Personnel at a Midwestern United States coal mine knew their methods of operation were holding back production levels and had tried to implement procedures to promote efficiency, but kept defaulting to a pattern of reduced capabilities.
Mine crews were hungry for information and ready to make changes, but did not have benchmarking or a way to track progress.
Using Smart Solutions, we tracked the mine’s “feet mined in the first production hour,” to determine where production was falling short.
We helped define what constituted a “ready unit” and trained employees on how to prepare for a new shift.
The responsibility to achieve more “feet mined in the first production hour” was handed to the idle shift crew. When higher levels of production were achieved, that crew then got the credit.
Using data produced by its smart, connected products, we provided weekly reports on what teams were contributing to higher production rates. Connecting the efforts of one shift to the results of the one following was a new approach that promoted teamwork across shifts. That essential connection was what lacked in previous efforts.
By providing the initial data to show low production levels, and then helping crews set and track methods to improve efficiency, we brought accountability to the mine.
By the end of 2014, comparison data showed a gain of 6.1 feet per continuous miner, per shift, over the year prior.
The gains result in an additional 124,440 tons produced per year.
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