Coates tool store tech helps Monadelphous optimise maintenance

Experienced Tool Store Controllers and asset management technology are helping Monadelphous optimise mine site maintenance in the Pilbara.

The project

As one of the leading engineering groups to support the Australian resources sector, Monadelphous holds major maintenance contracts with multiple operators to ensure the continued and efficient operation of mine sites in the Pilbara region of WA.

As well as providing skilled labour to plan, manage and deliver maintenance work, Monadelphous supplies a large fleet of tools, equipment and consumables to support from 50 to 500 personnel on site at each event. In May 2021, Monadelphous recognised the need improve its tooling approach, calling on Coates to review all tool store operations and to advise on where improvements could be made.

The challenge

Following a detailed audit, Coates was able to identify several issues affecting tool store delivery:

  • The existing paper-based system provided poor visibility to the contents and quality of tools and equipment.
  • Manual tool store processes were time-consuming and made managing the return of tooling difficult, which resulted in consumables being wasted and tools being lost and damaged.
  • A lack of visibility, combined with short turnaround times between events, made rectifying and replenishing tool store contents complex and costly.
  • Ad-hoc tool store maintenance created logistics, procurement and availability issues. The need for emergency procurement between events also increased costs and placed unnecessary stress on tool store teams.

“In 2021, we’d travelled a difficult path with our tool stores for almost three years,” says Mark Fitzgerald, Pilbara Area Manager for Monadelphous.

“Questions were emerging on why we were investing so much into trying to control and manage our assets, without any real visibility to what we were doing. Our decision to approach Coates was driven by the need to improve visibility, reduce costs and find new efficiencies.”

Neil Moore, Coates Product Specialist, says: “When we first sat down with Monadelphous, we could see they were experiencing significant challenges in managing their tooling. Coates was able to dive deep into their business, ask the hard questions and work out where their roadblocks were. This allowed us to devise a solution that we knew would make a real difference.

The solution

Once Coates took charge, Mark and his team noticed a substantial change in the cost and efficiency of shutdowns.

“Tooling is no longer going missing or coming back damaged,” he says. “It’s also been much easier to track down outstanding equipment before demobilisation. By the time we wrap, we now have everything back in store, which makes it much easier to schedule and deliver the next event.”

Having access to trained Coates personnel for electrical testing and tagging creates additional value for Monadelphous. “At one point we were spending a considerable amount each quarter to tag and test our equipment. With Coates on site, tagging and testing as they go, we have been able to reduce this cost, and gain confidence that everything is certified, fit for use and available when we need it,” says Mark.

Other benefits include:

  • Tracking and tracing for improved efficiency and accuracy: Industry-leading tool management technology provides full visibility of the location, status and quality of all event assets. It also facilitates the creation of daily custom reports on all issued, outstanding and lost tooling.
  • Informed re-ordering prior to completion: Better visibility enables fast turnaround, and ensures the availability of fully stocked tool stores for the start of each event.
  • Reduced waste and theft: Improved tool store security reduces the cost of consumables by encouraging personnel to take only what they need. Better visibility, meanwhile, drives accountability for the return of assets on time and in good working order, reducing the cost, downtime and inconvenience of lost and damaged tools.
  • Streamlined professional audits: Enhanced access to documentation helps Monadelphous to quickly and accurately manage certification and maintenance audits.

The impact

Since appointing Coates, Monadelphous has delivered over 30 successful maintenance events in the region. This partnership remains a positive experience for both parties. “Coates is great to partner with, and it’s been a joy working with them so far,” Mark reflects.

“Our previous in-house tool store personnel did a great job, given their experience, but the Coates team are just good at what they do. They know how to optimise our processes, and where to find efficiencies,” he continues. “Coates also brings intelligence and best practice to our tool store operations, and if there are ever any issues we know that a solution is just a phone call away.”

For Neil, the willingness of Monadelphous to work together and to ask the hard questions is key to this partnership. “Monadelphous has always been transparent and open to engaging and doing things differently,” says Neil. “When customers understand their problems and they are honest and open about finding solutions, anything is possible.”

To see how Coates Industrial Solutions can optimise your next shutdown or maintenance project, contact the team today

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