Reducing Plan Shutdown Duration through Ball Mill Liner Quick Changeover


A mid-tier copper and gold producer, Phu Bia Mining (PBM), recognised a need to reduce plant shutdown durations to increase annual production outputs across two sites in Laos.

On investigation, the team recognised that grinding mill relining was the critical path activity for all significant shutdown activities; therefore, any improvement in the time taken to reline the ball mill would be transferable in full to the total outage duration.


ORBIZ were engaged in observing the end to end shutdown process of planning, execution and post-shutdown review to identify and then facilitate the implementation of the most valuable opportunities to improve.

An in-depth review was conducted of the current relining process to identify opportunities for eliminating waste using the Quick Changeover methodology.


All movements of tools and resources were mapped, and improvements were then implemented and embedded through the introduction of standardised work practices.

The project team implemented a rigorous short interval control framework to monitor compliance to the standardised work practices plus material and human resource utilisation whilst providing escalation protocols to any deviation from the plan for immediate problem resolution and further continuous improvement.

The program successfully developed the in-house capability of Laos-national supervisors and team leaders by broadening their understanding of operational improvement tools and methodologies.


  • 41% reduction in overall shutdown duration from 63 to 37 hours
  • $360k NPAT cost benefit per shutdown event
  • $1.44m per annum ROI across two sites completing bi-annual shutdowns