30 in 30 Podcast

Where we capture 30 years of mining experience in 30 minutes

Listening to your Team to Achieve Results

Guest: David Archinal
Nov 24, 2020 | 37 min to Listen


Our guest today is Dave Archinal, the South Australian Manager at Bluefield, and he shares from his wealth of knowledge and experience in the reliability and improvement arena. Having worked in the industry for over 30 years, Dave has travelled the world working on different improvement programs across numerous industries and commodities. 

In this episode, Dave talks about how he got started in the industry in a mechanical engineering cadetship and how he worked his way through supervisory and planner roles, eventually finding his niche in reliability and improvement. Dave was encouraged to step up into a supervisory role at the young age of 19 and he shares some of the lessons he learned early on about the importance of asking the right questions, listening and enabling others to perform at their best.

As a young apprentice, David was never satisfied with simply completing transactions. He felt the need to question how the system could be made easier, which led him into maintenance improvement initiatives and eventually into the consulting space. David shares numerous experiences working with companies to improve their systems by asking the right questions and challenging the existing processes in place.

David shares his 3 golden nuggets for those looking to embark on a reliability improvement project and talks about the importance of taking the time to listen to the people around you. You can have all the ideas in the world, but until you know what the problem is, you won’t find the solution.

Some Topics That We Cover

  • [2:00]: David talks about the beginnings of his career in an apprenticeship training program
  • [4:00]: How David got involved in the very early maintenance planning systems and the coal preparation area where he was encouraged by his supervisor to take a leading hand role in the crew
  • [5:30]: How David was only 19 when he was in a supervisory role and that he learned quickly that he didn’t have to have the answers but to enable them to get things done
  • [6:30]: The importance of having a mentor who let’s you fail and learn through the process of problem solving
  • [7:40]: How David wasn’t satisfied with just doing transactions but wanted to know how he could make things easier, which led him into maintenance improvement initiatives and eventually into the consulting space
  • [9:00]: We need to challenge why we’re doing the things we’re doing and ask the right questions.
  • [10:00]: Sharing understanding is what gives David the greatest reward, helping others to be more effective in what they’re doing
  • [11:10]: How David got involved in organisational change and that it was an opportunity to learn about human psyche 
  • [12:30]: How Myers Briggs testing revealed that David was different to the usual engineer type, being more extroverted and intuitive which helped him understand why he thought differently
  • [15:00]: Looking on the positive side and taking responsibility for the outcomes
  • [16:00]: Relialytics Equipment Condition Supervisor software 
  • [18:00]: How David identified factors which led to poor fleet performance on a site and how he helped them become more efficient
  • [20:50]: How taking a thorough look at the servicing on site uncovered the hidden issues which led to positive outcomes in availability
  • [25:15]: A challenging experience on a copper mine site where David helped to transition an excavator fleet from a contractor to owner operator 
  • [28:00]: How the challenge was increased due to it being a remote location and that the key take away was that things are never going to be perfect but you have to make the most of what you’ve got
  • [31:00]: How the most rewarding thing of Dave’s career is sharing knowledge to others which enriches their understanding to implement their own changes
  • [33:20]: David’s advice someone embarking on a reliability improvement project:
    • Talk to the fitter or the electrician and ask them about the problem 
    • Have an open mind
    • Manage the failure mode as opposed to redesign 
  • [35:15]: Maintaining the focus on restoring equipment to its original design