BHP is set to expand its use of a custom-built iOS app for the scheduled maintenance of haul trucks to all its mines following a successful pilot at its Daunia metallurgical coal mine in Queensland.
The company said over the weekend that the app had been used to implement standardised work processes in truck maintenance.
The standardisation focus is a key component of a framework that BHP is creating called the BHP operating system or BOS.
The company said it has a fleet of 16 haul trucks at the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Daunia mine that operate around the clock to “shift around 226 tonnes of coal or overburden (soil and rock) every load”.
The trucks are serviced every 250 hours - which equates to every fortnight.
BHP said that standardising preparations for the maintenance of trucks reduced the time required to service each vehicle.
“We reduced the average truck downtime for a regular truck service from two hours to just 40 minutes - a saving of one hour and 20 minutes for each truck a fortnight, or a potential 10 hours of extra work each week for the fleet,” the company said.
“We did three things to transform our work: introduced a dedicated service bay; allowed maintainers time to set up tooling and service kits before the truck enters the workshop; and introduced technology to design, monitor and improve the way we work.”
A key part of the standardisation comes in the form of an iOS app that walks maintainers through the process of servicing the trucks.
“The app means we complete the service the same way every time and it is interactive, so we can continue making suggestions through it to improve what we do,” the company said.
The trial was deemed successful enough to expand the use of the approach - and therefore the technology underpinning it.
“We are about to roll out a similar approach for our larger trucks (363 tonne payload) and will shortly progress to bulldozer servicing,” BHP said.
“The truck service improvements and the associated technology are transferable.
“It is being trialled at two other BHP mine sites and, with a few tweaks to suit each site, looks set to be implemented across all BHP-operated mine sites.”