14 September 2021
Technology tool improves safety for maintenance crews
A partnership between our Technology Innovation Centre and Western Australia Iron Ore’s South Flank Operations team has developed a tool to improve safety for maintenance crews and to make maintenance work easier and more accessible.
The Dash Maintainer Tool reduces the hazards of ‘live work’ (that is, performing maintenance tasks while machinery is running) by allowing maintenance and service teams to undertake diagnostic tests at a safe distance (within a radius of 80 metres) from the machine’s operating footprint.
The tool connects via phone, laptop or tablet to a network of sensors, such as pressure, temperature and vibration, which are permanently fitted to the vehicle or equipment. Diagnostic readings can then be delivered to an industrial computer and a BHP-developed sensor gateway. This has reduced the time taken to diagnose faults, which has shortened service time and enabled machinery to get back to work faster.
The tool is also designed to be scaled and replicated. At South Flank, the tool has been adapted across many different vehicles from a range of original equipment manufacturers.
With a large fleet of mining vehicles operating around the world and maintenance teams representing around one-third of our frontline workforce, we are now looking to extend this technology more broadly by working with our equipment manufacturers to integrate this capability within their equipment across our operated assets.