TOMRA Insight moves into mining
TOMRA Insight, the cloud-based data platform which enables sorting machine users to improve operational efficiencies, is being rolled out in the mining industry.
For mining and mineral processing companies, its ability to collect detailed data from TOMRA’s sorting machines means that previously hidden information can lead to improvements in efficiencies and profitability.
Albert du Preez, Senior Vice President and Head of TOMRA Mining, said: “Mineral processors can now move from making decisions based on experience and local observations to decisions based on experience and hard facts. This means TOMRA Insight can help reduce waste rock and downstream processing costs, enabling processors to earn more dollars per ton.”
One pre-launch user of the subscription-based service, Black Chrome Mine in South Africa - one of two mining projects that form the basis of the Sail Group’s plans for long-term sustainable chrome production - was connected to sorting machines at the start of 2020, and the data platform has led to improvements in process monitoring and streamlining, more efficient line-feeding and machine running times, and reduced downtime.
Felix Flemming, Vice President and Head of Digital at TOMRA Sorting, commented: “By capturing and using valuable data, TOMRA Insight is transforming sorting from an operational process into a strategic management tool. This tool is constantly becoming more powerful as we continuously develop it in response to customers’ needs and priorities. New functionalities and features are released every three weeks – a routine during which TOMRA works closely with customers in pursuit of shared objectives.”
Data is gathered in near real-time, stored securely in the cloud, and can be accessed anywhere and across plants via a web portal available for desktop and mobile devices, providing valuable performance metrics that help businesses optimise machine performance.
Operating costs are reduced by simplifying spare part ordering and flexible access to data and documentation. Downtime is reduced by monitoring machine health and performance in near real-time, identifying gaps in production and analyzing potential root causes, by supporting the management moving to predictive and condition-based maintenance, and by preventing unscheduled machine shutdowns.
Data is analysed on behalf of customers by TOMRA Mining engineers, and key findings shared in confidential reports supplied to customers monthly. This arrangement has the advantage of combining objective statistical analysis with the interpretive skills of a service team familiar with the customer’s unique challenges.
BHP, Rio Tinto & Vale launch Charge On Innovation Challenge
Mining giants BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto have launched the 'Charge On' Innovation Challenge to solve one of the biggest challenges the industry faces today - decarbonising mining operations.
'Charge On' Innovation Challenge
In partnership with Austmine, Australia's leading mining equipment, technology and services industry association, founding patrons BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto have launched the competition to encourage technology innovators to develop new concepts for large-scale haul truck electrification systems. The main goal is cutting emissions from surface mining operations.
“The mining industry needs to be at the forefront of tackling the climate challenge. The Charge On Innovation Challenge is a great example of the current collaborative work being done by the mining industry and mobile equipment manufacturers to decarbonise mining fleets,” the trio said in a media statement.
“In addition to providing a zero-carbon energy source, the conversion of mobile mining equipment to battery-electric can potentially unlock value, as electric motors have fewer moving parts when compared to standard equipment.”
A number of non-traditional mining sector vendors are actively developing technologies that can assist in mine electrification. By submitting a Challenge to the market, the Patrons of Charge On expect to:
- Demonstrate there is an emerging market for charging solutions in mining
- Accelerate commercialization of solutions
- Indicate to suppliers, the mining industry seeks interoperable solutions
- Maintain multiple actors and competition in the supply chain
- Integrate innovations from other sectors into the mining sector
"We expect some solutions identified in the Challenge could provide propulsion to existing diesel-electric trucks. This may present a pathway to early implementation for dynamic charging solutions," the trio said.
Found patrons BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto are pledging their commitment to fighting climate change:
"The mining industry has an important role to reduce emissions and do our part to achieve the Paris Agreement goals to limit the impacts of climate change."
The Charge On Innovation Challenge asks vendors to present interoperable solutions that can safely deliver electricity to large battery-electric off-road haul trucks in a way that maintains or improves current productivity levels. Specifically, mechanisms capable of delivering in the order of 400kWh of electricity to each truck within a haul cycle (ie load, travel, dump, return, queue). The delivered electricity is to charge a battery, and if applicable directly propel the truck.
Austmine CEO Christine Gibbs Stewart commented: “We expect the Challenge will attract companies from a broad range of sectors including mining, automotive, aerospace, agriculture, and defence to deliver selected charging concepts to create a standard product that can interface with all trucks."
More information about the challenge will be released on May 18.
The competition echoes growing efforts being made across the industry to tackle emmissions and promote electrification. In march this year, the Electric Mine Consortium was launched. It's founding members include Gold Fields, Dassualt Systemes and Sandvik who pledged their commitment to decarbonising mining operations.