Alternative Test Methods for Mine Trucks and Loaders to Reduce Environmental Impact, Improve Lead Time and Productivity

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskap och matematik

Sammanfattning: Epiroc manufactures and develops equipment for the mining and infrastructure industry. This thesis has been performed at Epiroc Underground Rock Excavation (URE) in Örebro, the company’s largest production unit for underground machines. In this project MH machines (material handling) have been investigated, i.e loaders and trucks. These machines are currently being built at the factory area in central Örebro and subsequently quality controlled in the Kvarntorp mine before they are finally delivered to the customer. The project aims to evaluate how current test methods in the mine could be minimized and, in the future, removed for certain machine types. Today the machines passes six steps between final assembly and delivery, which results in an extended lead time. The machines are started up at the pressurizing station before they are ready for the quality control, i.e testing. The machines are then transported to Kvarntorp, about 20 kilometers from the factory, before the test operators from Epiroc conducts the testing. Each machine type has machine-specific checklists which means that the test operator performs both visual inspection as well as test drive in order to verify the machine’s overall quality and performance. The current test procedure causes machine damages and the mining environment makes it necessary to perform both re-painting and washing. Summarized, the current test procedure leads to increased costs, increased amount of rework and extended lead times. In addition, the machine handling between the factory area and Kvarntorp involves logistical challenges. The work began with a literature study where the focus was on change management, flow efficiency and total quality management. Subsequently, a current state analysis was carried out in order to map the current structure and it’s problem areas. Identified problems included extended lead time, machine damages (paint, tires, bucket, snow) and work environment. All together, these areas lead to increased costs for the afterflow. These problems were categorized into three main problems; test procedure, environment and economy. To seek for improvements, three study visits were carried out; Volvo CE Arvika, Komatsu Forest Umeå and Epiroc SED Örebro. The inspiration was used to create an optimized test facility at the factory area. The work resulted in a solution where all areas are improved, i.e lead time, machine damages and work environment. A new test procedure based on an improved visual inspection, new bucket test and a succeeding test drive on a chassis dynamometer has eliminated the need for the Kvarntorp mine. With the new test facility the machine damages have been eliminated and the working environment for the affected people has improved considerably. Furthermore, the lead time is also heavily reduced. All together, the improvements results in large annual savings, which in turn gives relatively short pay back time. Epiroc is recommended to invest in both short and long term solutions where the short term can be implemented before the new test facility is finalized. In a short term perspective it is important to create a good dialogue between test operators and assemblers, switch to digital checklists and to remove the currently mandatory drag test. In longer term, Epiroc should implement a quality team, invest to increase data access and finally invest in the test facility.

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