In addition to routine maintenance, planners should consider new motor and braking technology during upgrades
By Steve Fiscor, Editor
Draglines are not only some of the most efficient tools for moving material, they are likely the oldest continuously operating machines in the mining business. That’s a testament to the original engineering and design and current maintenance programs.
Technology has evolved substantially as these machines have aged. Unfortunately, slack market conditions prevented mine operators from making all the changes they wanted to over the years. In many cases, maintenance programs were focused on simply keeping the machines running as well as possible for the least amount of money.
There are a couple of options available today as far as motors and braking systems that could reduce the downtime associated with maintenance at a relatively low cost. They also have side benefits of standardization, which speed maintenance processes and reduce the parts inventory at the warehouse.