Mining hoists need to be totally reliable as they play a key role in transporting people and materials underground. In this regard, it is important to ensure that two important teams (the electrical and mechanical teams) work in coordination during mining operations. The combined efforts of these two teams keep the mining hoist up and running. Mine hoists are technically complicated machines. They entail variable breaking systems and speed drivers, control systems, electrical networks, shaft equipment, temperature controls and many other functional units that require occasional monitoring to ensure optimum performance. Ideally, mine hoists should operate efficiently with rational capital and maintenance costs.
Acting at the right time
Mine hoist become less efficient over time. More often than not, they slow and operate irregularly. This leads to use of more energy when operating the machine. Sometimes a hoist that may seem to be working quite well may also be the cause of a serious problem. That is why it is important to carry out regular inspections to determine whether the hoist is performing optimally or has underlying problems that need immediate attention. Some of the things that you can look out for when inspecting the mine hoist include unusual noises, changes in running temperature, deceleration rate (for emergency stops) and drift duty cycle among others. If any of these problems exists, you need to seek professional help or consider replacement options.
There should be proper maintenance of the mine hoist. Maintenance should not just be about individual parts but rather the entire hoist system. This brings about the subject of relevant skills. Shortage of skills is attributed to poor maintenance of mine hoists. This is because quite a number of engineers only focus on individual parts of the mine hoists rather than the entire system. A mining site needs an engineer who can handle the entire system of a mine hoist. If this is not case, then it is advisable to hire a few engineers who deal with several different major parts of the mine hoist that constitute the entire system. Proper maintenance enhances the functionality of a good hoist for longer periods.
The sub-standard performance in a hoist is artificial. In that case, it is important to reduce the production cycle of a hoist during troubleshooting until the existing problem is fixed. It is also important to ensure that the duty cycle is returned to its normal level after a repair service. If maintenance crew overlooks the duty cycle, it may lead to performance issues that may be costly to fix.
There are certain factors that lead to unscheduled repairs such as collection of dirt and dust under the switches of the hoists. Most of these unscheduled breakdowns cost a lot more than scheduled repairs. In that case, effective measures need to be put to place to ensure that there are fewer cases of unscheduled repairs. Installation of systems that help in the assessment and optimization of the condition of the hoists go a long way to make it reliable
To properly maintain a mining hoist, it is important to assess and test the entire unit. This makes it easy to prioritize things based on budgetary constraints, urgency of repair issues and equipment lifecycle among others. Most importantly, it is vital to ensure that there is relevant skill with regard to the maintenance of the hoist. Engineering expertise should not just be based on individual parts of the mining hoist but rather the entire system. This makes it easy to deal with any arising problems right away. Time taken to get a professional engineer dealing with the entire hoist system usually leads to great downtime, which is costly in the long run.