Tata Steel’s Noamundi Iron Mine in Jharkhand, India has recently made significant gains in loading and hauling efficiency thanks to a continuous improvement project supported by Immersive Technologies and Vareli Tecnac (VTPL) . The project objectives stemmed from the analysis of Wenco Fleet Management System (FMS) data which identified operational trends related to specific operator behaviors. The analysis also showed variability in how operators performed tasks, particularly with respect to machine maintenance, productivity and energy efficiency.
To reduce performance variability, a targeted workforce development program was conducted at Tata’s training center located at Joda East Iron Mine. Simulator training was conducted by an Immersive Technologies on-board trainer with support from VTPL, and focused on a Komatsu HD785-7 truck and a Hitachi EX1200-5D front-end excavator. To measure the effectiveness of the solution, exploration data was measured before and after the training.
The quantified operational improvement of the Hitachi EX1200-5D for pit operations (actual results) resulted in a 40% better average loading time with approximately 5 liters of high speed diesel (HSD) saved per cycle loading. Simulator results for the machine saw the average loading time value per truck improve by 2%; instantaneous average digging rate improved by 6%; average fill factor improved by 7% and overall operator proficiency improved by 57%. For the Komatsu HD785-7, in-pit (actual results) saw a 4% improvement in fuel consumption while for the simulator, operator fuel efficiency behaviors improved by 79% .