These past weeks have seen our attention caught by the recent mining disasters in Chile and Hungary. The Chilean disaster was the kind that garners the most attention because of the daily struggle for life. On the other hand, the red sludge disaster in Hungary went relatively unnoticed and like the BP Gulf Oil Spill the damage beyond the immediate loss of life may take years to fully manifest itself. With thousands of tailing or sludge ponds in use throughout the world it is only a matter of time before the next catastrophe occurs.

Will the next environmental disaster be in your backyard? The USA has had 20 major tailing pond dam failures in the last 30 years. The largest of them occurred just two years ago and spilled over 100 times the amount of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Perhaps this is the reason that this article was our most popular post of the week was The Low Cost of Avoiding a Mining Disaster with a CMMS. We hope everyone had the opportunity to read our blogs and check out our website, but just in case you did not have the time to see our blogs and voter links as they were published, we have summarized them for you here. Please enjoy them and be sure to check back for new articles during the week. You can find a complete listing on the Mintek Blog.

1. The Low Cost of Avoiding a Mining Disaster with a CMMS

Author: Stuart Smith

This post was written as a result of the recent red sludge pond disaster in Hungary that has killed 9 people and sent over a million gallons of toxic material through three towns. Tailing/slag/sludge ponds are scattered in virtually every state. Although modern mining techniques have greatly reduced the potential threat from newer mining operations, there are thousands of these wastewater ponds at risk across the nation.

Key Point: A properly implemented CMMS can mitigate risk and liability for mining operations by establishing a regular inspection schedule and recording the history of each maintenance activity.

2. A Year of CMMS and EAM Stories

Author: Stuart Smith

This post a celebratory piece to recognize that the Mintek Blogs have now been in publication for 1 year. A look back at the year saw over 160 post written covering most major industries. We have seen our readership grow steadily over time as we become a reliable source of information about asset and maintenance management. We look forward to the next year of publishing articles on Enterprise Asset Management 101.

Key Point: Establishing a web presence takes time. We have many new friends and hope to continue making new friends during the coming years.

A young woman gives off in an election vote. ballot at the polling station.

Read Relevant Articles That We Found Last Week

But wait there is more. We have found several more articles that you might find to be interesting on. The 4 best this week are:

1. Integrate the maintenance organization into the rest of the plant to achieve better reliability

Author: Glyn Thorman, ABB

The title of this post may be a little misleading but the message is very clear. Glyn’s article discusses how some of the best practices of smaller organizations can be applied to larger more bureaucratic environments. He examined reporting structures, departmentalization, interdepartmental communication needs and the proper use of planners as well integrating the different levels of maintenance support.

Key Point: After reading the article several times, it is clear that the real message is better maintenance management comes from tearing down the communication barriers that inhibit common sense and productivity.

2. JD Power releases Europe Satisfaction results

Author: HNN Newswire

This article summarizes a few key points from a JD Power customer satisfaction survey that has indicated a notable decline guest satisfaction. The survey states that of the 7 most important factors, the quality of the guest room and hotel facilities are #1 and 3 respectively. The report indicates that Hotels that do not pay attention to upgrading or maintaining their facilities now, may get too far behind to recover.

Key Point: Guest want to stay in well kept room with stuff that works and in facilities that are well maintained.

3. The Capital Renewal and Deferred Maintenance Rule of Thumb

Author: Michel Theriault

Michel’s blog post challenged some industries rule of thumb that capital budget planning should be between 1 and 2%. The article goes on to state that percentage planning does not take into account the spikes and ebbs that actually occur. Just as importantly, the actual history of assets is not being accounted for using a planned percentage.

Key Point: Good capital budgeting is not a budget plug number. It takes knowledge of the assets lifecycle as well as an accurate record of an assets maintenance history to project when replacement is more cost effective than maintenance and repair.

4. Measure energy consumption to know how to reduce it

Author: Posted on

The 2nd article from looked at a manufacturer’s quest to manage their energy efficiency more efficiently. The article was included because of how the manufacturer used simple techniques as well as common technology to establish an energy usage monitoring system as part of their maintenance program.

Key Point: Comparing energy efficiency on assets requires a starting point and a method of historical information to make comparisons.

What We Learned This Week

The theme for this week was good maintenance practices don’t come from fancy expensive tools. They come as a result of planning, hard work, common sense and knowledge of the operations at hand. Maintenance is never something that should be put on the back burner, it must be worked on constantly even when an organization desires to cut costs. There really is no excuse for poor maintenance.