The equipment has been installed, inspected and started up, and now it's running. So what’s next?
Some suppliers might think that's the end of their obligation, but at FLSmidth we're mutually invested in seeing that the plant performs—and exceeds expectations—both now and in the future. That means that the installation of the equipment is only the beginning. We know the importance of building a relationship with our customers and being committed to our customers’ success.
With full lifecycle support, FLSmidth is committed to keeping the equipment operating to optimal performance. FLSmidth personnel work onsite to operate and maintain the plant or our experts can empower site operators by training them and giving them the opportunity to develop the skills needed to safely and efficiently control and maintain the equipment.
Building value with our customer relationships
Minera Peñasquito, owned by Canadian-based mining company Goldcorp, has long been a key customer and partner to FLSmidth since it began operations in 2010. Peñasquito is Mexico's largest gold producer and operates a 130,000-ton-per-day lead-zinc sulphide concentrator plant in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico.
FLSmidth originally supplied equipment to the concentrator plant which, besides two SAG mills and two ball mills, includes the world's largest complete flotation plant—as well as all the tailings and concentrate dewatering equipment. FLSmidth also performed services for commissioning and startup, and held a five-year contract for integral maintenance services for the concentrator plant that came to an end in 2014 due to the union law in Mexico, followed by a successful demobilization.
At the conclusion of the contract, Peñasquito was tasked with taking full responsibility of the maintenance organization, which also meant hiring new personnel and bringing them up to speed while maintaining stable operations and production. Goldcorp has been focused on training and development across all regions and operations for a long time, and Peñasquito is no exception. At the top of the agenda for the maintenance department's management is the objective to close the performance gap and develop a staff that is competent in their job functions (specifically a maintenance staff that has the right skills). Meanwhile, the business requires an organization with the highest standards and processes to ensure consistent quality while being cost-effective and focused on productivity.
Meeting customer needs
When Peñasquito's maintenance department saw the need for an introductory training program for its new and existent maintenance plant personnel on equipment maintenance, FLSmidth was there to respond to the need. Given FLSmidth's experience with the plant as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), as well as FLSmidth Institute's proven record as a go-to resource for learning and development for many other customers, FLSmidth was the top choice to support the Peñasquito team with the development and delivery of such a training program.
The intent for the initial training and development project was to increase the level of equipment knowledge of the people who operate and maintain the sulfides and oxides plants. FLSmidth Institute began working closely with plant management to build a training program that addressed the specific challenges and training needs of its maintenance staff at the time.
Simultaneously, the Institute worked closely with FLSmidth’s product technology groups and subject matter experts to develop high-quality training material, providing customers with the technical content to help them maintain their equipment at a higher level and also save costs.
"Peñasquito and our team worked closely together to deliver a training program that suited their specific needs at the moment," said Gina Leyte, FLSmidth's Project Manager and Senior Training Engineer, Mechanical and Reliability. "Since then, we have built a relationship that is helping them to achieve their world-class maintenance program goals by incorporating our experience and knowledge of the equipment."
The result was a comprehensive introductory classroom training program focused on the basics of equipment maintenance. The training program was built and fully customized for Peñasquito. It was structured in five different modules to cover the technologies present at the plant: crushing, milling, flotation, filtration and the oxide plant.
More than 190 participants were trained in the five modules, which were delivered in a timeframe of eight months to accommodate the plant schedule and cover all shifts. FLSmidth subject matter experts from each area were responsible for delivering the training, which included the necessary repetitions to ensure all personnel were trained in Spanish. Trainers continually evaluated the needs of participants and adjusted the instruction as requirements required.
After completing the training program, the participants gained greater understanding of their equipment and proper maintenance. In line with normal Institute practice, pre- and post-course assessments were applied to all participants in order to measure their jump in knowledge, which often provides immediate results that turn newly acquired skills into significant improvements in productivity and efficiency. The Institute aims for—and frequently exceeds—at least a 30% jump in knowledge.
We also measured the participants’ reaction to various aspects of the training including technical content, course duration and applicability of acquired skills to the workplace, among others.
The total average satisfaction score for all the participants evaluated for all courses combined was 4.2 on a rating scale of 1 (extremely unsatisfied) to 5 (extremely satisfied).
The results of the training program also leveraged further training opportunities for Peñasquito's staff. FLSmidth has continued to work closely with Peñasquito's maintenance management team, aiming to provide a long-term solution. This will ensure that their plant personnel are competent in safely maintaining equipment and will increase equipment reliability, thus increasing plant productivity.
During the latter part of 2015, FLSmidth Institute was asked to provide additional support to Peñasquito with a revision of job profiles for each position; the creation of a skills matrix based on those job profiles; and the development and application of a technical assessment to evaluate the basic theoretical skills of the personnel. These assessments were completed in December 2015.
Services like these demonstrate once again that when other suppliers consider a job is completed, FLSmidth is just getting started. Providing full lifecycle support to the plant, through innovative solutions that go above and beyond the traditional, is the commitment that FLSmidth has with our customers.
CONTACT: John Archer