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Aug 20, 2021

Towards digitalization: Higher performance for mobile aggregates equipment using Metso Outotec Metrics

Crushing and screening equipment are key assets that keep aggregates operations running smoothly and efficiently. But with mobile crushers moving between production sites, often in remote locations, it can be difficult to track, monitor and maintain equipment performance.
Two employees in front of Metso Outotec's Lokotrack

Comprised of a cloud-based, remote monitoring and data visualization service for Metso Outotec Lokotrack® mobile plants, Metso Outotec Metrics is a remote monitoring tool that helps contractors and quarry operators gain critical insight into fleet performance and maintenance. With over 1,200 machines globally connected to Metso Outotec Metrics, the remote monitoring solution has seen increased adoption in the current global context where physically traveling to on-site machine inspections is more challenging.

We caught up with Metso Outotec’s exclusive equipment distributor in Australia, Tutt Bryant Equipment, to learn more about how their service team and customers benefit from fleet monitoring technology. Martyn Driscoll, National Technical Service Manager, and Paul Doran, Business Development Manager, both shed light on Metso Metrics and how the aggregates industry as a whole is moving towards digitalization.

Metso Outotec (MO): Tutt Bryant Equipment was an early advocate for Metso Outotec Metrics. Can you talk us through your usual installation process?

Martyn Driscoll (MD): I make sure all post-2016 machines are all connected to Metrics. Whether the customer is going to use the technology or not, we can monitor what’s going on and help them out. There’s obviously value there for the customer, but for us as their distributor to be able to monitor processes, alarms and parameter changes, it’s really useful.

MO: If you look at Metrics as a whole, what do you see as its core value?

Paul Doran (PD): The access to information—you can’t get that level of detail from any other fleet management system… It helps customers with their planning, having access to detailed information on the availability and serviceability of their machines.

MD: To add something here, I actually have some customers that I figure must sit there looking at Metrics all day long, every day in their office. They sometimes ring me before I even know there’s something wrong!

MO: From your perspective as a distributor, how are you using Metrics?

MD: We use it for alarms. If I have a customer that calls to say their machine just stopped, we can log in to Metrics and see the alarms for the past half hour, or whatever it might be, and you can then walk through—have you checked this, have you checked that? If the customer changed any parameters, we’ll see that via Metrics, too. It could be the case where they’ve changed a parameter and didn’t know what they were changing, so we can walk through how to change it back and get the machine operating for their needs again.

PD: The main purpose for me is to demonstrate the monitoring of fuel and utilization of machines. I can pull up the performance of a certain machine—how many hours it’s been crushing, how much fuel is used. A big plus of Metrics is the fuel usage for a large crusher, it’s unparalleled.

Two employees with Metso Outotec's Lokotrack

MO: So the more you use the technology, the more you get out of it?

MD: You’re absolutely right. You can put in your own service events to actually monitor the performance of the machine, and with the extended warranty, that’s a vital maintenance tool for when people are doing their maintenance. To be able to demonstrate that they’re adhering to the service schedules to keep their warranty.

PD: I also like to demonstrate the maintenance planning and being able to pull out the checklist for each of the scheduled maintenance events. So you could give someone access to Metrics, or a machine they’ve never seen before, and they would be able to find their way through the fleet management via Metrics, and print out all the service schedules and know exactly what needs to be done on that machine for each of those service events.

MO: How have your customers adopted the technology?

PD: Because these platforms are so user-friendly and accessible now, I think the customers, and some of them haven’t grown up with an iPad or such, have embraced the technology. They can keep an eye on their assets anywhere in the world. It’s a good, simple way for owners to keep an eye on their equipment without going on site.

MO: If you rewind 10 years, a lot of this information was all physical, right? Metrics now replaces all of that. What are the main advantages with respect to this new way of working?

PD: Just having your performance and maintenance data in one place. Most people with multiple machines would have a maintenance planning system or even a spreadsheet for each machine—maybe notes written in the instruction manual. You now have all of that in Metrics. You can record all of your maintenance events, everything that you did and didn’t do can be saved in the technology, so you have a track record in one place. You can save when you’ve done maintenance checks, your daily inspection and any issues you’ve found. You can put all of your asset management into one place, and it’s accessible anywhere. Plus, you could have 25 fleet managers all accessing the same information.

MO: Moving forward, the industry seems to be heading towards primarily digitalization. Do you agree with this shift?

MD: I think there’s a lot more of the bigger mining and quarry operators that want to be able to monitor their equipment remotely. If you are a customer with 20 machines, you can’t be everywhere knowing what’s going on.

PD: I think technology like Metrics will be more readily available. I see the actual monitoring of the machines becoming a bit more detailed with sensors in different places. Modern crushing technology hasn’t changed in 15 years. The designs haven’t needed to change, it’s just those things around the crushers that have improved people’s access to machine serviceability. Such as increasing uptime, monitoring of wear parts… this all helps the customer keep production costs down and make operations more profitable. A lot of these things will come naturally as people want to squeeze more and more out of their assets.

A new Metrics platform is currently under development and will have additional functionality. Stay tuned for upcoming news on its development.

Tutt Bryant Equipment is the exclusive Metso Outotec aggregate equipment distributor in Australia. Visit them at https://tuttbryant.com.au/.

For more information on Metso Outotec Metrics, visit Metso Outotec Metrics or see the video here.

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