Honing operator skills (2018)

An operator inefficiency that has been identified can be improved upon – it’s a learning opportunity to improve your overall operation.

quality data = actionable decisions

A good operator is an asset to any company. Which is why improving operator performance is one of the key focus areas of many of our customers. It’s challenging, but if you measure and analyse the processes and tasks that your operators have complete control over, you’ll see why it’s essential. Interested in learning more? Here’s where technology can help.

You need quality data, presented in a way that makes sense, to make actionable decisions. An operator inefficiency that has been identified can be improved upon – it’s a learning opportunity to improve your overall operation. And, as a bonus, these learnings can then be implemented across your entire business.

Cloud Peak Energy’s Jim Long says his organisation typically learns more from a good shift than a bad shift – which is why data is so important.

“Generally when we have a bad shift it comes from some external source — equipment goes down, weather, things that just aren’t controllable,” says Long, Cloud Peak’s mine monitoring and control manager. “But when you have a good shift, you need to really ask yourself, ‘What was the cause? What was the effect? What did I do right today?’”

Long acknowledges how important it is to have access to the right data, at the right time, in order to make the right decision. “No one likes to hear that they had poor performance, but everybody wants to be a high performer,” he says. “It’s important to share so that they can improve. Sometimes it’s just a training aspect that they need. Other times they just need to increase their performance. But they can’t fix what they don’t know.”

Technology won’t just identify operator inefficiencies, it’ll also identify when an operator has performed exceptionally well. This will provide you with regular opportunities to share this feedback amongst the wider team. Such feedback will not only boost morale, it’ll also inspire other operators to strive to perform at an even higher level.


We know that improving operator performance is challenging, but it’s a challenge worth tackling. Implementing, technology, locating inefficiencies and identifying opportunities for improvement is the easy part. The hard part is seizing those opportunities and making change happen – which is where our Technology Team comes in. We won’t just install the technology and let you figure out the rest, we’ll be there every step of the way to ensure the technology is making a positive difference to your ROI.

In the end, eliminating operator inefficiencies is just honing your operators’ skills. When we recently worked with an iron ore mining customer we identified an opportunity to improve payload accuracy by comparing payload to target-payload. We installed a technology (MineStar TERRAIN FOR LOADING) that allowed operators to instantly compare bucket weight against target weight. With a little training and on-board information, we tightened the payload curve by 6 percent, which added up to an additional 146,000,000 kg every month.

Operators with honed skills become more valuable employees who are then able to train other operators, it’s a win-win scenario for all involved. A well-trained operator can be one of your most valuable assets. Once they’ve honed their skills, they’ll be able to train other operators – helping your operation run more smoothly and safely.


It’s a big job running a big operation. Technology and data might not solve all your problems – but they’ll form the foundation for effective decision making that will help give you the edge over your competitors.


We can:

  • Recommend technologies to help increase productivity, lower costs, improve operator performance and help you run a safe operation
  • Implement those technologies into your business (including training)
  • Turn your data into meaningful information and insights
  • Provide advice to help you make decisions when required
This site uses and sets "cookies" on your computer to help make this website better. By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.