Reducing Plant Shutdown Duration through Ball Mill Liner Quick Changeover


A mid-tier copper and gold producer, Phu Bia Mining, 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.

The project team completed a deep-dive analysis of the current relining process to identify opportunities for eliminating waste using the Quick Changeover methodology. This activity included mapping all resource and tool movements to understand the inefficiencies.


The project team utilised a change management plan to implement all the agreed process improvements and train each team member in the new ways of working. These new working practices were embedded by introducing a standardised work process.

A short interval control process was introduced to monitor standardised work compliance. This included material and labour utilisation and provided escalation protocols for any deviation from the plan to enable rapid problem resolution and 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 EBIT cost benefit per shutdown event
  • $1.44m per annum EBIT increase across two sites completing bi-annual shutdowns