MAGNA, UT - Kennecott Utah Copper (KUC), the site of the largest copper mine in the world, has managed to save more than $1 million in fuel costs by more closely monitoring equipment and reducing idling.
While KUC vehicles don't travel great distances, they are spread out across a 25-mile stretch of land, which made it difficult to manage their large fleet of vehicles, said the company. The most significant challenge was monitoring and policing idle activity. Equipment would be left idling for hours on end, producing large amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG) as a result. The excessive idling was also leading to warranty issues.
"As our equipment idled, we lost valuable warranty coverage due to the fact that the manufacturers of our light and heavy equipment were basing warranty coverage off of hours run, not miles driven," said Kenny Harvey, mobile maintenance planner/reliability for the Kennecott Operational Services Department. Equipment utilization was also an issue.
The company needed to find a way to track equipment utilization in order to improve efficiency and vehicle availability by right-sizing their fleet. These issues needed to be addressed to ensure vehicles were operating efficiently throughout and completing their contractual or operational lifecycle.
KUC implemented GPS Insight in late 2008 when it began to monitor idle time and GHG emissions on 28 vehicle assets. Since then, the GPS Insight solution has enabled KUC to exceed their original expectations. The company has now implemented multiple programs and business improvement projects as a result of, and through the use of, the GPS Insight data. KUC currently monitors 242 vehicle assets, and is using the solution to track preventative maintenance intervals and alerts, ensuring proper routing of service vehicles, fuel savings, idle reduction, GHG reduction, and monitoring fleet utilization and availability. "We have saved over 1 million dollars in fuel costs alone in the last 12 months, and have saved thousands of dollars in other projects using the GPS Insight toolset," said Harvey.
Kennecott Utah Copper received a 2008 Outstanding Achievement Award in Pollution Prevention from the Utah Pollution Prevention Association in September 2009 and was also nominated for an EPA award.