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Facilitate heavy maintenance work on concentrator plants


Deadline 18/06/2020

Closing Time

Se buscan soluciones que permitan disminuir el esfuerzo físico que realizan los trabajadores en las diversas actividades de mantenimiento de una planta concentradora, a través de la incorporación de tecnologías y/o dispositivos que alivien la carga y faciliten el traslado y manipulación de materiales, herramientas y componentes pesados hacia los equipos que se encuentran en mantenimiento preventivo o correctivo.

Solutions are sought to reduce the physical effort made by workers in various maintenance activities of a concentrator plant, incorporating technologies and / or devices that alleviate the load and facilitate the transfer and handling of materials, tools and components to or in work areas. In addition, the solution must be capable of increasing the productivity of the task. Special consideration must be given to the fact that the proposed solution will allow the relief of the task in material handling activities, equipment and tool operation carried out by the worker in a repetitive manner and in uncomfortable ergonomic positions throughout the shift. The solution should be non-invasive, easy to install and implement, and should not interfere with the operation and maintenance activities of the plant, protecting the physical integrity and safety of the workers, including making it easier for any worker to perform the task.)

Operation and processes involved
Minera Spence – General Plant Management – Concentrator (Maintenance Area)

Current situation
The preparation, transfer and handling of materials, tools and heavy components from yards and warehouses to the equipment installed in the plant is a complex activity to perform, due to the type, size, geometry, dimensions and weights of the materials, which can reach up to 2 tons. These are transported through narrow roads, areas of difficult access and multiple interferences, putting at risk security and demanding high physical demands on workers. The high demand of physical demand on the workers is mainly due to the fact that most of the activities mentioned above, the worker performs them in a repetitive way, with effort, in confined spaces, working at height, handling heavy pieces, in difficult and ergonomically uncomfortable postures during the whole shift, conditions that also affect the productivity in maintenance activities.

Exposure to the risk of accidents and physical effort of the workers who carry out the activity. Low productivity in the general maintenance program, since these tasks use 25% of the total time available for repairs.

In preventive and corrective maintenance, when the transfer of materials and handling of tools and equipment is required to execute the maintenance and/or repair of the different equipment and components installed in the concentrator.

Current solution
Currently, there are tools and support equipment for the worker to carry out the activity, such as: forklifts, cranes, hoist and winch, among others, which are not sufficient to improve the conditions to which the worker is exposed and do not allow for increased productivity in maintenance activities. It is worth mentioning that these tasks currently demand a high physical effort, which has conditioned the personnel in charge of them.

Tested technologies
No new technological solutions have been tested


Challenge page

Supply Innovation BHP

aims to promote the development of projects between the Company and the Suppliers with an associative approach, where the design and construction of the solution for the “Challenge” detected by an area of the Operation is addressed jointly. In this way, the generated projects develop solutions that add value to the Company and the suppliers build capacities and competencies that translate in more and better business opportunities.

Expande program

The Open Innovation in Mining Program, Expande, is a public-private initiative designed and carried out by Fundación Chile. The purpose is to drive innovation and make possible a better future for global mining, promoting the mining ecosystem in Chile along with building a collaborative model that enables the best solutions for the high complexity challenges of mining today and tomorrow.