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Innovative Mining Equipment: Key Factors for Successful Implementation

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DOI: 10.4236/ajibm.2015.54018    3,840 Downloads   4,529 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

With increasing social pressures over the past two decades, mining companies have become more concerned with occupational health and safety (OHS). This change in mentality has had an impact on the choice of new equipment introduced underground. Introduction of innovative mining equipment must now meet the double challenge of improving both productivity and OHS. However, innovative equipment does not by itself ensure success. The aim of this study is to identify the key factors that underlie successful introduction of new equipment in underground mines. We used a multi-attribute decision-aid tool, namely the dominance-based rough-set approach. Ten innovative equipment projects carried out in an underground mine in Quebec were analysed. The tool allowed simultaneous identification of the most relevant factors and critical thresholds thereof to establish levels of performance based on four indicators, namely cost per meter drilled, cost per hour of use, availability ratio and accident rate. Two factors were found most relevant to all four indicators of performance: the skill requirement and acceptance of the equipment by the operators. Seat quality was identified as a contributor to improving accident rate, while standardisation of the new equipment relative to the old contributed to productivity. Taking into consideration these key factors and their critical threshold values will help the directors of the participating mine to meet with success in terms of both productivity and OHS in future introduction of innovative equipment projects.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Boudreau-Trudel, B. , Nadeau, S. and Zaras, K. (2015) Innovative Mining Equipment: Key Factors for Successful Implementation. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 5, 161-171. doi: 10.4236/ajibm.2015.54018.

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