Maximizing Efficiency in Mining Operations: The Role of Tire Management

In the world of mining operations, where every liter of fuel counts and the health of vehicles directly impacts operational efficiency and productivity, the importance of tire management cannot be overstated. With the advent of digitization in asset management, using data analytics to enhance vehicle performance and reduce operational costs, including the expenses impacted by tires, has become a reality. This article explores the tangible impacts of data-driven tire management on fuel consumption, tire replacement intervals, and overall operational efficiency, underscoring the critical role of digitization in optimizing fleet performance.

The Cost of Underinflation and Worn-Down Tires
One of the critical metrics watched by heavy-duty equipment maintenance teams is tire pressure. Underinflated tires require more energy to maintain motion, significantly increasing fuel consumption. The strain doesn’t stop at the tires; it extends to the brakes, engine, transmission, strut, frame, and cooling and fuel systems. According to the US Department of Energy, a mere three psi drop in tire pressure can reduce fuel economy by 1%. For a haul truck like CAT 797, this translates to an additional 5 liters of fuel per hour—or up to 25,000 liters per year per truck.
The age of the tires presents another challenge. As tires wear down, they increase fuel consumption. According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, old tires can reduce fuel economy by up to 5%, equating to an extra 22 liters of fuel per hour for a CAT 797, or more than 100,000 liters per truck per year.

Leveraging Technology for Tire Lifecycle Management
Using data from Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors embedded in tires to monitor pressure and temperature, 4-Sight.ai employs AI algorithms to assess tire health and accurately predict remaining life. This innovative approach enables predictive maintenance, such as timely inflation, replacement, or rotation, extending tire life and enhancing fuel efficiency by up to 5%. For an average mining operation, implementing 4-Sight.ai translates into significant cost savings, including a 9% reduction in fuel consumption.

Beyond Tires: A Holistic Approach to Operational Efficiency
4-Sight.ai’s impact extends beyond tire management. It offers operational visibility, providing real-time insights into fuel consumption, carbon footprint, equipment health and downtime. The platform also enhances safety and compliance by monitoring operator behavior and maintenance records. Furthermore, its analytical capabilities allow for predictive maintenance scheduling, reducing the likelihood of breakdowns and preventing downtime.