Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal
Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.
The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity.
The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation.
An Exciting Venture For Global Mining
CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said.
A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance
Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining.
It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.
Sumitec: machining solutions for Industry 4.0
Sumitec, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, has been providing engineering and technical support for mining equipment and Komatsu shovels and trucks since 2003, when its working partnership with Ferrexpo began. Well established in Ukraine, Sumitec is the official representative for Komatsu construction and mining equipment as well as Toyota material handling and lifting equipment and works with a host of mining multinationals, including ArcelorMittal and Metinvest.
Trusted technical support
“We provide 24/7 in-house technical support for Ferrexpo with a maximum reaction time of one hour,” explains Sumitec Director Alexander Scherbakov. “Our people are trained by Komatsu Germany’s mining division and in Japan. We also work closely with our Canadian sister company SMS Equipment which has 60 years of industry experience.
“We aim to reduce downtime of the equipment and, despite the limitations of Ukraine’s infrastructure, meet international standards. For example, we’ve replaced conventional lifting with jack systems which have reduced repair time down from 20-28 days to just 5 days.”
Sumitec manages rebuilds of all components: final drives, engines, transmissions, differentials. “We can also rebuild hydraulic cylinders and manufacture hydraulic hoses at our in-house facility,” adds Scherbakov. “We’ve always got the right parts in stock to put machines back into operations as fast as possible.”
Digitalization is driving efficiencies for both maintenance and operations at Ferrexpo. “We’re looking at introducing more automatic equipment on site,” adds Scherbakov. “We can design the workflow and work with Ferrexpo much faster with a digital approach that also allows for the introduction of new autonomous equipment. We can receive projects and download them on to our machine and take control of daily operations progress. This enables us to ensure everything is done on plan and controlled remotely to guarantee quality and reduce time.”
Going green with intelligent machines
Scherbakov highlights the key trend in the industry today is the move towards greener capabilities when it comes to operations machinery. “Companies are requesting green products geared at carbon reduction, carbon neutrality and eventually carbon free operations,” he notes.
Allied to this, Scherbakov sees the demand for autonomous trucks and operations equipment increasing dramatically… “Our sister company SMS Equipment currently has over 300 autonomous pieces of equipment operational in its territory. We’re definitely seeing the rise of the intelligent machines as more companies go digital. We have a special team within our organization monitoring these developments and implementing our own digital projects. It’s really important to listen to the customer, because you can take the technology from an OEM or you can take the best technology from a third company supplier and you can add your own elements… This way the customer can receive a custom solution to meet their needs that they have effectively designed with Sumitec’s support.”