CASE STUDY

Identification and management of critical spares

Client: Gold producer
Location: Western Australia
Duration: nine months 

Context

Our client commissioned a new gold plant, engaging Minset to undertake a critical spares assessment and Bill of Materials (BOM) review. As a key priority, the site’s leadership team wanted all critical parts identified, procured, and verified through their approved system. To avoid unnecessary business interruptions and throughput losses, the right parts needed to be available at the right time. By effectively classifying its spares, the client also hoped to improve the strategic alignment between its inventory management and equipment maintenance programs.

Approach

Achieving reliable and predictable equipment performance was not negotiable. Minset prioritised a critical spares assessment followed by a BOM review, by plant area, across all areas of plant. This targeted and progressive approach, which included project toll gates, was an effective way to work directly with key team members. Minset also understood the importance of collaborating closely with asset owners and suppliers to balance the costs versus the risks. In particular, the cost of having extra parts on hand, the storage implications of extra spares and materials, and the possible production risks of important parts not being available when needed.

With this approach in mind, the Minset team:  

  • Collaborated with site personnel to implement a new spares criticality rating system
  • Identified new critical spares and validated existing critical spares already on file
  • Identified and prioritised equipment spares stock levels (site-wide and critical spares)
  • Evaluated BOM contents using the client’s ERP system and OEM recommendations
  • Engaged with site personnel to procure and store additional site spares  
  • Supported the integration of the new spares strategy in the client’s ERP system

Results

People

  • Transferred knowledge to build capability
  • Made the process of spares identification more efficient lowering team member frustration level

Process

  • Prioritised work based on asset criticality and performance
  • Reduced operational risk by improving inventory alignment
  • Provided audit tools to support sustainability

Physical

  • Identified and added an extra 30 highly critical spares to inventory
  • Identified more than 330 spares not previously classified for criticality. The spares included 18 high, 91 medium, and 225 low criticalities
  • Reviewed 104 BOMs and identified the need for an additional 309 new parts
  • Recommended 1195 revisions to existing stockholdings