Overall Equipment Effectiveness Mining

Is Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in Mining Different to OEE in Manufacturing?

I am going to assume that people reading this article have an understanding of how OEE is usually calculated, and how it can be used to drive improvement.

Firstly, I have implemented OEE models all over the world in a mining environment, and while the concept is similar to manufacturing, believe me when I tell you successful OEE deployments in mining are just not the same as a deployment in manufacturing.

Yes, I have seen so-called OEE programs in mining built along the manufacturing principles that just focus on the top level metric. They typically fall well short of delivering the improvement opportunities a well-designed fit for purpose OEE model for mining can. In fact, I have had the pleasure several times of being called in to redesign poorly established mining OEE models for some major miners globally.

Now don’t misunderstand what I am saying. An OEE model is one the most powerful improvements tools I have seen in mining, it really does work when implemented correctly, and by correctly I mean more than just a top level metric, but is it still OEE in mining? Perhaps not, as it fringes into the production loss area, and the calculation can get pretty complex, so let’s call it “<a href="/production-oee/">Production OEE</a>” just to be different.


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Here are some thought-provoking principles I apply when establishing an OEE model in mining. These principles typically lead to a successful deployment and don’t necessarily fit in with a traditional manufacturing model.

  •  You do not necessarily have to measure at the bottleneck or constraint to get maximum value!

  • Not all measurement should be time-based in mining.

  • The Quality metric in OEE does exist in mining, and should not be set to 100%.

  • Production losses should NOT be stated in time!

  • The overall Production of the measured asset should be directly related to the overall OEE % achieved.

So the reality is, OEE in mining is different to OEE in manufacturing, but still just as powerful if not more so, particularly with the strong correlation between actual production. OEE or Production OEE in mining will drive up production, revenue, and profit if supported correctly, but it must be designed for the specific mining application with the assets production equation in mind.

I have seen Production OEE application work extremely well across SXEW circuits, Underground Hoists, Process Plants of all commodities and in a variety of Mobile Fleet applications, all following the principles above.

I was asked a few weeks ago by a client, can OEE be an Operational Excellence Initiative or Program? The answer is absolutely yes, with some supporting software, a robust improvement process the OEE concept provides a great platform to drive operational excellence, productivity, efficiency and overall profit. However, as a caveat to this statement, you must understand the complete mine value chain, where the current constraint is and design the program accordingly.

Chris Curtis - Director Transformation - MPPIglobal Pty Ltd