December 13, 2019
Al Fajar Holding is a well-known drilling and blasting company with more than 600 employees and offices located in Oman and the UAE. With employees from different backgrounds, working in remote areas, they had concerns about fleet management. Software that enhances communication and increases productivity was seen as an answer to the problem.
At the same time, Epiroc was conducting a study, gathering customer requirements in order to develop a new service called My Epiroc, a solution intended to help customers increase their fleet efficiency that can be used anywhere – on the road, in an office or in a drill rig. Gathering all data at one place, it assists technicians and operators in managing their daily flows, reporting breakdowns, scheduling, and ordering spare parts. Epiroc developed My Epiroc in tandem with some key customers, and invited Al-Fajar to be a part of the pilot. Mining & Construction met up with Al Fajar’s Saša Jović and Epiroc’s Sergey Ivanov to find out more about the collaboration.
How did Al Fajar come on board for the development of My Epiroc?
Sergey Ivanov: We have a close relationship with the Al Fajar group, and believed we could jointly come up with solutions for tracking breakdowns. We approached them, and found them interested. Saša Jović: Yes, being able to develop the application with Epiroc and some other customers of theirs was a very exciting prospect. We felt that My Epiroc could help us deal with machine breakdowns and malfunctions. By tracking them, we can improve the analysis of our operators and machines.
What were the main challenges during the pilot, and how did you tackle them?
SJ: There is always the challenge of communicating operators’ needs to the developers. In our case, Epiroc is already knowledgeable about our machinery. Our role was to add the human angle, and so we helped to develop features that address tracking and reporting human behavior, and help to reduce paper work.
SI: One of the challenges has been the international pattern of Al Fajar; how to engage people from different cultures and languages to use an application that was initially created for English language. To come to terms with this, we are making the interface more user friendly and less dependent on English skills.
SJ: During the pilot, workshop managers, operators and other concerned positions started to use My Epiroc to detect any obstacles, and the platform was developed continuously.
For Al Fajar, what are the major benefits of My Epiroc?
SJ: The data helps us increase productivity because this is not just about reporting breakdowns but also about preventive maintenance. Using the application, real time data is at your fingertips, and gathering it in one place makes everyday work run a lot smoother. Safety will definitely be enhanced as the machines are better maintained and will also boost productivity. Also, proper analysis of breakdowns reveals what kind of spare parts are required, so that money won’t be wasted on unneeded parts.
SI: The application will enable operators in remote areas to report problems immediately, and get the support they need as soon as possible.