Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Emery, JC, Improving coal mining production performance through the application of Total Production Management, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 1998: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1998, 71-80.


This paper describes the application of the Total Productive Management (TPM) technique as a performance improvement initiative for a coal mining operation. It discusses the objectives of TPM, with the driver for improved production performance being the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of the equipment or process, and with the development of "ownership" as the behavioral approach to equipment management and continuous improvement through cross-functional and area-based teams. It illustrates the concept of equipment management as defects management. The scope for application of TPM to the coal mining industry is immense. The harshness of the operating environment can be a major generator of equipment defects, and a current paradigm in the industry accepts these defects as an unavoidable outcome defining maintenance costs in this environment. However recent benchmarking studies have highlighted that maintenance costs per operating hour in some mining operations are more than double the vendor's estimate of "best practice". The paper refers to these studies which also compare maintenance costs of fixed and mobile plant and equipment to "best practice" outcomes in comparable process industries. The ultimate goal of any operating strategy must be to translate results to the bottom line through adding revenue from increased volume and quality of operations output, better safety performance, and reducing costs of production through lower operating and maintenance costs. These lower costs result from removal of defects generators, improved maintenance planning, and identification and reduction of hidden operating costs resulting from poor equipment maintenance. The paper discusses methods of evaluating the progressive improvements brought about by a successful TPM strategy to achieve this goal in a highly visible format to provide the incentive to both management and the workforce to push on for more improvement. Finally the paper outlines the minesite procedures required for successful implementation of TPM to sustain these desired results for all stakeholders. It suggests that TPM can be integrated with existing business improvement initiatives by structuring these other minesite programmes (safety, cost reduction, restructuring, capital replacement, etc.) into the "Eight Pillars of TPM" framework as part of the overall business plan. Resulting interface redundancies can then be identified and eliminated, and a timeline developed for effective implementation of the overall minesite initiatives programme.