IMMay20-FleetManagement MAY FLEET MANAGEMENT - Page 11

FLEET MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS comprehensive historic data sets and know processes in detail. This can only be done with big data and state of the art analytics. Applying such technologies can make decisions faster and better, even when it comes to dispatch systems. The future dispatch system will allocate the operational resources of a mine by itself and might only need input for prioritisation, when machine-external information from operators or strategic decisions by the management cannot be sourced and processed automatically.” Underground FMS – a technology partnership GroundHog Apps is one of a new breed of companies offering what it calls connected miner software to the mining industry. To illustrate its type of solution, it cited to IM an unnamed customer, one of the largest gold mining companies in the world, whose leadership team decided to launch a digital transformation initiative. The overarching objective was to reduce all-in sustaining costs (AISC) by giving team members the enhanced in-shift decision-making capabilities required to consistently meet production goals and significantly reduce variance to plan in every shift. The group decided to implement a combination of a Short Interval Control System, a Fleet Management System and a Real-Time Location Tracking System. The customer chose GroundHog as a technology partner for its key operations. GroundHog worked with the customer to build a digital SIC system, which included configuration and customisations of the system. Several years before implementing GroundHog, the customer had deployed a fleet management system that was typically deployed in open pit operations to help manage its underground operations. The main challenges the customer faced according to GroundHog included special purpose hardware that could only be bought from the vendor plus the system also relied on local compact flash storage cards that were discontinued. Very poor online/offline capabilities which resulted in data loss that also led to unreliable reports. Data needed to frequently be reviewed and updated by dispatch and supervisors. Poor customer support since the system was installed required a technician to visit the site to perform any service activity. Plus significant amounts of custom development was needed to integrate with other system to generate reports for management. Reporting of shift tasks was paper-based and required multiple manual steps, such as data entry and aggregation in Excel. As a result, the accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of the data were often compromised. The old system also required operators to be within network range to update shift activities. However, because of connectivity limitations in underground mines, 28 International Mining | MAY 2020 operators typically stayed outside of the range for long periods. As a result, some data entered was not captured and required re-entry. “The old system did not provide a holistic view of mine operations, such as real- time data related to personnel, equipment, and material movements. As a result, management was limited in its ability to drive optimum production, causing frequent and significant deviations from operating plans.” To help the customer achieve its goals of reducing AISC and improving operational efficiency by at least 20% without adding staff or equipment, GroundHog says it was chosen as the key technology partner for two reasons. “First, GroundHog is a cutting-edge mining production control platform built from the ground up and designed to be run on standard off-the-shelf iOS and Android hardware, and it offered the critical functionality that the customer sought. Second, GroundHog had earned a reputation for extreme speed, responsiveness, and exceptional customer support in the industry.” The solution met a number of customer-specific requirements including the ability to display tasks in a dynamic Gantt chart format by shift, activity, and location. GroundHog works with existing planning and scheduling software, which shows task progress and expected completion times in a Gantt chart that is updated in real-time. This format provides a visual representation of dependencies and their impact on production timelines. “Real-time updates allow you to visualise the downstream consequences of any event at a granular level (individual operator and location), enabling the customer to take immediate corrective action.” Its system also automatically assigns tasks to equipment and operators. GroundHog’s scheduling system imports long-range schedules and “tunable parameters” from the customer’s production plan or even a passdown sheet created using Excel. A capability matrix identifies skill and effectiveness index, matches operator to equipment, and creates shift task lists for supervisors to review and dispatch. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and reports allow supervisors, operations managers and management to derive insights and facilitate optimisation as required. They also wanted to be able to communicate detailed task information, including all updates, in real-time to each operator. “GroundHog SIC simplifies the user experience for every operator type and optimises the clicks (or taps) required to perform an action or reach a goal. After operators log into groundHog SIC on their machine, they see their schedule for the shift or the day. Operators During a shift, GroundHog captures production data from each individual operator working on a piece of equipment at every location in the mine use the app to follow the schedule and update progress.” GroundHog’s solutions also allows tracking of locations of equipment and workers in real-time via 3D maps and tracking production manually and automatically by operator, equipment, and location (heading) within the mine. During a shift, GroundHog captures production data from each individual operator working on a piece of equipment at every location in the mine. As the shift progresses, each operator uses a tablet to manually update progress. “For activities that require only time data and not counts, such as buckets or truckloads, the tablets track progress automatically. The system updates progress instantly for all operators whose tablets are connected to WiFi. For those who are not connected, the tablet stores data onboard and submits it automatically when wifi returns. For mines that choose to deploy GroundHog Peer-to- Peer (P2), the data can also be transferred through the P2P network without requiring additional hardware.” The solutions also allows the user to open APIs that enable GroundHog to connect with various 3rd party software such as SAP, OSI Pi, Data Lakes on Amazon Web Services and Azure, and other mining software. “GroundHog captures data on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, enabling quick operational assessments from the command centre, while streamlining health and safety inspections and maximising compliance with environmental impact regulations. The outputs produced from equipment and infrastructure are integrated to deliver insights.” GroundHog told IM that the customer achieved an increase in 36% more tonnes to surface relative to the original goal of 20%. Face utilisation, equipment utilisation and personnel utilisation also significantly increased. The customer also uses a combination of GroundHog’s inbuilt reports and PowerBI reports to monitor performance in near real time. IM