Engineering & Mining Journal

AUG 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 45 of 107

TIRES 44 E&MJ • AUGUST 2018 action-centric approach, which focuses mostly on tire purchase price and instead, are looking at total cost of ownership. That's where tire management sys- tems can make a significant contribution to improved profitability, according to Rob Seibert, director of marketing, commer- cial OTR, Bridgestone Americas Tire Op- erations. In an interview with E&MJ, he sketched out the overall scenario Bridge- stone recommends for getting the most value, in terms of cost per mile, through correct tire selection and management. "There are three principal areas that we look at when helping a customer pick the right tire," Seibert explained. "First is the initial selection stage, where we work with them to understand site requirements and conditions such as haul speed, pay- loads, haul distances and road conditions. "We then follow up with performance monitoring of the selected tire. We strongly recommend that the customer informs us of any upcoming operational change at the site, such as longer haulage distances, haul road changes, etc., so that we can make recommendations for the best tire choice. "And, throughout the entire process, we also recommend that the customer stay in close contact with our team be- cause we are constantly upgrading our tread compounds and designs and testing them at selected mines to evaluate their performance. From this, we often can make recommendations for tire selection that might provide better performance based on specific site conditions." Seibert listed several hallmarks of an effective tire management system, pref- acing them with the observation that the most important factor in TMS success is the presence of maintenance and opera- tional leadership that demands focus on the program. Specific elements of an ef- fective TMS include: Tire Rotation – "The optimal rotation point for moving the front tires to the rear is a dynamic target that can affect tire perfor- mance and cost. Many operations simply rotate at a static target point, such as one- third of tire life, when the actual goal should be to measure wear rate and pay attention to a tire's 'scrap' point. The idea is to maintain a spares pile of tires taken from the front position to eliminate the need to mount new tires in the rear, which can affect tire bud- get and tread wear significantly." Inflation Monitoring – "Improper air pres- sure can reduce a tire's life by 5% or more. We and our dealers work with customers to determine the right initial inflation re- quirements based on payload and distance — and that's actually the easy part. It's a bit more complicated to actually manage inflation monitoring, to ensure that the tire has the correct initial pressure, then adjust for ambient temperature, and having the diligence to maintain these procedures over time. We're seeing a lot of customers using our Bridgestone Intelligent Tag (B-TAG) sys- tem to manage inflation, and also to man- age tire temperatures on their haul profiles." Matching – "When pulling tires from the spares pile to mount on the rear position of rigid haul trucks, you need to ensure that the tires match closely. Measure the tread depth on both sides of the tire, check the static load radius and make sure that you have two tires that match within the necessary toler- ances. Unmatched dual rear tires can lead to slippage or scrubbing on one tire, resulting in damaging heat buildup on the other." Inspection and Tracking – "The more you know about your tire management pro- gram, the easier it is to schedule main- tenance, forecast gas consumption, and plan your budget. Mine operators have to be able to track, measure and un- derstand tire performance data in order to implement KPI's or achieve improve- ment. Know your average tread utilization, frequency of operational out-of-service events vs. wearout out-of-service events, etc., and use that information to set met- rics. A formal inspection and tracking program ensures that inflation is being measured regularly, that the general con- dition of the tire is being noted, and that tread depth is being measured at regular intervals to provide information needed for proper rotation and tire matching. To achieve this, we offer TreadStat, a com- plete tire and rim management program, which enables our dealers and customers to manage life-cycle costs of tires and ac- cess immediately actionable information on computers, tablets and smartphones." Haul Road Condition Monitoring – "After the tire has been properly designed, engi- neered, correctly selected and mounted, it has to go to work. That's when you need graders on the haul roads, dozers working to clean up the dump areas, and payloads that keep spillage to a minimum. "If you're doing this, along with the other four factors I've mentioned, it's likely you're running a world-class tire management program," he concluded. Seibert noted that Bridgestone has seen a trend in its giant OTR customer base toward using its B-TAG system as a tool to improve haulage productivity in re- lation to tire Ton-Mile/Kilometer-Per-Hour (TMPH/TKPH) ratings listed by tire man- ufacturers. TMPH is an engineering cal- culation, which varies somewhat among manufacturers but is based on load carry- ing capacity in relation to heat generation, assuming average operating conditions. It's a number that is not to be exceeded without risk of forfeiting tire warranties. "Because B-TAG monitors tire pressure and temperature in real time, customers can use the data to determine the actual temperature status of a tire," he explained. "In cases where a certain customer might be TMPH-limited, they can see the actual temperature of the tire and make decisions on its use without risk of exceeding TMPH ratings, and we've seen cases where that has increased productivity at certain sites Bridgestone recommends OTR tires be inspected before every shift. Inspections should be done in conjunction with a tire preventative-maintenance program and software, such as the company's TreadStat system.

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