Globalization and the advent of major industrial disasters have highlighted the need for capital intensive industries to remain competitive and profitable. In order to achieve this, companies have had to focus on mitigating operational risk. Two aspects of operational risk management involve assets and process. Both of these have particular importance to capital intensive industries.
The mining industry still plays an important role in the global and national economy. It is considered a capital intensive industry and is faced with a number of challenges. It is of particular importance to this industry that operational risk be mitigated.
The Time-in-State Metric (TISM) has been designed as a tool to mitigate operational risk, by means of improving process and asset performance.
The TISM presents an overarching metric that delivers a method to manage the process and equipment pro-actively at systems level because the metric is generated in real time, is focused in key operating and equipment parameters, and generates a consistent response recommendation that aligns the operating philosophy of the operational personnel.
The TISM has been successfully developed and implemented at Nkomati Mine, a nickel producing operation in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. This will be utilised as a case study to understand the development and implementation process and to evaluate the impact the TISM has had on the process and asset performance of the operation.
Nkomati Mine has seen a significant improvement in its asset performance, with improvements in availability, utilization, reliability, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Mean-Time-Between-Failure (MTBF), Mean-Time-to-Restore (MTTR) and the number of failure incidents.
Nkomati Mine has also seen a significant improvement in the process performance. Directly after implementation of the TISM there has been an improvement in feedrate and recovery of nickel. Over the long term, Nkomati Mine has seen improvement in all major performance parameters, including throughput, feedrate, recovery and final concentrate grade.
The TISM has been proven to have a positive impact on the bottom-line of the organization (reduced maintenance cost, improved production, reduced off-mine cost, etc.) and to mitigate Operational Risk.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2016.