5 Ways IoT will Revamp the Mining Sector in 2016
Predicting mining downtim...
Pressed for profits and low prices, mining companies are investing in IoT and Data to change their business for the better.
Predicting mining downtime
Because IoT makes sense of large amounts of data captured from machines, it uncovers valuable insight into the health and performance of equipment and infrastructure. For example, General Electric is developing a sensor network based on the principles of loT to monitor turbines constantly in order to reduce downtime.
Mining companies can measure in real-time things like fluid temperatures, levels, pressures, contamination; bearing rotations, temperature, and vibrations; frame rack, bias, and pitch (affected by load and road conditions); engine speed and gear position; brake pressure and temperature; drive train performance; and vibrations at various locations in the truck (especially bearings). These predictive analytics help identify impending problems early in order to avoid unexpected downtimes or failures.
Operational efficiency in mining
The Internet of Things will allow companies to improve efficiency and service by enabling physical objects like haul trucks--embedded with electronics, software and sensors--to exchange data with manufacturers and other machines and connected devices. Think about it: giant trucks on programmed and responsive routes hauling ore autonomously, while drones monitor and measure surface operations and equipment is located, scheduled and monitored with adaptive feedback loops to maximize production.
By improving truck availability or reducing downtime, and improving the diagnostics and troubleshooting capabilities of the mine operations and maintenance teams, companies can greatly enhance the efficiency of mine operations.
Mining safety revolutionized
Mining is an inherently dangerous profession and safety concerns are at an all-time high. In the future, however, all that will change.
Along with incorporating location/proximity sensors and warning technology in mining equipment, companies will use the Internet of Things to integrate “people tracking, communications, video surveillance and analytics, and real-time personal health management. Simply put, the Internet of Things will enable companies to continuously improve its safety by analyzing hazards, incidents, near misses and safety observations. By connecting machines, data and people together, companies can not only perform better, faster and more reliable but safety risks are a thing of the past.
Real time mining data and information
The Internet of Things is expected to be a catalyst to intelligent decision making in the mining sector and will overall improve how traditional processes and activities are done. For example, GPS tracking of material movements, as well as camera views of production, further improve the planners’ decisions, providing all production information, including materials, logistics, schedules, and energy, across the plant supply chain. The loT has the ability to streamline the flow of information, enable real-time decisions and open new opportunities in mining by simply connecting people, machines, items, and services.
The mining industry is already leveraging the Internet of Things in wireless mining automation and connected mines projects. Since 2008, Rio Tinto has been using autonomous, self-driving mining trucks in Western Australia and Fortescue Metals Group began their journey with Caterpillar in 2012 when the miner implemented Cat’s MineStar technology in the first phase of their Solomon iron ore mine in Australia.
By integrating the Internet of Things with all of its automated activities, mining companies can create real-time multi-dimensional models from a variety of data sources including the sensors on the equipment as well as geological and other data. Therefore this system can then be used to optimize the mine’s layout, operation, vehicle paths, and so forth, coordinating all the moving pieces for the most efficient operation.
Axora launches global challenge for digital technology
Axora is launching the world’s first international competition to discover new cost-saving digital technology for industrial companies, which can produce rapid benefits within a year.
The Metals & Mining and Oil & Gas sectors have recently experienced budget cuts of 20% on average, driven by a variety of factors including the global pandemic, slump in demand and price wars. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge aims to transform these industries by discovering innovative, digital solutions that reduce cost fast and pay for themselves, whilst achieving the same or improved productivity, health and safety and sustainability standards.
“While digital solutions can help to get work done quicker and more cost-effectively, they typically require a three-year ROI, and if there’s no flexibility in the budget, a full budget planning cycle is needed to get things moving”, said Dr. Nick Mayhew, Chief Commercial Officer, Axora.
“Yet, extra financial cost is often incurred in delaying digital projects, so customers have asked us to highlight solutions that can have an ‘in year payback’ whereby the cost spent on the solution and deployment will be more than recovered within the budget year - this accelerates the timeline and drives positive business impact, quickly.”
The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge
Axora is keen to learn of any digital cost-saving innovation which: meets the 12-month payback timeframe; can be deployed in any part of the value chain including upstream, downstream or midstream oil and gas, metals processing or mining; and is ready for market. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge is open to entrepreneurs, start-ups, academics and sector leaders across the world. The competition will be judged by a panel of leading industry experts.
“We’re passionate about supporting our industries and customers through all forms of digital transformation and the cost-saving solutions we are searching for could also provide a lifeline to many mining and metals and oil and gas companies in the current economic climate,” added Dr. Mayhew.
Improving productivity, safety and sustainability
Up to ten finalists will be chosen to pitch their solutions at a digital pitch day later this year, after which Axora will validate the ROI models and vet the solutions. The winner will receive the ‘Axora Market Accelerator’ sales and marketing package worth £10,000. This includes a two-hour workshop, promotion through Axora’s thought leadership content and inclusion into its digital demand engines, providing the opportunity for the winning solution to benefit thousands of industrial companies. Entries are open until May 31. Full details of the competition including terms and conditions can be found here.
To learn more about the Axora B2B digital solutions marketplace read our feature in the latest issue of Mining Global magazine.