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Keeping things clean: 10 things you can do to reap the benefits of contamination control

The steps mines can take to control contamination range from the straightforward — such as good housekeeping—to the less common, such as particle counting. The basic procedures focus on clean facilities, clean components, clean processes and clean fluids.

Here are the top 10 things you can do to begin seeing the benefits of contamination control:

  1. Make sure people are well-trained. Training will ensure that those who have an impact are thoroughly familiar and able to follow all the processes and procedures of a successful contamination control program.
  2. Wash machines and components prior to entering the shop. The intent is to remove dirt and oils that could contaminate the machine being worked on, as well as to keep those contaminants out of the shop.
  3. Take care of hoses and tubes. Make sure ends are appropriately capped or plugged and all hoses and tubes removed during repair are cleaned prior to reinstallation.

parts

  1. Create a preventive maintenance cart. Staging the contents prior to a planned maintenance activity ensures the necessary equipment is available and the contents are clean and protected.
  2. Clean oil spills immediately. Use a vacuum or absorbent pads specifically designed for collecting oil, then do a final cleaning with a clean water mop and degreaser.
  3. Keep parts clean until installation. Parts should be kept inside the original packaging until they are ready to be installed.

hoses

  1. Protect parts when work is in process. During system invasion repairs or during component removal and installation, cover all of the machine’s exposed cavities with plugs, metal or magnetic covers, plastic wrap with tape, or guards.
  2. Keep the shop clean and uncluttered. A clean, organized shop reduces the chance of contaminating equipment being serviced and repaired, as well as increases repair and maintenance efficiencies.

shop

  1. Protect bulk fluids. Start with clean bulk storage tanks and filter fluids entering the tank to keep the tank clean. Tank preventive maintenance, regular oil filtering and a scheduled oil sample program are also essential practices.
  2. Protect bulk fuels. Ensure regular cleaning and maintenance of fuel tanks, ports, and lubrication and fuel trucks. Filter bulk fuels at both entrance and exit points.

Learn more about contamination control and see how one underground mine in Ontario, Canada, is reaping the benefits.

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