An open pit mine was growing production, needing more heavy hauling trucks to move payload throughout the mine. Maintenance leaders in the mine were challenged to get more run hours from their existing trucks while incorporating new trucks into their already full maintenance schedule. Replacing heavy hauler engines was the most resource-intensive maintenance task. If the team couldn’t service the growing fleet they risked delaying production gains to complete a costly and time-consuming expansion of maintenance shop. The mine team partnered with Stroud to find a way to service their growing fleet with their existing shop and crew.
Finding More Opportunity
The maintenance team was continuously looking to improve their engine replacement process, and had reached competitive levels within the industry. They believed further improvement would be challenging given the limitations they faced. Having to service 3 different truck types meant separate processes and best-practice for each model. To further complicate matters, vendors managed part replacements, leaving the team feeling that they had little control over their process. By understanding what the process would look like in a perfect-world scenario, the leadership team found that using the same process for all engines could radically improve replacement times. The team now saw that avoiding capital expansion of the maintenance shop was possible, it would just require a paradigm shift in how truck replacements are handled.
The maintenance team was excited to challenge their existing processes, but there were varied beliefs as to which combination of “best practices” would yield the best universal process. Rather than trying to piece together 3 old processes, the team took a ground-up, first-principles approach to building a completely new replacement process. By taking a structured approach, the team was able to create a “dressed replacement engine” concept that worked for all 3 truck models while allowing maintenance teams to have much of the replacement process complete ahead of the truck arrival. This innovation enabled the maintenance department to standardize its engine replacement process and drive further process improvements resulting in a single, radically faster engine replacement.
The process redesign led to an 80% reduction in engine replacement time, exceeding best-in-class levels and allowing heavy haulers to spend more productive time in the mine. The improvement allowed the maintenance team to meet its overall service targets, improve the consistency of its maintenance program, and avoid a costly expansion of the maintenance shop.