Cost –In construction, most undercarriage purchasing decisions are based on cost, for good reason. Equipment is costed to a contract or job and life expectancy is normally not a consideration.
Cost per hour is the KPI in the mining environment, with miners being particularly sensitive to achieving the lowest cost per hour without compromising performance. Extensive analysis is continually done to evaluate the best component combination for the given jobsite type environment whether it be hard rock or abrasive mineral sands. In both Construction and Mining, the Undercarriage Management system used, must provide managers with an accurate projection of life achieved from components along with all allocated costs to enable calculation of cost per hour.
Performance – Undercarriage components are expected to last a certain length of time in given jobsite conditions. Components can fail in many different ways and the expectation is that components will not fail prematurely. Manufacturers and their dealers put enormous effort into ensuring their components do not fail prematurely. Any engineering and design issues are identified as early as possible and rectified so as to ensure component reliability. Undercarriage Inspection Management systems enable the engineers to identify any design or manufacturing related issues quickly by looking at the data across many different mine-sites so as to rectify or improve designs as required. These systems also enable customers to see what component life they are achieving across their fleet and the causes of failures.
Availability – Suppliers need to carry the stock ready to supply users when undercarriage components are due for replacement. The use of an Undercarriage Inspection Management System, with its ability to forecast residual life provides a direct link between when undercarriage components need to be replaced and what stock will need to be carried by the supplier. Without inspection, it is just guesswork!