Enhancing Mining Asset Management with a Predictive Maintenance Strategy

February 5, 2024

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At a Glance

Discover the vital role of behavior change, coaching, and continuous improvement in ensuring a sustainable asset maintenance management strategy. 

Asset management in maintenance is a critical process for mining companies, ensuring optimal operations with minimal downtime. Unplanned equipment breakdowns can lead to significant financial losses, setting a mine back by thousands of dollars per day and causing delays in downstream processes.

The good news is that today, the integration of advanced technologies, such as AI and remote sensors, allows mining companies to shift towards a more proactive approach to maintenance management, particularly through the adoption of predictive maintenance strategies. 

What is Asset Maintenance Management?

Asset maintenance management involves the systematic planning, organizing, and control of resources to ensure the effective and efficient operation of mining equipment. Traditionally, mines have employed two primary methods of maintenance – the run to failure approach and break and fix approach. Today, a third and optimal approach, predictive maintenance, is achievable and can lead to significant savings for mining companies when executed effectively.

Run-to-Failure Maintenance:

This strategy involves using equipment until it reaches the point of breakdown. While it may seem cost-effective in the short term, the risks associated with unplanned downtime and the potential for extensive damage to the equipment make it an unsustainable approach.

Break and Fix Maintenance:

In this model, equipment is repaired as and when breakdowns occur. While slightly more proactive than run-to-failure, it still relies on reacting to problems rather than preventing them, resulting in operational disruptions and increased repair costs.

Predictive Maintenance:

A more advanced and proactive approach, predictive maintenance relies on data analytics and technology to predict when equipment breakdowns are likely to occur. By leveraging AI and remote sensors, mining companies can analyze real-time data to anticipate issues, enabling timely repairs to prevent breakdowns and minimize downtime.

A Data-Driven Approach to Asset Maintenance Management

The key to successful predictive maintenance lies in the effective utilization of data. Advanced sensors and AI algorithms collect and analyze real-time information from mining equipment, identifying patterns and anomalies that may indicate impending failures. By harnessing this data, mining companies can transition from reactive to proactive maintenance, thereby optimizing their operations and reducing costs associated with unplanned downtime.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that technology alone is only one part of the equation. To fully harness the potential of asset maintenance management software and other advanced tools such as equipment with remote sensors, comprehensive training and coaching programs are essential. Managers and employees must be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate these tools effectively. Only through this understanding can tools be fully adopted, garnering employee buy-in and ensuring seamless integration into daily tasks.

Employee Buy-In

Transitioning to a predictive maintenance strategy necessitates a cultural shift within the organization. Employees at all levels must recognize the value of proactive maintenance and understand how it contributes to the overall efficiency and profitability of the mine. Communication and transparency about the benefits of predictive maintenance can help garner support and enthusiasm from the workforce.

Training Programs

A crucial aspect of adopting predictive maintenance is ensuring that employees possess the necessary skills to operate and interpret data from advanced technologies. Training programs should be tailored to equip maintenance personnel, operators, and other relevant staff with the expertise needed to effectively utilize predictive maintenance tools. This may include data analysis, equipment monitoring, and proficiency in AI-driven systems.

Sustainable Systems for Predictive Maintenance

Building sustainable systems involves integrating predictive maintenance seamlessly into existing workflows. This requires collaboration between maintenance teams, data analysts, and other relevant departments. Additionally, regular assessments and updates to the predictive maintenance system ensure its continued effectiveness as technology evolves. Performance metrics and KPIs also need to be updated or redefined to incentivize behavior change needed to enhance new ways of working.

Coaching for Continuous Improvement

Coaching plays a pivotal role in driving continuous improvement in the adoption of predictive maintenance. By providing ongoing support, feedback, and guidance, coaches can help employees navigate challenges, refine their skills, and stay aligned with the organization’s maintenance objectives. This approach fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement, ensuring that the predictive maintenance strategy evolves alongside technological advancements.


In essence, mining companies must recognize that predictive maintenance is not solely about adopting cutting-edge technology but is a comprehensive strategy that involves the collective efforts of employees at all levels. From understanding the intricacies of data analytics to fostering a culture of continuous improvement, each component plays a crucial role in the successful transition to predictive maintenance. By prioritizing behavior change, investing in training and coaching, and committing to ongoing improvement, mining companies can navigate the complexities of this transition, ultimately reaping the benefits of improved asset management, reduced downtime, and long-term operational efficiency.

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