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Austmine 2023

Improving Drill Rig Performance through a Preventative Maintenance Strategy

ORBIZ Consulting Pty Ltd Stand: 701


This mid-tier copper and gold producer operating across two locations in Laos had recognised a need to improve drill rig performance across an ageing fleet of DM45 and ROC L7 drill rigs.

The vision for improvement included a robust maintenance management process that would reduce operating and maintenance costs whilst minimising capital expenditure requirements.


ORBIZ was engaged in implementing an ‘Operate for Reliability’ strategy to increase drill rig asset availability through improved Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) across the entire drill fleet.

The project began by engaging a team from operations and maintenance in a comprehensive study of current maintenance practices and asset failure modes. This analysis enabled the team to identify weaknesses in the maintenance system and the most common asset failure modes. The data sourced through the study was then used to develop a comprehensive strategy to increase overall asset performance.


The improvement strategy was communicated to all drill rig operators, maintenance team members and the management team to ensure clear understanding and buy-in to the changes that would be made to operating practices.

The change program included a series of projects, and responsibility was defined across the stakeholder group to create clear accountability for delivering each initiative.
The strategy included:

  • Training drill rig operators in basic maintenance skills to enable ownership of essential maintenance activities.
  • Establishing regular structured communication forums between maintenance and operations teams to promote collaboration and a “one team” culture.
  • Enhancing routine maintenance activities across several control points, including operator pre-start inspections, OEM daily inspections and pre-release.

With the new operating system established, an audit process was introduced to ensure sustainability and ongoing improvement of the new methods.


  • 5% increase in Roc L7 and DM45 drill rig availability (86% to 91%)
  • 188% increase in Roc L7 drill rig MTBF (18 hours to 52 hours)
  • 60% increase in DM45 drill rig MTBF (49 hours to 78 hours)
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