Mining is a millennia-old industry that has experienced many advancements. Throughout the years, new equipment has been designed to make mining more efficient and safer for workers. Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of the industry lies in maintenance of loading, dumping and haulage equipment. Due to the harsh nature of the work and the environment, equipment such as aluminum mine skips, cages and loading stations experience considerable wear and tear. If one essential piece of equipment is compromised, the entire mining process could be crippled.
Most mine haulage equipment is designed to suit a mine’s specific needs. Equipment may have unique features and require specific measures in order to keep it in good operating condition. If neglected, faulty equipment can lead to accidents and injury to operators or other mine workers. Custom made equipment may also require specific replacement parts that are not readily available.
The need for repair and routine maintenance is inevitable but there are ways to minimize its negative impact on overall productivity. Preventative maintenance can save time and reduce employee risk. For example, the simple task of routinely inspecting heavily used machinery and equipment before use is an effective measure. Inspectors should be able to identify early signs of wear and tear in order to resolve potential problems before they occur. As well, trusted manufacturers like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp can manufacture spare parts so they are in stock when equipment repairs are required which helps to decrease production downtime.
Lubrication of moving parts also needs to be performed regularly as too much friction and heat can cause considerable equipment damage. Dirt and debris normally prevalent in underground mine environments can also cause damage to delicate equipment and machinery. Regular preventative maintenance and cleaning is essential to ensure that mining equipment failure or malfunction is avoided. When possible, equipment that is not in use should be stored in areas that are not exposed to potentially damaging elements.
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