Recent studies suggest that mine fleet operators aren’t taking maximum advantage of lubrication technologies and services to reduce operating costs
by russell a. carter, contributing editor
Although it never appears in line entries on corporate balance sheets, annual operating budget estimates, or even daily performance summaries, friction is a steady drag on the industry’s drive for cost containment and productivity improvement. Last year, a paper published in a well-known technical journal attempted to calculate the economic losses resulting from friction and wear in mining — and the numbers are big.*
The study estimated coefficients of friction and wear rates of moving mechanical assemblies based on available information taken from literature in four general cases: (1) an average mine in operation today, (2) a mine with today’s best commercial technology, (3) a mine with today’s most advanced technology, and (4) a mine with best futuristic technology forecast in the next 10 years.
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