The mining industry represents around 12 percent of the world GDP, measured by revenues and products sold. The sector is transforming at an unprecedented rate than ever before with spurring technologies and innovations, including remote operating centres, data analytics, drones, powerful geological tools, advanced mine planning software and automation. However, as the mining space is currently in the initial phase of implementing IoT, Big Data and Analytics, operators in this filed require up to date with the latest, emerging technologies.
The amalgamation and utilization of these technologies remain a challenge to optimizing the mining system. Thus, it needs the industry’s vision of a connected mine. The major factor in this pursuit is the network infrastructure and communications systems deployed on site. Most mining companies today are in quest of how to create a connected mine They seek to capitalize on greater data access, real-time analytics, autonomous systems and services like remote monitoring.
In this way, they first need a network infrastructure which will bring in line all of those technologies and capabilities together. Eventually, enhanced connectivity is vital to the future of mining and supporting the value chain.
Move to Digitalisation
For decades, the nature of the mining sector has remained the same. And to accomplish innovation on productivity performance demands to reconsider how the industry works. So, to achieve such a potential breakthrough, mining companies must leverage digital and technology innovations that could revolutionize key aspects of mining.
However, a McKinsey report shows that global mining productivity has plunged 3.5 percent a year over the past decade. While the industry outlook waned, many mining companies have canceled or cut expansion plans and refocused on performing more with less. This results in mining productivity has leveled off and even started to mend in some locations and commodities.
The report further compared mining with other industries including oil and gas, steel and oil refining. The report found a global average overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) performance of 27 percent for underground mining, 39 percent for open-pit mining, and 69 percent for crushing and grinding, compared with 88 percent for upstream oil and gas, 90 percent for steel, and 92 percent for oil refining. With these stats, the mining industry certainly differs from other sectors.
So, to seize the opportunity, leveraging digital technologies enable modern mining operations to reach new levels of performance across the entire mining value chain. In this context, mining companies must make use of digital tools and capabilities. According to Accenture, the Digital Mine uses the best of digital technology and IoT cloud or on-premise platforms in order to connect the mining value chain from mine to market and from sensor to boardroom.
Moreover, data from siloed databases such as fleet management, dispatch, historians and ERP solutions is consolidated. Once it completed, powerful analytics can be run to deliver operational intelligence and trend analysis, enabling users to better understand the operation and embed productivity improvements through dynamic planning and scheduling, dynamic dispatch, and unification, based on customer order and market economics.
Furthermore, while effective data analysis becomes inevitable, digital solutions are developing and evolving. This will lead to lessened down-time and improved efficiency in the mining industry.