With an experienced service provider employing the right approach, hydraulic hose management can be one of the practical avenues through which mines can achieve efficiency and cost savings, through reducing hydraulic hose downtime, Jachris illustrates.
Hose tracking is at the bottom in the pecking order of priorities in the sphere of increasing efficiency in mining. But if mining companies are really hell-bent on realising value across-the-board in their operations, every available avenue to accomplish this has to be fully exploited. To this end, vast opportunities lie in the management of hydraulic hose and fittings.
Jachris is one of the leading providers of hydraulic hose management solutions to industry and mining. The company has been observing trends in hydraulic hose management in the mining sector in South Africa and neighbouring countries, and developed unique technology in this regard.
Awakening industry’s consciousness
Warwick Bouwer, CEO at Jachris, sees hydraulic hose management playing a central role in present mining conditions. He is of the view that mines should broaden the scope of areas in their quest to improve efficiency to include hydraulic hose management. To awaken industry’s awareness, he calls attention to oversights in hydraulic hose management and their impact on hose performance, and then broaches the effective approach.
Currently, Bouwer notes, there is more bias towards areas with high expenditure, and less on hydraulic hoses. “Due to the fact that hoses account for a relatively low level of expenditure, mines don’t know that the problem exists, because they are looking to find improvements on the larger expenditure lines such as labour, fuel, lubricants, tyres etc.,” he explains.
Even in areas where mining companies are at the very least aware of the importance of sound hose management, their approach falls woefully short. A situation that Jachris encounters is that, frequently, challenges surface both in cases where hydraulic hose management is either carried out in-house, or outsourced to service providers. In-house hose management, more often than not, their efforts seldom succeed, whereas, the approach to outsourced management is usually disjointed – in most cases leading to failure.
Usually, in situations where they outsource hydraulic hose management, mines have separate service providers managing the most critical drivers behind fleet uptime and fire risk, namely Hydraulic Hose, Fuel/Lube Management and Fire Suppression.
Sadly, Bouwer laments, none of these services are currently provided by a single service provider and they are certainly not managed proactively. Unsurprisingly, as a result, when things go wrong there is a tendency to pass the buck. For instance, nobody takes responsibility for downtime or a fire because the hose supplier blames the fire system and the fire service provider blames a leaking hose.
- The overlooked cost of downtime
Underscoring the importance of sound hydraulic hose management, Bouwer indicates that hydraulic hose failure can lead to downtime in processes that are dependent on the condition or performance of hydraulic hoses. This always has a huge impact than always assumed. “Our data suggests that the poor management or lack of management of hydraulic hose and fittings is responsible for more than 60% of fleet downtime on an average mine,” Bouwer reveals.
Cognisant that outsourcing hose management is now the standard practice in industry, in this context, it is only fair to focus on this area. Relating to outsourcing, it is requisite that the respective service provider understands the intricacies of hydraulic hose management, before delivering a solution specific to the client.
According to Bouwer, this is what Jachris regards as key to meeting contemporary industry’s requirements, referring to the combination of inventory investment and technology, as well as four pillars of integrated hydraulic hose management.
- Inventory investment and technology
On why Jachris combines inventory investment and technology, Bouwer says: “To manage hose and fittings properly, one requires a disproportionately high amount of inventory, and this is where our competitors and mines alike fail.
We then combine this high level of inventory investment with our RFID Tag & Track technology to better predict when hose assemblies might fail and convert a reactive approach to hose management into a proactive one. We effectively change out hoses before they fail instead of allowing them to fail in the field. This saving of time and uptime driver creates financial gain for the miner well in excess of the cost of our product and service.”
Jachris emphasises to clients at all times that both Hydraulic Hose, Fuel/Lube Management and Fire Suppression must be coordinated and jointly accountable. The company offers an integrated service and then drives uptime with the ‘simple but clever use of technology’ – JacTrackTM.
Through JacTrack, Jachris prides itself for being the first company to commercialise RFID Tag & Track in mining through reporting and managing hoses – in much the same way the mine reports, per machine and as a contributor to overall downtime on that machine. Specifically, Bouwer stresses, this approach creates alignment in the reporting of a mining company and allows mines to identify drivers of downtime in a way that wasn’t possible before.
“We now have our software effectively show us the needle in the haystack as opposed to searching for it. We make the desired correction and uptime improves. Furthermore, we integrate our service into the mine’s maintenance schedule so as to allow for the seamless repair and replacement of hose assemblies in the workshop as opposed to in the field where the machine stands.”
Within a Vendor Managed Inventory Framework with JacTrack as the key value driver, Jachris is capable of offering Integrated Hose Management, Fuel/Lube Management and Fire Suppression. In particular, with JacTrack, Hoses, Fuel/Lube systems and Fire Suppression systems run longer and are replaced, serviced and tested in scheduled events, as opposed to in an unscheduled breakdown in the field. This drives uptime and profits for the mine and takes the hassle away from them, allowing an expert to focus on what we’re good at.
- Four pillars of integrated hose management
Jachris’ integrated system, hinged on a combination of the four pillars of effective hose management, greatly reduces downtime and drives profits. The four pillars are: Properly Equipped Workshops, Highly Skilled Staff, and a World-Class Product and Effective Systems (JacTrackTM).
A practical cost saving and efficiency avenue
With an experienced service provider employing the right approach, hydraulic hose management can be one of the practical avenues through which mines can achieve efficiency and cost savings.
Written by Jimmy Swira