Despite the travel restriction difficulties associated with COVID-19, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology says it has found novel and innovative solutions to overcoming these challenges, ensuring the company maintains its leading positions in the automation and digitalisation fields.
Considering the company first introduced automation solutions into its product offering some 15 years ago and digital technologies 10 years ago, it has been leading the way in helping the mining industry adopt and embrace the modernisation revolution.
“The African mining industry has traditionally shied away from embracing new technologies, but COVID-19 has been the push factor in accelerating the necessity to adopt change, and this has happened rapidly as mines have had to learn to operate remotely and with limited resources owing to COVID-19,” Simon Andrews, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology Vice President for Sales in Southern Africa, says.
The adoption of new technologies, however, is no longer the primary objective. Finding ways to implement them remotely has now become the focus, Andrews says.
With the philosophy of working towards finding a solution for any challenge, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has introduced a headset to enable personnel to walk and talk anyone through the process of commissioning a machine and associated software without having ever seen it before.
Niel McCoy, Automation Business Development Manager for Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “This offering removes all barriers associated with the inability to connect physically on the ground and is a mechanism of training in itself.”
Coupled with this new skillset and offering is Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s ability to utilise its highly skilled personnel.
“Our top-level experts within the business are no longer time restricted by travel and are able to utilise their skillset across multiple mines on a more frequent basis, something we had never considered in the past but is an exercise already reaping great success,” McCoy says.
As a result of the company’s efforts in ensuring digital technologies, and the implementation thereof, remain a top agenda for clients – regardless of remote working conditions, lockdown restrictions, etc – Sandvik has established a new communication process with its clients that, it says, is paying off.
“Never before have we communicated so effectively or as frequently with our clients as we do now,” Andrews says. “We know more about our sites now than we ever did before, which naturally provides us with the ability to better assist our clients in any areas that we can contribute towards and give input on.”