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Case Study - Process Improvement at Coal Mining Facilities
Norbridge conducted over a dozen process improvement projects at coal mining facilities over a five year period. The projects focused on improving productivity and performance at mines, processing plants, and rail loadouts.

Norbridge worked with project teams at numerous mine sites. The teams work with employees to identify issues to be addressed (including operations, maintenance, safety, and other areas), develop facility-specific game plans to improve performance, and implement those plans. Specific work steps include employee interviews, identification of performance problems, evaluation of alternative strategies to improve performance, development of integrated performance measurement systems (including early warning capabilities to highlight potential performance problems), management/employee training, project implementation, and monitoring of results. Focus of projects is on rapid and sustained performance improvement, including throughput, productivity, operating cost, safety, teamwork and communication.

Value Added
Each project was designed to provide significant value for the client. Examples are shown below:
  • The capacity utilization rate at a coal mine rose 7-9 percentage points to almost 70%
  • Plant availability levels at a processing plant rose more than 10 percentage points to above 90%, while plant utilization levels also rose significantly in the same time period
  • Average minutes from train arrival to loading at a rail loadout declined 23%
  • Average railroad-related delays per train at a rail loadout declined 47%
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