Heavy machines need heavy-duty maintenance schedules

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maitenance schedules

Heavy machines need heavy-duty maintenance schedules

It’s time to plan around unplanned downtime.

From mine sites in Siberia to sugarcane plantations in central Uganda, worksites rely on heavy machines to be the workhorses that drive productivity.

For the most part, the machines work well. But there’s a lot of vehicle downtime, specifically for maintenance.

Maintenance is necessary for heavy machinery. It keeps the machines running smoothly. And makes your operations more efficient, in the long run. But it’s also expensive, to the tune of 35% of the operating costs for the average mine.

So maintenance is an enormous expense for any worksite. But what’s even more staggering is the fact that as much as one third of the maintenance is unplanned, due to a lack of preventative maintenance.

Preventative maintenance is important for the health of machines and safety of the crew. But it’s hard to track how often a vehicle needs to get a check up, especially in remote areas of the world. This makes it hard for any company to stick to a regularly scheduled maintenance program. And costs companies thousands of dollars every year as a result.

Unplanned maintenance means lost productivity

More companies are turning to Internet of Things technology to keep track of vehicles and help plan maintenance schedules. And most manufacturers have built telematics systems that help track a machine.

The problem though? Many worksites have equipment from multiple manufacturers, so there’s no cohesive way to track and monitor your vehicles. That is, if your vehicles are new enough to have telemetry systems. Many older vehicles simply don’t have the technology.

Telemetry compatibility isn’t the only problem though. For some worksites in remote areas of the world, the bigger issue is a lack of power or reliable Internet connectivity. 90% of the world has no access to affordable connectivity, so terrestrial networks often don’t cover remote worksites. As a result, if you want to create a local network on-site, there’s no network available to transmit your data through. Plus, installing your own network requires electricity, and many remote worksites only have power at the on-site office. Which makes setting up a network with optimal coverage of your entire worksite difficult.

A fine-tuned future.

It’s impossible to plan 100% of maintenance. But companies should strive for a higher degree of accuracy if they want to reduce overhead. And that accuracy comes with preventative maintenance schedules, which can be three-to-four times less expensive than reactive maintenance.

In the past, the only way for remote worksites to create preventative maintenance schedules has been to track their vehicles manually. But the proliferation of satellite technology and the Internet of Things has opened up new possibilities for equipment monitoring in remote locations. Which means worksite management finally has the ability to improve maintenance schedules and site productivity, as a result. And the newest IoT technologies are generally easy to use, available anywhere in the world, and come at an affordable price.

Curious about how the Internet of Things is changing remote asset management? Click here to learn more.

About the author

Steven RutgersThis article was written by Steven Rutgers, VP Sales at Hiber. Steven has more than 18 years of experience in the satellite IoT industry. He has a deep knowledge of sectors such as energy, heavy equipment, mining and agriculture and how these industries are able to tackle some of their main aspirations and challenges leveraging Satellite IoT. 

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