10 September 2010 – Successful software upgrade at Zambian copper mine

Local distributor of enterprise assest management tool AMT, a life-cycle costing software solution from iSolutions International, AccTech Systems reports that it has completed an upgrade at a copper and cobalt mine in Zambia.

The company installed its newest version of AMT (Version 8.4), and states that the client was pleased with the new features of the software.

The upgrade follows on iSolutions having undertaken two significant contracts in Zambia for the copper and cobalt producer, and one for an opencast contract miner. AMT provider iSolutions Australia formed a joint venture with AccTech Systems to form a new company, iSolutions Africa, last year.

The client chose the AMT software, as it integrated with its existing Sage ERP X3 software. The mine has over 30 000 existing assets and 15 000 employees that needed to be registered on the system.

“The client has a graphical view of the future and current work orders. The generation of custom reports has been made very easy as a result of the upgrade,” AccTech Systems CEO Tertius Zitzke says.

He adds that dynamic equipment life-cycle costing is transforming the way in which mining companies track equipment performance. “Life-cycle costing, driven by a well-thought-out maintenance strategy, has long been used as a way to evaluate purchase decisions for new and used equipment,” he says.

“Dynamic life-cycle costing, as used in AMT, takes the static planning model and dynamically updates it with the latest work order cost and event information. It then uses this information to forecast the total cost, resources, utilisation and productivity for an asset over its life, enabling proactive decision-making for all mining and other asset-intensive companies,” says Zitzke.

“Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. One cannot just install a software system to solve a specific set of problems – one needs to change the entire management approach with regard to equipment maintenance strategy. The AMT software solution set is based on the application of this holistic approach,” iSolutions international director and joint principal Robbie Feyder says. iSolutions hosted a seminar in conjunction with AccTech on equipment life-cycle costing earlier this year.

“Now, more than ever before, mining companies around the world are reviewing their cost structures and looking for innovative ways to reduce expenditure and optimise their existing assets and systems,” he says.

AMT starts with defining the maintenance strategy and then uses this strategy to help the equipment manager measure and track performance and assist in making sound maintenance decisions.

Feyder points to the advantages that mining organisations can expect when adapting their equipment maintenance strategy and backing the newly implemented strategy with a solution such as AMT, which includes reducing maintenance costs, improving budget accuracy and leveraging existing enterprise systems.

Software solutions such as AMT form the basis of equipment cost forecasting. This forecast provides continuous feedback on the areas that are having the biggest impact on the equipment cost. There are three areas where a variance can occur: repair cost, repair frequency and labour hours. By understanding the impact of variances in each of these three areas, the maintenance manager can better understand how to manage the issue, the company reports.

Component risk, specifically premature component failure, is one of the biggest contributors to lost production time and greater-than-expected maintenance cost, AccTech reports.

“Mining companies have struggled to extract the true costs of running equipment from their enterprise resource planning systems and accurate maintenance budgets linked to the forward work plans have been difficult and time consuming to develop. “The plans are also ‘static’ owing to the difficulty of updating them with the latest maintenance information,” the company states.

“In today’s economy, with limited budgets and a highly dynamic market, it is critical to be able to focus the maintenance organisation’s efforts in the areas that will provide the greatest improvement in equipment performance and cost.

“AMT’s life-cycle costing platform works with existing enterprise, dispatch and health systems to provide a valuable equipment management centre. “The result is a best-of-breed equipment management solution,” says Zitzke.

Editorial Contacts:

Nick Botha
Marketing Director: AccTech Systems
Tel: 0861-11-1680
Email: nb@acctech.biz