Do partnership agreements work?

INTERIM results of two pilot schemes between key equipment suppliers and UK Coal mines show that partnership agreements improve performance, reduce downtime and lower unit costs.

Staff Reporter

UK Coal has trialed the approach twice, with DBT at the Welbeck colliery and most recently with Joy Mining Machinery at the Kellingley mine on the 230m long face.

According to procurement director, John Adams, the results at Kellingley supported conclusions reached at Welbeck.

“In both cases, face equipment availability was more than 10% higher than the company benchmark figure. If we can achieve similar results elsewhere, it will make a significant improvement to the company’s overall performance,” Adams said.

A six month review of the arrangement with DBT at Welbeck found that overall face equipment operated at 94.51%, compared to a company benchmark of 85%. Individual items of equipment have operated at 99%, compared to a company benchmark of 95%.

At Welbeck, DBT engineers work alongside face teams, providing vital information on equipment reliability and monitoring the performance of belts, beam loaders, the panzer and roof supports to eliminate delays and improve cutting time.

At Kellingley an interim report on results of the arrangement with Joy found overall system availability on the face hit 94.04%. The performance of agreed KPIs including shearer, stage loader, supports, AFC, pumps and RAC/Water all exceeded the target 97%. Engineering costs were reduced by 16.6%.

During the period under review the Joy 7LS shearer – the first of its kind in the company – was available 98.2% of the time and shearing speeds increased to 9.5m a minute.