Using Technology in Mobile Equipment Maintenance at Teck Coal to Create a Competitive Advantage

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (Masters)
Date created: 
Dr. Ian P. McCarthy
Beedie School of Business-Segal Graduate School

Teck Resources Limited’s coal division, Teck Coal, is the second largest global producer of metallurgical coking coal, which is a fundamental requirement in the production of steel. One of the largest operating costs for Teck Coal is associated to mobile equipment maintenance. The experience of the author in three of the six Teck Coal maintenance departments is used in demonstrating why a shift to a more proactive maintenance paradigm is necessary to be competitive. This paper focuses on the opportunity to improve the organization’s ability to effectively identify its equipment health conditions in a timely manner. This can be successfully accomplished through the implementation of new technology to monitor, analyse and trend equipment conditions. The results would include the identification and correction of equipment problems in advance of failures, which will ultimately reduce the maintenance workload. This paper will also demonstrate why minimizing work is vital to the organization due to the scarcity of tradespeople and imminent retirements, and how technology in the form of expert systems must be leveraged to provide knowledge for the less experienced tradespeople remaining in the organization. The ability to exploit technology to allow Teck Coal to work smarter with fewer tradespeople will be a strategic advantage and will provide operational benefits. Essential to the success of the maintenance paradigm shift, is an effective change management process that engages the employees and ensures the change is sustainable. The process for ensuring the success of the changes proposed is also presented in the paper


EMBA Project-Simon Fraser University

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
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