The current planned maintenance (PM) programs in place for the coal preparation plant (CPP) located at Tarong Coal was long overdue for a review and the implementation of modern techniques of maintenance planning. The current program was out-of-date and did not meet up to the performance standards of today’s plant production requirements. This resulted in underlying implications such as unreliable forecasts, and ineffective equipment inspections and maintenance planning. In effect, plant equipment prematurely fails causing an increase in production downtime and costly repairs.
The current plan was built over time from equipment operator/maintainer experiences, and operation history over two decades ago. The reliability of the plan had much room for improvement, thus the need for the implementation of Reliability-Centred Maintenance (RCM). It was expected that the RCM analysis would benefit various aspects in the running of the plant. Advantages were to include an increase in maintenance cost-effectiveness, safety and environmental integrity, and operating performance. Longer useful life of plant equipment was also an anticipated benefit.
The scope of the project included the Run Of Mine (ROM) section of the plant only, while implementation to the rest of the plant has been planned for the near future. The application of the RCM process commenced with the definition of systems and breakdown of components. This was followed by a comprehensive FMECA on each component and the identification of proactive tasks. A new PM program was then devised from the collected data. After implementation, the program was tested and evaluated to determine the effect of the RCM process. The deliverables at the end of the project included fully revised maintenance plan (incorporating new inspection programs and procedures), and a comprehensive components database for future reference.
An evaluation process was devised to measure the success of the RCM implementation process. The feedback received indicated that the methodologies and ideas adapted for the RCM group review sessions have been beneficial and successful due to effective planning and execution. The revised maintenance program for Tarong Coal’s ROM was also indicated through the evaluation process to be a success with most feedback received being very positive and supported the promised capabilities of the RCM process.