IM January 2024 January 24 | Page 36

“ You can derive insights in parallel with events that are happening if you train it with machinelearning techniques ,” Marshall said . “ This is an approach we are taking with the soft sensors on hydrocyclones along with cyclone regime operation control . It will also come into play at a later date with HPGRs and HPGRs in conjunction with upstream and downstream equipment – the crusher and the screen , for example .”
There is nothing to say that it will end there , with Motion Metrics solutions that leverage other smart rugged cameras and sensors – for monitoring of particle size distribution , rock hardness , etc – an obvious progression area for the Synertrex platform .
These capabilities are only going to be further strengthened with Weir Group ’ s recent acquisition of SentianAI , a developer of AI-based solutions that optimise performance in minerals processing .
In the near future one can expect to see the company ’ s Scope 4 avoided emissions calculations come into the Synertrex ecosystem , with Marshall confirming that emission dashboards for Enduron HPGRs are being readied for deployment later this year .
Marshall is certain mining ’ s move to net-zero operations in future decades will strengthen the business case for platforms like Synertrex .
“ With our redefined flowsheet – an HPGR with stirred mills and coarse particle flotation , for instance – the process plant starts to look more complex and interactive ,” he said . “ This represents a sea change for experienced operators of today that have been used to fewer pieces of equipment in the plant and less interaction between the comminution and processing stages , meaning you will have to apply these AI techniques effectively to optimise the overall process .”
A focus on forecasting
RPMGlobal ’ s AMT asset management solution has been used by miners , OEMs and mining contractors for two decades , and it continues to offer the industry much in the face of ongoing supply chain disruptions .
The company noted in a recent results announcement that AMT was poised to become “ the mining industry ’ s de facto standard for mobile mining equipment maintenance for the Tier 1 and 2 miners and mining OEMs ”.
Some of the platform ’ s uniqueness is based around a dynamic life cycle costing engine known as DLCC . This engine links the life cycle costing of an asset to its servicing strategy , thereby keeping a live financial forecast for each asset to a component level . This provides AMT users with powerful information when it comes to managing their assets across their whole business , RPM says .
AMT was designed to work seamlessly alongside and enhance an organisation ’ s Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP ) software , such as SAP . By integrating closely with the transactional , financial and maintenance data , information flows each way , ensuring an accurate picture of each asset with each and every business transaction in the ERP , according to company .
The solution was initially built for OEMs and their dealers , yet it has also become part and parcel of the maintenance regime for miners and contractors who recognise its comprehensive benefits in strategy and asset optimisation , maintenance budgeting and overall life cycle costing approach , David Batkin , Executive General Manager – Product Strategy , and Antonio Carioca , Product Manager – Asset Management , told IM .
AMT ’ s core functionality has been retained over the 21 years it has been in circulation , but the company has committed to continuous innovation based on engagements with the AMT user community , understanding their evolving challenges and requirements , and ensuring RPM adapts to changing industry needs .
One such adaptation was the release of AMT Mobile , a dedicated application providing field technicians , managers and supervisors the ability to digitise forms and processes while operating remotely . This was redeveloped from the ground up with a Tier 1 mining company , according to Batkin and Carioca .
“ We are currently working on several initiatives that customers will see come to market through our development roadmap in the near future ,” they added .
Some of these developments could involve the increasing use of AI within AMT .
“ This goes from using generative AI to assisting with our key performance indicators , reporting functionality and data conversions , right through to incorporating AI and machine learning to enhance the predictive maintenance capabilities AMT already delivers out of the box ,” Batkin and Carioca said .
A recent RPM acquisition uses a proprietary and cutting-edge AI algorithm to improve inventory management and predict orders , which has already been integrated into the AMT offering . This , RPM says , has given the solution a unique capability in this space that hasn ’ t been previously offered and is providing excellent returns . “ Expanding this AI into other relevant areas is already underway and is a very exciting development area for us ,” they added .
COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine may be the two most recently cited examples of supply chain disruption that has tested APM , but RPM says the solution has weathered similar challenges over its extensive history .
“ Our global presence has assisted customers who have faced extended lead times due to their geographic locations , sometimes dealing with delays of 180 days or longer ,” Batkin and Carioca said . “ This context has showcased one of AMT ’ s core strengths : its robust component and parts forecasting capability . These capabilities are not just a feature ; they have become essential for our clients and are one of the most significant benefits of a solution that forecasts every maintenance event over an equipment ’ s lifecycle .”
Such capabilities enable miners to plan and manage inventory effectively and , in many cases , facilitate advantageous negotiations and agreements with equipment dealers , according to the company .
Typically , clients report significant cost savings and efficiency improvements across the board within the first year of an AMT implementation , RPM says , finding efficiencies in optimising component replacement schedules to extend their lifespans where viable , pinpointing optimal equipment retirement dates and minimising unplanned work .
Short-term gains are not all AMT offers , according to Batkin and Carioca .
“ RPMGlobal is dedicated to revolutionising mine maintenance , and a key aspect of it is enhancing equipment uptime ,” they said . “ Cost is always a key factor ; however , many clients also focus on equipment availability and the link between the two . How does the decision you make today impact the equipment availability of tomorrow ?” Referred to as ‘ maintenance debt ’, RPM ’ s approach involves responding to the immediate maintenance needs and proactively anticipating future challenges .
“ This is achieved by integrating advanced predictive analytics that consider historical maintenance data , current maintenance plans and production requirements ,” Batkin and Carioca explained . “ This gives users true visibility of their decisions ’ impact on availability and an understanding of the debt they are reducing or creating .”
The next frontier in mine maintenance
Molycop is a household name across the globe for forged grinding media , however , in recent years , acquisitions and in-house innovations have seen it embed itself up- and down-stream of this segment in areas such as advanced instrumentation , process control , data capture and visualisation , data integration with AI and advanced analytics overlays .
This end-to-end oversight can deliver throughput , recovery , efficiency and sustainability outcomes for clients , illustrated through many case studies in various areas of the process flowsheet .
34 International Mining | JANUARY 2024