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Ways to Reduce Oil Costs on Mining Sites

Ways to Reduce Oil Costs on Mining Sites

Over and above the environmental factors caused by mining operations, sites are constantly under pressure to reduce operating costs no matter the market’s condition. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to control these challenges because of the constant shift in prices and commodities, but it is important for mining managers and machinery operators to try and change or control the way they work. 

If they adopted a cost-saving mindset, with reactive methods, they would drastically be able to reduce the amount of fuel and oil used on the mines. But, before companies can implement these changes, they will need to educate and train their staff about the need to reduce costs and work smarter, for a better future. 

 

Here are a few tips to implement when looking to save oil costs: 

 

•    Rationalise your lubricants

Much like an engineering or construction site that involves the use of heavy-duty machinery, the amount of oil that gets used for operations is worrisome. While there certainly are different lubricants needed for different machines, try and select the most appropriate option to cover as many applications as possible.

 

•    Standardise your oil packaging

Having too many options to choose from often results in product wastage. Within saying that, try and standardise your oil packaging where possible. This will ensure that you only order according to your needs. Make a note of what you have in stock and see how quickly your workers work through the available amounts, knowing that you’ll need to order more the minute it becomes necessary. The same goes for stocking the same product in different sizes. There is no need to order the same product in pails, drums and bulk containers. Not only will standardising your oil packaging reduce the number of oil you order, but it will also simplify your ordering process and reduce your operational costs in a big way.

 

•    Avoid oil contamination

Oil contamination is one of the key reasons why workers go through so many different lubricants. If you train your staff to work carefully with your oil supply, and close the bottles immediately after use, you will be able to decrease the number of contaminated bottles you have laying around. Contamination can be caused by two different things: dirt and moisture. If mining managers and staff simply took the time to minimise their usage with contamination control techniques, it would reduce maintenance costs and eliminate the need to apply for equipment finance in the moments when they need their equipment most.  

 

•    Get your used oil analysed by a professional

Often times, machinery uses excessive amounts of lubricant because it is either faulty or needs a maintenance check. If you don’t check your machinery regularly, you could see an oil and fuel spike because of this. So, within saying that, arrange for someone to come in and do an analysis of your lubricant and the machinery you’re using it in. During this process, they will create a report for you on their findings. The reason for such a meeting is to clarify whether or not you’re using the right lubricant make and amount for your equipment, and two, they’ll be able to give you a strategic maintenance plan which will advise you on when your next maintenance check should be based on your oil consumption. 

 

•    Get your chosen supplier to come in and audit the site 

If a lubricant analysis doesn’t help your business’ cost savings down the line, you should consider having your supplier come in and identify ways that you could save money and cut down on your oil consumption. Simply by changing up your oils, you could find savings in other areas, such as purchasing costs, maintenance costs and energy costs. This, of course, will also reduce your oil wastage, which is both beneficial to the environment and to your pocket. 

 

•    Use technology to monitor your site

More companies are making use of the latest in technological innovations to help them reduce costs and create a safer, more sustainable working environment for their mining employees. Resources such as drones and artificial applications, such as the IoT sensors, can help to monitor your site and identify issues such as handling, spoilage, theft, storage space and stock obsolescence in advance. While these innovations are costly and often not budgeted for, there are many mining equipment finance or plant and machinery finance companies which would be able to guide and assist you with such a purchase. The last thing you need is having to purchase brand new equipment because of poor maintenance.

 

Final words

When markets are low, budgets become tighter. It’s in these moments when business owners should stress the need to save and reduce oil wastage on their sites. No matter how much markets improve, this kind of control management mindset can go a long way. It will also have a positive impact on maintenance and mining equipment finance costs because you will learn to detect irregular oil consumption in advance. 

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