May 15, 2024

Plant Study Identifies Major Efficiency Savings for Imerys

Plant Study Identifies Major Efficiency Savings for Imerys

A comprehensive 18-month time and motion study conducted by Caterpillar dealer Finning has identified significant efficiency savings for Imerys UK at their Cornwall kaolin production site. The study, which examined operator behavior, haul routes, site conditions, and fleet health, highlighted potential savings exceeding £600,000.

Key Findings and Recommendations

The analysis revealed several inefficiencies, including sharp haul route turns and gradients over 10%, leading to increased fuel consumption and cycle times. Additionally, the study assessed dump area management, jobsite setup, and the challenges posed by legacy stockpiles and varying face heights.

Key Recommendations:

  • Adapting Haul Routes: Modifying on-site haul routes to reduce gradients and rolling resistance.
  • Widening Routes: Increasing route width to allow machines to pass, reducing pinch points.
  • Operational Adjustments: Implementing changes to decrease machine idling times and fuel burn.

Impact and Future Steps

Imerys has been provided with detailed data on improving fuel efficiency, minimising machine wear and tear, optimising loading times, and reducing idle and waiting times. This information will help prioritise improvements, such as road widening, that offer the greatest cost savings and efficiency gains.

Glen Heather, Imerys Mining technical engineer, emphasised the importance of these insights, stating, “The consultancy support from Finning has enabled us to quantify the cost savings for a range of improvements, optimising operational efficiency across the site.”

The collaboration between Imerys and Finning showcases the importance of detailed operational analysis in identifying and implementing efficiency improvements. By addressing key inefficiencies, Imerys stands to significantly reduce costs and enhance the overall productivity of their Cornwall kaolin site.

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