Slovenian coal mine uses IBM asset management solutions to improve maintenance
The Velenje coal mine selected IBM for the provision of analytics, asset and facilities management as well as the IBM Maximo Asset Management
Operating within the Salek Valley, in Slovenia, the Velenje coal mine is one of the largest and most modern deep coal mining sites in Europe. Operated by Premogovnik Velenje and owned by Holding Slovenske elektrarne (HSE), the mine employs more than 1,300 people.
In order to prevent disruptions in coal production, the coal mine was looking to improve the maintenance of its mining and safety equipment by increasing its preventive-to-corrective maintenance ratio.
“As in all coal mines, we have a lot of safety precautions because of methane and coal dust,” said Gregor Železnik, an executive of Velenje mine. “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.”
The mine selected IBM for the provision of an analytics, asset and facilities management as well as the IBM Maximo Asset Management (SaaS). “We decided to go with IBM Maximo software because it offered the capabilities and visibility we needed. In our maintenance, we are about 90% proactive and only 10% reactive. We believe that IBM Maximo software can improve this even more,” the executive added.
To prevent production delays, Velenje Coal Mine uses the asset management solution to pro-actively prevent failure and support the continuous availability of its mining equipment. Sensors placed on the equipment collect and send performance data through optic cables to the asset management solution for equipment analysis. Based on that data and information entered by engineers, the solution automatically performs routine and preventive maintenance, including the logistics of ordering spare parts to enable the company to replace parts before they stop working.
IBM highlighted that real business results include a reduction in production delays by 22% through preventive maintenance and automatic parts ordering. Additionally, the maintenance costs have dropped by 16% through automated tracking of all asset information and predictive analysis of equipment performance and availability. Velenje Coal Mine has increased its preventive-to-corrective maintenance ratio based on the solution’s predictive analysis capabilities, IBM said.
IBM Maximo allows customers to manage all types of assets by defining and describing asset capabilities, developing hierarchal relationships, monitoring specific asset details, and providing related documentation that can be automatically fed into work streams.
The software solution also allows clients to plan inventory to meet maintenance demand precisely, making the right parts available at the right location when needed, as well as manage multiple customers in a single deployed instance, providing accurate billing and improves service delivery efficiency, the company said.
IBM also said that Maximo can be deployed on-premise, via the cloud as software-as-a-service (SaaS), or as a hybrid model.