Reducing Cost of Road Maintenance for the Resources Industry

production-1891426_640Haul road in open mine has short durability. It is because haul road is constructed without asphalt/concrete pavement and passed by big vehicle with heavy load. There is some kind of decreasing quality of haul road such as improper cross section, inadequate roadside drainage, corrugations, potholes, ruts, and loose aggregate. Poor haul road quality will impact on increasing production costs and decreasing mine productivity. Usually open mine use motor grader to maintain the quality of haul road. Way of working of motor grader is to scrap the inadequate haul road surface.

There are some differences among the haul road segments such as characteristic, traffic density, kind of decreasing quality, durability, etc. Therefore, systematically grader route and schedule is needed to minimize the delay of haul road maintenance. Usually grader route and schedule just based on grader’s operator experience. There is no specific approach that can be used in grader route and schedule.

This research focused on grader route and schedule optimization in coal haul road maintenance. Optimization model in this research is designed using Bandit Algorithm. The objective of the optimization model is to minimize the maximum penalty. In this case, penalty is used to describe amount of loss that is caused by maintenance delay on each haul road segment. Grader start from the initial point to a road segment and moves over and over to the other road segment until working hour is over. Determination of he next road segment is based on weight of maintenance delay on each road segment. Greater the weight of the maintenance delay of a road segment, greater the probability of that road segment to be addressed by grader. Grader scraps if the road segment is late maintained and just passes if otherwise. When the working hour is over, grader stops moving and optimization model calculates the objective and records the route as a new solution. The steps are done again as many as have been determined (iteration). Solution with the best objective is chosen as the final solution.

With the probability, grader is not directly addressed to the road segment with the greatest maintenance delay weight to allow for the other road segments to be the next grader destination. This is because short term solutions have effect on long-term solution (whole solution); maybe the best short-term solution is not the best long-term solution. An example in a simpler problem is: we must determine route from city A to city D with 2 possible route that are A-B-D and A-C-D. With the distance between A-B < A-C, A-B is the best first movement. But for the overall movement, maybe A-B-D is not the closest route. Although the distance between A-B < A-C, distance of A-C and C-D can be closer than A-B and B-D.

Optimization model showed a significant cost savings for the mining operations by creating a more effective roads maintenance with reduce cost. With the pressure of low prices in the resources industry, a simple but yet complex optimization can help them stay more competitive.

This research is conducted by Denni and Dr. Komarudin.


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