Within mining companies improvement and too continuously strive to be better is as important as in any other business. When new products are developed, or issues arise with existing products, there is a need for testing in the field. Theoretical models and testing in laboratory environments will shorten the lead time and cost for development of new products, but live testing together with the customer is the final test. In mining and especially when testing rock tools it becomes a challenge since the working environment is tough and often remote. The Down the hole (DTH) product line is an important area for Sandvik Mining and it is a growing business. Quality in Sandvik products can never be compromised and therefore field tests are extremely important to perform before making any decisions regarding for example design changes or releasing any new products to the market. The aim of this project is to investigate the different parameters distinguishing a successful field test from a non successful field test. Parameters that will influence the result of a field test as for example geological factors, technical factors, drilling methodology, organizational, customer relations etc. A case study of a field test at a mine site in Tasmania, Australia named Savage River was conducted, monitored and evaluated. Along the project it was apparent that field tests have many different challenges and parameters that need to be taken into consideration. It is not only the physical parameters that could be measured and monitored but also softer parameters that are harder to control and measure, like communication and relation between the external and internal stakeholders. When comparing a successful field test to an unsuccessful field test some key parameters were found. Some of the factors may sound trivial, but if forgotten or neglected they will lead to poor results in the end. •Preparation and organisational setup •Geological factors oLocation of mine site oConditions at mine site/sites •Desired outcome of the field test •Resources and commitment, both internally and externally •Customer, application, and product knowledge •Soft parameters such as communication and relations If these areas are monitored and controlled it will not only give a successful result for the field test, but also a possibility for business opportunities for other divisions or parts of the company. For example test with drill bits could render to an improved design and even the possibility to sell new equipment or gain market shares. Another factor that is hard to monitor but is important, is the skills and knowledge of the operators and maintenance personnel that handle the hammers. Operator skills influence many of the drill parameters. The handling of hammers and components in the field will have an impact of the lifetime of the hammer, in a positive way if they are handled correctly, and will result in premature failures, if for example dirt enters the hammer and destroys the moving parts. It is crucial to understand the customer needs and the application and therefore the application specialist role is one key function within the organization. To be able to perform successful field tests and to dedicate and prioritize resources to drive the tests is essential. The field test in Savage River was not finalized before the submittal of this report and the interim results were not sufficient to draw any conclusions of the performance of the tested hammers.
|Translated title of the contribution||Life time field test of DTH hammer|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|