, Sandvik proposed a rebuild option as a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a new machine, bringing LH002 back to as-new condition and complying with Sandvik OEM specifications.
“We were looking for the most economical solution to fit our long-term mine plans,” Stewart said.
“The main alternatives we considered were to stay ‘as is’, do a minor component overhaul, major overhaul or replacement.
“At roughly 60 percent of new price, the major overhaul was considered the most effective option available to us,” he said.
“Outside of increasing reliability and reducing unit cost, rebuilding supported other key criteria such as returning the drill functionality, electrics and hydraulics to original specifications and upgrading unsupported components.
• Related content: Report: Global mining equipment market worth $95.14 billion by 2022
“Negotiating the rebuild between La Mancha and Sandvik was quite a long process,” Stewart said.
“Becoming comfortable that both parties had an aligned view of outcomes and expectations were an important aspect of the rebuild process, and one which Sandvik supported with capability information, historic data and just many hours turning expectation into specification.”
Brett Kervin, Sandvik’s business improvement service manager at Canning Vale, said that a machine rebuild of this nature was “right up there” in terms of complexity, so it was of the utmost importance that its Canning Vale Productivity Center be set up to handle the project’s needs.
To ensure this, the Productivity Center implemented a number of business process improvement measures, applying Lean methodology principles and procedures to optimize the rebuild process.
“We took the opportunity to adjust the physical layout of our workshop in preparation for this rebuild – and subsequent rebuilds in the future,” said Kervin.
“An important message from our Lean methodology is that poorly organized workplaces leaves the potential for unsafe practices, unnecessary rework and longer repair cycle times, which can have a significant impact on costs and delivery schedules.
• Related content: Sandvik Leads the Charge in Automated Loading
“The ability to remain flexible is also a key component of repair work when dealing with the range and complexity of hard rock mining equipment our Perth Productivity Center is required to handle.”
Kervin said that while there is considerable variation in most equipment rebuilds, there were also opportunities to standardize the mandatory and non-negotiable elements of the rebuild processes, as reflected in the customer’s requirements.
“Through applying Lean thinking and concepts, coupled with workshop team brainstorming sessions, we were not only able to break the machine down into its usual high-level components, but we could also optimize our work breakdown structure and ensure the efficient and timely delivery of parts to the job.”
Dealing with the unexpected
These processes also ensured that the rebuild program – which took place between March and June 2015 – was able to deal with any unexpected issues quickly and effectively as they occurred.
“We had a few surprises along the way, but we were able to deal with these immediately through our implementation of a robust root cause analysis (RCA) process and the clear benefits of Sandvik’s OEM supply chain,” said Kervin.
“One example of a surprise we encountered was unforeseen damage found on the drill’s inner boom tube.
“This part of the boom assembly is effectively hidden, and during the quoting process was not factored in.
• Related content: Sandvik unleashes new MC350 continuous miner
“The lead time given to supply a replacement item meant we risked missing our delivery target, which caused a great deal of concern.
“However, upon contacting Sandvik’s Australian Product Support Manager, Harold Jonker, we were able to quickly locate a complete boom assembly that contained the inner boom tube we needed,” he said.
“Our parts division promptly shipped the assembly to us so we could proceed with the rebuild without losing any time.
“That was a fantastic example of how Sandvik’s Service, Parts and Product Support networks can leverage off each other in order to resolve problems – solutions that are not available to third-party providers,” said Kervin.
Visual Management application
Another integral part of Lean methodology is a process known as Visual Management (VM), which Sandvik continually strives to improve throughout its workshop operations.
“The more effective our VM processes, the less time we wasted through talking in meetings,” said Kervin.
“We were able to apply VM very successfully to this rebuild to improve safety, work quality and efficiency, and workflows.”
Some key ways in which VM helped Sandvik’s Canning Vale technicians during this rebuild process included:
• The ability to identify unsafe or abnormal conditions, ensuring all work was carried out safely
• The ability to apply the correct standards of repairs efficiently and according to plan
• Prioritizing work to ensure the workshop team followed the critical repair path, eliminating the risk of waiting and ensuring optimum work flow
• Ensuring the entire team knew the targets and tracking of progress through performance dialogues
• Ensuring a robust process of communication and feedback to all stakeholders
• An in-process control system, using “quality tollgates”, which has a direct bearing on the RCA (root cause analysis) process through early detection of potential defects or rework; this is a critical aspect of the rebuild with the aim of eliminating as many teething issues as possible through to the end-of-rebuild testing.
“Our RCA process forms an important input of our post-rebuild review,” said Kervin.
• Related content: Sandvik Looks to Utilize 3-D Printing in Mining Equipment
“This, combined with our ongoing process improvement reviews during our rebuild, allows us to identify further improvements we can make to the parts supply chain and delivery of parts at a sub-job level.
“These allow us to find greater value for our customers, which will have a positive outcome in terms of both time and cost savings for future rebuild projects we carry out,” he said.
Frogs Leg Maintenance Manager Wayne Stewart said that once the project started, communications were “regular and transparent”.
“Weekly progress reports kept us abreast of any upcoming issues and risks, plus Sandvik’s plans to deal with them,” said Stewart.
“We carried out two inspections: one at roughly the rebuild mid-point and another two weeks prior to delivery.
“Importantly the rebuild was completed on time and budget.
“And given the comprehensive scope of the overhaul, the overall quality of the machine was excellent,” he said.
“There were some issues encountered while commissioning; however, these were dealt with in a timely manner.”
Stewart said that while it was still early days, and performance over time would be the ultimate decider, to date the rebuilt machine had performed to expectation.
“The commissioning support from Sandvik was equal to that which would be expected with a new machine – so great service.
“And follow up on issues has been timely and forthcoming,” he concluded.
Previously posted on AustMine.com.au
Net zero benefits the mining industry and the environment
How do we get the world to net-zero faster?
Emitwise’s founders, Mauro Cozzi, Eduardo Gómez and Ben Peddie, approached a network of more than 100 of the world's largest enterprises and asked their CEOs, CFOs, and sustainability managers the big question: How do we get the world to net-zero faster? The challenge many shared was the lack of timely and accurate emissions data to enable strategic decisions. Companies often relied on annual audits of their carbon footprint for carbon accounting purposes. However, static yearly results were outdated upon publishing.
Emitwise saves companies an average of 260 working days a year by automating their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions data. With the added benefits of clean audit trails and auto-populated accounting reports in line with GHG Protocol, all at the click of a button. Their easy to use solution enables businesses to quickly identify the carbon hotspots to target, and the precise real-time data empowers teams to remain agile and respond effectively, making achieving those goals possible.
Unique AI Technology
Emitwise’s unique AI technology empowers businesses to automatically measure, report and reduce their carbon footprint across their operations and supply chain, future-proofing companies for a zero-carbon world. It is the only solution that enables companies to fully automate their carbon accounting across all business units and suppliers, therefore liberating them from the drudgery of collecting and processing emissions data.
By using artificial intelligence to precisely measure emissions in real-time, businesses can identify and tackle carbon hotspots swiftly, enabling them to devise a trackable roadmap to net-zero carbon. At the same time, accurate audit trails and auto-populated annual reports ensure that companies comply with international reporting requirements, and align businesses with global climate targets to mitigate risk across their operations and supply chain.
The Oren Marketplace
Environmental management, social license to operate, safety, renewable energy to lower emissions and operational efficiency for mining can be supported by a range of digital solutions enabling dynamic operations. To address these issues, Shell and IBM joined forces to create the Oren Marketplace – the first B2B solutions platform for the mining sector.
With the adoption of many of the digital solutions offered through Oren, mining companies can adapt in real-time to risks or adjust plans ahead of a problem occurring. The goal is a shift towards proactive management as the optimal outcome for all stakeholders – community, shareholders, and employees.
Emitwise was founded with the goal of helping industries across all sectors reduce their carbon footprint. Similarly, Shell aims to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, or sooner, in step with society and its customers. And Oren is focused on offering innovative products and services that can help mining companies track and reduce their emissions.
“Oren is the starting point for how we help our mining customers to de-carbonise,” explains Carol Chen, Global Lubricants Marketing, Vice President, Shell. “It’s our ambition to work with sectors like mining to help them find their own pathway to net-zero emissions through collaboration. The Oren marketplace offers a great opportunity for collaboration between the miners and technology companies that are joining this digital marketplace.”
Emitwise will be showcasing its vision for a net-zero future live from Lisbon at this year’s Web Summit. Bringing together the people and companies redefining the global tech industry, the online event welcomes 100,000+ attendees from around the world to hear from more than 800 speakers and view offerings from 2,500 startups covering a vast range of topics from Data Science and Climate Change to AI and Machine Learning. To find out more and book your ticket visit
Emitwise is one of many solutions providers on the Oren platform seeking to address the pain points and environmental concerns of heavy industries like mining. To discover a range of solutions that can further support your operation’s digital transformation and commitment to sustainability, visit the