Safety challenge produces a winner for BHP

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), which first launched its Supplier Innovation Program in June 2020, has crowdsourced a repair and maintenance technique at the Caval Ridge complex in Australia that will add safety for its miners tasked with working near rotating machinery.
Safety challenge produces a winner for BHP Safety challenge produces a winner for BHP Safety challenge produces a winner for BHP Safety challenge produces a winner for BHP Safety challenge produces a winner for BHP

Caval Ridge produces metallurgical coal and was previously called Australia’s largest greenfield met coal complex

The Caval Ridge Fixed Plant Maintenance team, located at the Bowen Basin site, said it involved the programme for developing a safer way to perform maintenance on its filter presses.

The challenge attracted interest from 235 suppliers across Australia, and 21 provided expressions of interest.

"Through a series of interactive online workshops with representatives from the vendors, Caval Ridge, the Procurement Partners Innovation team and Austmine, nine companies were short-listed to present formal proposals," the miner said. Austmine was a partner in the development of the programme, which was launched last year to create easier ways for suppliers to work with the mining operator.

Last month, Australian-owned Jord International was awarded a contract to pilot their solution.

The first belt installer will be in use by July; it will run on a pilot for six months. If successful, it will be permanently implemented at Caval Ridge and potentially other sites in the BMA portfolio.

The Supplier Innovation Program enabled BHP, according to group procurement officer James Agar, to crowdsource a wider variety of innovations.

"With filter press belt replacements, it is a time-consuming task with lots of manual handling," he said.

"While there are processes in place to control the risks around that task, the new solution proposed through this innovation program eliminates the need for maintainers to be in physical contact with the filter press altogether."

The Procurement Innovation and Community team, BHP said, is currently developing six more Supply Innovation Program challenges across Minerals Australia. It is hoping to reveal more pilot contracts in coming months, and expand the programme to look at 20 challenges in FY22.

Caval Ridge produces metallurgical coal and and has been called Australia's largest greenfield met coal complex.