Tag Archives: Argus

MineWare Argus Wheel Loader achieves North America first with CAT 992 installation

MineWare’s new Argus Wheel Loader has made its debut in North America, with the OEM-independent wheel loader monitoring system having recently been installed on a CAT 992K operating at a gold mine in Nevada, USA.

The system, purchased to improve wheel loader truck payload management and performance at the operation, was installed in July by the company’s North America team.

On top of it being the first commercial deployment of MineWare’s Argus WL monitoring system in the North America region, it is also MineWare’s first system installation on a CAT 992K wheel loader, the company told IM.

The release of Argus WL in February followed 18 months of field trials conducted across three Western Australia mine sites.

Argus WL improves wheel loader efficiency, effectiveness and payload accuracy, according to the Komatsu-owned company. “The system weighs each bucket in real time, without the need to stop and calculate payload before dumping the load,” it said.

“Often dubbed as ‘support’ equipment, the wheel loader makes it possible for the primary loading and hauling equipment to do their jobs more efficiently,” MineWare said. “When a large wheel loader has the capacity to replace a small digger, it’s vital not to forget the importance of these assets and the impact they have on mining productivity and profitability.”

The company concluded: “MineWare’s Argus Wheel Loader system is OEM independent/agnostic. Our ‘all makes, all models’ approach gives customers the best opportunity to standardise systems across mixed fleets of equipment.

“For example, on this one particular customer site, MineWare supports three different equipment makes and models: Komatsu, Hitachi and CAT.”

MineWare takes Argus to new heights at Chile copper mine

MineWare says it has recently completed its first high-altitude installation of its Argus monitoring system at one of Chile’s largest copper mines.

While technology continues to digitise and automate many mining processes – with the company recently helping a major copper mine in Chile set up its Argus and Pegasys monitoring systems on five of its electric rope shovels without stepping foot on site – there are still some tasks that need to be managed on the ground, it says.

Reflecting on a recent installation of MineWare’s Argus monitoring system on a P&H 4100XPC shovel at this large copper mine in Chile, MineWare’s Vice President for South America, Ramiro Mesina, said his team specialise in adapting and responding to clients’ environmental conditions.

“We pride ourselves on understanding the unique challenges and opportunities at each of our clients’ sites,” he said. “Our technology has been developed to support this and our team are well-versed in solving complex problems.

“Our recent work in Chile saw our team manage an installation of our Argus monitoring system at an altitude of 4,800 m above sea level in -10°C temperatures with occasional earthquakes: definitely not your every-day situation.

“While this was our first high-altitude installation, the process and care our team puts into planning this type of operation is tried and tested. Efficient project management and coordination, led by our Regional Operations Manager, Hector Mendoza, was key to ensuring a successful installation as well as the safety of all involved.”

In addition to the location of the mining site, the MineWare team also needed to manage this process during a global pandemic. Mining sites in South America have continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 situation, however for many this has been at a reduced level or with a skeleton staff.

Mesina said the strict COVID-19 regulations put in place to protect worker’s health and safety meant there was also minimal on-site assistance to support MineWare’s installation process.

“This was another factor we needed to address in our planning,” he said. “We knew we needed to reconsider logistics as there would be challenges with making resources and vehicles available.

The Argus E in-cab operator display

“We determined that the most efficient process would be to add additional time to our preparation on-site and run the installation over four night shifts. This allowed our team to identify any other issues prior to the installation while taking into consideration the potential impact of the altitude on our team.”

Mesina said the team successfully completed the installation on schedule, with only a couple of small earthquakes halting the progress on-site.

Argus is an advanced monitoring system for electric shovels, hydraulic excavators and wheel loaders.

The interoperable solution captures and shares valuable operating data to on site and remote mining personnel in real time to optimise payload performance, mine compliance and machine health, according to the company.

MineWare integrates mining value chain with new Argus tool

MineWare has introduced an advanced Material Classification module for its Argus Shovel Monitor to, it says, enable mine sites to save millions of dollars by reducing the amount of lost or contaminated ore.

The module integrates precise material information from each bucket, per the mine plan, with any fleet management system to give machine operators, haul truck drivers and processing personnel more accurate knowledge and feedback on the type of material being loaded and hauled, it said.

MineWare Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Roy Pater, said by knowing upfront what exactly is being loaded at the face, the Argus Material Classification Module improves what material is being moved through the value chain – from pit to plant.

“Argus sets up the entire workflow for better success, providing the right feedback to more people and processes downstream to make informed decisions,” he said. “Shovel operators can now see in real time, via an intuitive, colour-coded display screen, the type and grade of material being loaded, not just the quantity of material.

“Unlike traditional systems that just track material via machine position, Argus precisely monitors each bucket fill and position, classifying the material in real time via a block model overlay on the Argus screen. The operator knows exactly what they’re digging, and where. Argus removes subjectivity when interpreting boundaries and reduces the risk of grade contamination at the dig face.”

Pater said operators no longer need to change grade manually or make assumptions on what they are digging, with the improvement in classification of material upstream having a positive effect on operations downstream.

“Better classification of material in the pit leads to better production output by knowing exactly what’s going in the truck and where it needs to go,” he said.

Argus feeds this material information from the shovel through to the mine’s fleet management system in real time.

Pater said: “The driver then knows exactly where to take the material based on its type and concentration – whether that’s a stockpile, waste point or straight to the crusher for processing.”

Poor stockpile management, ore loss, dilution and grade contamination are common challenges for mining operations, costing millions of dollars annually, according to Pater, with many of these downstream problems and efficiencies in mining directly linked to upstream load and haul processes.

“The misallocation of even a single bucket of high-grade ore can lead to significant monetary losses for mines, either in the pit or in the processing plant,” he said. “At the other end of the spectrum, highly acidic waste material must also be allocated correctly to ensure its safe removal and disposal.”

Pater said the new technology meets the global mining industry’s need for instant, on-demand access to information across a mine that can only be achieved by sharing data in real time between the various mining systems.

“By connecting more of the dots and closing the feedback loop between loading, hauling, dumping and crushing, Argus addresses these issues head on,” he said.

Detailed material classification compliance reports also help geologists, surveyors and reconciliation engineers meet their legal reporting obligations, with easier access to more accurate data on what and how material has been distributed on site, MineWare says.

Argus is an advanced monitoring system for electric and hydraulic loaders, designed to manage payload, mine compliance, machine health and situational awareness.

MineWare goes remote for latest Argus and Pegasys deployments

MineWare has been ramping up its remote deployment offering during these challenging times, with the Komatsu-owned company’s local teams recently helping a major copper mine in Chile set up its Argus monitoring system on five of its electric rope shovels without stepping foot on site.

The company is focused on helping its customers stay operational and keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and CEO, Jason Fisher, said the company’s ability to adapt and innovate had proven key to finding new and different ways to meet customers’ needs in the field given numerous virus-related constraints.

“Remote monitoring, service and support is a fundamental part of our business. It’s what we know and what we do best,” he said.

“During the pandemic, we’ve pushed the boundaries of these capabilities to help our customers protect their workforce while continuing to drive forward productivity and efficiency.

“Our local field support teams around the world have transitioned to deliver more services remotely, thinking outside the box to perform tasks traditionally delivered on the ground, like the deployment of new systems.”

Fisher said innovation, collaboration and communication have been critical success factors in helping customers adapt to the changing environment.

Referencing the Argus deployment at the Chile copper mine, he said: “Calibrating multiple systems, for the first time virtually, was a historic achievement, made possible by the collective efforts of our remote teams working in close partnership with customer teams in the field.”

Argus, an advanced monitoring system for electric and hydraulic loaders, is designed to manage payload, mine compliance, machine health and situational awareness.

The company’s North American team has also recently been successful in completing its first 100% remote Pegasys dragline system calibration, with instruction to and assistance from the customer, Fisher added.

Pegasys is, MineWare says, an advanced payload and mine compliance monitoring system for draglines that enables mine sites to establish best operator practice.

Fisher believes there will be increased demand from the global mining industry for innovative solutions that facilitate greater connections between remote and in-field workers.

“As we start to see many of the large mining companies return to normal rosters, workforce safety and connectedness will drive continued demand for digital technologies and remote service offerings,” he said.

“The industry needs interoperable, OEM-agnostic solutions that improve the flow and visibility of information between equipment, systems and people – to make operations safer, more effective and more productive.”

MineWare founder hands reins to Jason Fisher

MineWare CEO and founder, Andrew Jessett (pictured), has stepped down from his role at the company to pursue new opportunities, the independent monitoring systems company says.

Jessett founded MineWare in 2005, after independently creating and commercialising Pegasys, an advanced dragline monitor system.

“I’m immensely proud of everything the MineWare team has achieved over the past 15 years and I will follow its next growth phase with interest,” Jessett said.

MineWare Chairman, Lyle Bruce, said Jessett had notched up many significant achievements in his 15 years at the company; “guiding its growth into a global company and then successfully integrating with Komatsu three years ago”.

He added: “We thank Andrew for the incredible legacy he has created, upon which we will continue to innovate and grow.”

MineWare teams are focused on continuing to deliver innovative customer solutions, Bruce said, while the leadership seamlessly transitions.

Jason Fisher, formerly MineWare’s Regional Vice President for Australasia, will now act as CEO, supported by the company’s long-standing senior leadership team, the company said.

The transition commenced early this year, with Jason and Andrew working closely together for an initial handover term.

MineWare brings payload monitoring expertise to wheel loader market

MineWare, after 18 months of field trials conducted across three Western Australia mine sites, has launched a new OEM-independent wheel loader monitoring system that, it says, lifts productivity and reduces cost per tonne in real time.

Argus Wheel Loader (WL) delivers real-time feedback to the wheel loader operator via an intuitive touchscreen to make material handling and loading jobs safer, faster and more accurate, according to MineWare.

The tool builds on MineWare’s Argus and Pegasys monitoring systems for electric rope shovels, hydraulic excavators and draglines.

MineWare Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Roy Pater, said Argus WL was developed based on a growing demand from MineWare’s customers to improve efficiency, effectiveness and payload accuracy across their large wheel loader fleets.

“Argus WL does this by weighing each bucket in real time, without the need to stop and calculate payload before dumping the load,” he said. “This, we understand from our customers, is an unacceptable practice required from other similar systems today, losing valuable production time to repeat this with every bucket load.”

Pater said the multi-purpose nature of the system was a key point of difference, with Argus WL offering advanced functionality in truck detection, structural monitoring, as well as payload optimisation in real-time.

“The real-time nature of Argus WL really stands our system apart as it gives operators direct feedback for them to make smarter loading decisions to optimise truck loading and payload management,” he said.

“Argus WL guides operators to move the right amount of material with every load, helping mines to reduce payload variability, meet production targets and predict the operations forecasts more reliably, when analysing machine productivity by shift and operator.”

Developed on an open IoT platform, the interoperable system works on any OEM machine and integrates with third-party production software, according to the Komatsu-owned company.

Pater said Argus WL leverages MineWare’s 15 years of experience in ground engagement equipment monitoring, productivity improvement and payload optimisation to create a purpose-built system made for mining.

“Argus WL takes productivity monitoring for wheel loaders to a new level, by working smarter, not harder, to get the job completed successfully,” he said.