May 17, 2020

Q&A: How to find productivity improvements in processing and advanced manufacturing

5 min
Q&A: How to find productivity improvements in processing and advanced manufacturing
Withmanufacturing being a large part of both the mining and the METS worlds, Austmine caught up with Jason Furness, Founder and CEO of Manufacturship to...

With manufacturing being a large part of both the mining and the METS worlds, Austmine caught up with Jason Furness, Founder and CEO of Manufacturship to get some tips into where the opportunities can be found for improvement on processing in mining and advanced manufacturing in METS.

Austmine’s latest Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector survey showed that Advanced Manufacturing is one of the top ten services currently offered by Australian METS. From your work with companies in this space, what have you seen as being the most common mistakes made when it comes to having an efficient and productive operation?

The basic scenario for METS in this country has changed significantly over the last couple of years, in line with the changing commodity prices. Clients now want faster service, greater levels of innovation and cheaper prices - and ideally they wanted it yesterday! The pressure is on for everyone to reinvent their operations.

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Most METS that we see are bending over backwards to meet their clients’ needs. Where they cause themselves problems is that whilst they are bending over to meet Client A’s needs, they hurt Client B. If they manage to keep all their clients happy somehow, they can then become ineffective in what they do, in regards to return for themselves, i.e. they are putting clients above their own commercial returns.

This is creating what’s seen as a conflict for many companies, between servicing all their clients at the desired level and making a strong commercial return for themselves. We often have to sit down with these companies and explain that if they’re not making a strong commercial return for themselves, then they’re hurting clients in the long term, because they won’t survive.

The bottom line is: you can provide excellent service to clients, at a good commercial return to you, the service provider. Yes, the gold rush boom time has passed and there are adjustments to cost structures required, but you can still run your business well and support clients better than you used to, whilst making a profit.

Do you see common opportunities to increase profitability across the service providers who manufacture equipment, and the mining and mineral companies who are processing their ore? After 2 years of pushing for improved productivity and efficiency, are there any “easy wins” left for any organizations?

There are definitely wins left, although some will be easier than others. The principles of better manufacturing date back to Henry Ford in the 1920s, with everyone consistently looking to reduce cost. Nearly 100 years later, opportunities still remain for cost reduction and there will be still another 100 years from now, be that with ore processing, or the services that support them.

The first key area for focus is increased collaboration between the miners and the service providers, compared to how they have worked in the past. The end goal in this collaboration is getting the process to run more smoothly and effectively between all players. We’ve moved from the average plant shutdown taking 72 hours to now having to do the same amount of work 48 hours or less, but now we need to concentrate as a collective effort on maximizing what is achieved during this time.

What is needed between the contractors and the miners is a better integration with safety and maintenance groups at the mine themselves, from shift structures through to culture and KPIs.

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The second key area, specifically for METS, is that many of them are not supplying to everyone in Australia or the Asia Pacific region who could possibly buy from them. The opportunity lies in considering who else in the local mines, or in APAC, could be buying from them, and embarking upon an awareness campaign. We still run into plenty of companies who really fit the definition of the world’s best kept secret! They have a fantastic product or service, but you can walk into any number of mining companies and they’ve never been heard of.

So in summary, better collaboration, a greater reach for METS companies and ensuring you are not the world’s best kept secret are essential to growth in this sector.

How important is it for the drive for change to come from the very top of an organization, in order to see significant improvement?

Textbooks are very keen on drive for change needing to come from the top. Having change come from the top is great, I’m not going to decry that; it’s fantastic if the head of the company is on board. However, this shouldn’t be used as an excuse, as it often is, that until the CEO or another senior executive, puts the spotlight on a department that no change will be initiated within it.

Having senior level support can certainly make effecting change easier, in terms of resource, support or direction. There are local changes though, that will make your customers’ lives easier and help to build some momentum for greater change from within. Don’t use your boss having different priorities as an excuse to not make change! Everyone is responsible for influencing change that can provide a better value service for the client.

Do you see people or technology as the solution to the challenges being faced by the manufacturing industry here in Australia?

I would see the intelligent use of technology in a commercially sensible framework as the answer.

I’ve seen companies and clients go to a trade show and simply purchase the latest machine on offer there, with no commercial background done on it prior, after which it sits in the background of the mining or manufacturing operation, costing the company money.

It is fundamentally essential to have the right people in place, the A-graders, who are really driving the creativity of the business and can then leverage technology where it’s commercially sensible to do so.

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Dec 3, 2020

Net zero benefits the mining industry and the environment

digital mining
Dan Brightmore
3 min
Learn how to future proof your business for a zero-carbon world with help from Emitwise and the Oren Marketplace.
Learn how to future proof your business for a zero-carbon world with help from Emitwise and the Oren Marketplace...

How do we get the world to net-zero faster?

Emitwise’s founders, Mauro Cozzi, Eduardo Gómez and Ben Peddie, approached a network of more than 100 of the world's largest enterprises and asked their CEOs, CFOs, and sustainability managers the big question: How do we get the world to net-zero faster? The challenge many shared was the lack of timely and accurate emissions data to enable strategic decisions. Companies often relied on annual audits of their carbon footprint for carbon accounting purposes. However, static yearly results were outdated upon publishing.

Emitwise saves companies an average of 260 working days a year by automating their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions data. With the added benefits of clean audit trails and auto-populated accounting reports in line with GHG Protocol, all at the click of a button. Their easy to use solution enables businesses to quickly identify the carbon hotspots to target, and the precise real-time data empowers teams to remain agile and respond effectively, making achieving those goals possible.

Unique AI Technology

Emitwise’s unique AI technology empowers businesses to automatically measure, report and reduce their carbon footprint across their operations and supply chain, future-proofing companies for a zero-carbon world. It is the only solution that enables companies to fully automate their carbon accounting across all business units and suppliers, therefore liberating them from the drudgery of collecting and processing emissions data.

By using artificial intelligence to precisely measure emissions in real-time, businesses can identify and tackle carbon hotspots swiftly, enabling them to devise a trackable roadmap to net-zero carbon. At the same time, accurate audit trails and auto-populated annual reports ensure that companies comply with international reporting requirements, and align businesses with global climate targets to mitigate risk across their operations and supply chain. 

The Oren Marketplace

Environmental management, social license to operate, safety, renewable energy to lower emissions and operational efficiency for mining can be supported by a range of digital solutions enabling dynamic operations. To address these issues, Shell and IBM joined forces to create the Oren Marketplace – the first B2B solutions platform for the mining sector. 

With the adoption of many of the digital solutions offered through Oren, mining companies can adapt in real-time to risks or adjust plans ahead of a problem occurring. The goal is a shift towards proactive management as the optimal outcome for all stakeholders – community, shareholders, and employees.

Emitwise was founded with the goal of helping industries across all sectors reduce their carbon footprint. Similarly, Shell aims to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, or sooner, in step with society and its customers. And Oren is focused on offering innovative products and services that can help mining companies track and reduce their emissions. 

“Oren is the starting point for how we help our mining customers to de-carbonise,” explains Carol Chen, Global Lubricants Marketing, Vice President, Shell. “It’s our ambition to work with sectors like mining to help them find their own pathway to net-zero emissions through collaboration. The Oren marketplace offers a great opportunity for collaboration between the miners and technology companies that are joining this digital marketplace.” 

Web Summit

Emitwise will be showcasing its vision for a net-zero future live from Lisbon at this year’s Web Summit. Bringing together the people and companies redefining the global tech industry, the online event welcomes 100,000+ attendees from around the world to hear from more than 800 speakers and view offerings from 2,500 startups covering a vast range of topics from Data Science and Climate Change to AI and Machine Learning. To find out more and book your ticket visit Web Summit. 

Emitwise is one of many solutions providers on the Oren platform seeking to address the pain points and environmental concerns of heavy industries like mining. To discover a range of solutions that can further support your operation’s digital transformation and commitment to sustainability, visit the Oren Marketplace.

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