Tag Archives: cloud-based software

RPMGlobal brings Software as a Service to the haulage sector

RPMGlobal has launched its first Software as a Service (SaaS) product, providing mining companies, it says, with the capability to undertake haulage calculations in a cloud environment.

With more and more operations choosing to move business-critical operations into the cloud, RPM has leveraged the growing shift from the desktop by collaborating with industry partners to launch a service-based approach to haulage calculations, known as Haulage as a Service (HaaS).

This cloud enabled, service-oriented approach to haulage analysis means users are no longer confined to one application on the desktop. Under the new SaaS model, customers are able to write their own applications to interact with HaaS. Users can then configure haul traces, haul routes, settings and trucks to run travel time calculations automatically in the cloud.

HaaS leverages the travel time calculation engine contained within RPM’s TALPAC product which has been the de-facto standard for simulation within the mining industry for more than 40 years, according to RPM. This calculation engine enables users or customer applications to undertake travel time calculations on demand.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, said: “HaaS is tailored to the current requirements of our customers to cloud-enable their operations and enable their businesses to be conducted remotely no matter where they or their people are physically located.

“Providing our customers with flexible and scalable ways to use RPM’s software is a key part of our customer service promise, and cloud-hosted options enhance our ability to support our customers through an internet-enabled cloud access to the hosted application.

“Making our innovative software available through a variety of delivery methods will remain critical moving forward and with a number of our customers undergoing the transition to cloud environments, we are proud to be at the forefront of this migration.”

The reporting and calibration benefits within the cloud HaaS offering are already resulting in miners requesting access to HaaS, RPM says. Miners are using HaaS as a way of measuring haulage performance and identifying areas of haulage improvement, including being able to automatically compare the actual values out of their fleet management systems (FMS) with calculated values, straight after the haulage route is complete on a consistent basis.

With HaaS, miners have increased operational agility to undertake haulage calculations from any location, according to the company. Because there is no desktop application, the calculations can be delivered via the web or mobile apps instantly.

Mathews said RPMGlobal’s cloud-enabled SaaS solutions help to solve several key industry challenges, including the problem of siloed data.

“With HaaS, data is no longer trapped within individual desktop applications or siloed with individual users,” he said. “This cloud-enabled approach enables operations to get the best overall haulage performance right across their operations irrespective of where the users or applications calling the cloud service are physically located.

“Mining is a dynamic and fluid environment, often making it difficult to benchmark the performance of trucks. Miners have had to use key performance indicators such as Effective Flat Haul in an attempt to normalise data. HaaS addresses this challenge by allowing miners to compare every haul against a benchmark calculated value.”

Mathews concluded: “If there can be one positive thing to come out of the global challenges of COVID-19 it is an understanding that companies need to be able to operate their businesses remotely no matter where their people are physically located, and being able to utilise SaaS applications means they can do exactly that.”

Orica on the right Track with new digital blasting solutions

Orica’s suite of rock movement, blast fragmentation and digital blast optimisation solutions have been gaining traction of late, with miners across the globe employing or trialling the products as they look to improve mine site performance.

Ahead of the annual Explosives and Blasting feature (to be published in the International Mining July/August 2020 issue), IM spoke with Rajkumar Mathiravedu, Vice President of Digital Solutions at Orica, to get an update on progress with the company’s digital solutions.

Back in Orica’s 2019 full-year results, Orica mentioned it had secured its first customers in Latin America for its ORETrack™ solution, which provides RFID-based tracking of rock movement from blasting operations.

Mathiravedu said these first adopters were recognising the value delivered by the technology, with ORETrack working well in the initial applications.

“We are also continuing to co-develop and expand our ORETrack technology in collaboration with customers in Latin America, with additional customers adopting the ore tracking capability,” he said.

“Further trials are also planned for the near future, including locations in Australia and North America.”

The number of customers taking up Orica’s FRAGTrack™ solution, which provides blast fragmentation data with auto-analysis capability, meanwhile, has been growing in the face of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Orica carried out its first fully remote installation of FRAGTrack during lockdown in Australia, with a second in Finland and a third one completed in North America recently.

Mathiravedu said a key focus in developing the solution, which captures real-time fragmentation measurement data for downstream unit productivity improvement and tracking of operational performance, was ensuring it was “a plug and play solution” that could be installed and supported remotely.

“We developed rigorous training material and installation instructions and married these with real-time augmented reality capability to remotely guide and support our customers through the implementation,” he said.

“We have found this particularly advantageous during the COVID-19 restrictions, but also this allows our customers to manage the implementation timing to suit their operations.”

An example of this could be the desire for a customer to install FRAGTrack when the shovels are down for maintenance, without having to wait for an Orica specialist to come to the site and install the system.

Reflecting on the recent remote installation achievements, Mathiravedu said: “This proves we have a successful remote release model that customers are valuing during these unprecedented times.”

BlastIQ workflow integration

Fifteen months after the release of its next generation BlastIQ, Orica has now surpassed the 60-site implementation mark of its digital blast optimisation platform.

Mathiravedu said BlastIQ and the company’s ever-growing digital capabilities are designed to improve blast outcomes by integrating insights from digitally connected technologies at every stage of the drill and blast process to drive continuous improvements for its customers.

“Focusing on the needs of our surface mining customers, we have been able to deliver the benefits of cloud-based technology, providing convenience and flexibility for customers to access their blasting data online anywhere, anytime from any device,” he said.

“Customers are also benefitting significantly from digitising their blasting workflows, delivering efficiencies and improved quality control across their blasting operations, resulting in greater visibility of blast inputs and outputs in real time while benefiting from better blast outcomes.”

As an open, secure, and connected digital platform, BlastIQ’s blast-related data is being integrated directly into customers’ mining value chain and remote operation centres via secure cloud-based APIs, Mathiravedu said.

“This is enabling customers to drive better mine-level decisions based on data integrations between our platform and theirs, creating a stronger bond between planning, drilling, blasting, load and haul and processing operations at the site,” he said.

BlastIQ is an inter-operable platform and is being delivered as a Software as a Service product to customers, meaning they receive new functionality, value and features as soon as they are developed, according to Mathiravedu.

“Enhancements are scheduled and developed based on direct feedback and submissions from our customers all around the world to ensure the product evolves to meet the discrete needs of their operations,” he said.

Outside of BlastIQ specifically, Orica has started to deliver digital optimisation services to its customers, according to Mathiravedu.

“State-of-the-art” digital products and advanced data science and analytics, combined with blasting technical know-how and market-leading blasting technologies, enables customers to cover whole of value chain solutions, enabled by blasting, Mathiravedu said.

“Also, using a series of industry 4.0 smart Internet of Things sensors and Edge computing to replace inefficient manual processes, measurement data can be used in real time to improve future mining outcomes based on data science, analytics and machine-learning algorithms to drive continuous improvement of the entire mining value chain.”

IMDEX accelerates cloud-connected solutions on COVID-19-related demand

IMDEX says interest in its cloud-connected technologies has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, the positive effect of which will flow through for the next 10 years.

There has been strong interest in IMDEX’s software technologies including IMDEX HUB-IQ™, IMDEX MUD AID™ and IMDEX IoGas™, it said, with registrations for webinars on digital workflow and training for data-related products having jumped.

Adoption of IMDEX EZ-TRAC™, a digital downhole survey instrument that uploads data to IMDEX HUB-IQ, has also doubled in the past 12 months, according to the company.

IMDEX Chief Executive, Paul House, said the new ways of working had accelerated the adoption of some of its products and training services by as much as 12 months.

“Things like our online training platform, IMDEX Academy; we had this training platform available to our employees but not our clients at the beginning of COVID-19,” House said. “It was an important project to us, but it wasn’t urgent. When COVID-19 came along, it went from being important to being urgent, and it accelerated both that product’s development and the time to market almost overnight.”

IMDEX is at least 12 months ahead on the rollout of its online training platform because of the adoption rate during the pandemic, it said.

Registrations for webinars and training related to digital products have increased significantly, with the most recent webinar on digital workflow attracting about 500 registrations, compared with previous webinars with no more than 100, IMDEX said.

House says IMDEX can move the knowledge base of the industry quickly.

“It’s a conversation in the marketplace, it validates our leadership position and our domain knowledge ownership, it’s transformational for us and that will pay off for us for the next 10 years,” he said.

“Where would usually have to ask customers to consider a change in behaviour, to take a leap of faith, all of those things are being pulled into the market rather than pushed. The processes that are being disrupted have a solution, which is some of our IMDEX solutions.”

House concluded: “We always say once you have started working with our solutions, you won’t go back. So, the adoption rate is faster, and the conversation rate is locked in.”

Primero looks to Track’em for materials inventory solution on WA iron ore expansion project

Primero, following the signing of a contract with Track’em, is to use the Material Tracking solution to increase visibility and control of its materials for construction works on a major iron ore expansion project in Western Australia.

Track’em provides a central, cloud-based solution for tracking materials across the supply chain, according to its owner. By using the system, Primero and its project partners will be able to manage, monitor, update and report on materials in real time from any location, it said.

“We’re really excited to partner with a successful fast-growing multi-disciplinary engineering company such as Primero,” Kashif Saleem, Founder and CEO of Track’em, said. “Track’em will allow Primero to take ownership of the materials control processes to streamline operations. It promotes efficiency and reduces the risk of losing expensive materials with long lead times.”

Track’em provides stakeholders with an integrated system that gives continuous visibility on the location, status, condition and custody of materials. The Track’em app will further enable users to quickly locate, scan and update parts and components, while digitising form-based processes such as inspections and transfer documents, according to the company.

Mark Pensabene, Executive General Manager Project Delivery, Primero, said: “Primero Group always prefers to engage with local partners to support the industry. For this project – with the volume of materials required – we needed a world-class materials control system.

“We looked at WA-based Track’em and were very impressed. It’s the most sophisticated materials tracking platform that we’ve ever come across, yet it is surprisingly simple to use. It will equip workers throughout the supply chain – from our fabricators to site – to use a single system giving us end-to-end visibility.”

While no specific iron ore expansion project was mentioned by either Primero or Track’em in the release, Primero is currently working on both the South Flank and Koodaideri iron ore projects for BHP and Rio Tinto, respectively, in addition to the expansion of the Robe Valley iron ore operations, owned jointly by Rio, Mitsui and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal.

Xylem to showcase tough dewatering and flood protection pumps at Bauma

Xylem Inc says it will showcase its most resilient and innovative solutions yet at the Bauma fair in Munich, Germany, on April 8-14.

The new and improved products under Xylem’s portfolio of tough dewatering and flood protection pumps is set to “redefine toughness for the mining and construction industries”, the company said, allowing customers across Europe to “dig deeper and build bigger”.

New additions to Xylem’s portfolio include the latest smart dewatering pump from Godwin’s Smart Series – the solution for water that offers unmatched control and peace of mind anytime, anywhere. The new Godwin Dri-Prime pump has been specifically designed to combat the toughest mining and construction applications, offering improved efficiency, increased flexibility and greater sustainability, according to the company.

The new dewatering pump can be equipped with a new generation of Xylem Field Smart Technology (FST), Xylem’s first-in-industry Cloud-based telematics platform that enables the Internet of Things and allows Xylem’s customers to monitor and control the pump from anywhere in the world, the company said. Xylem’s new FST platform will be on display at the Xylem booth for the first time, with live demonstrations taking place throughout the entire show.

Jim Mowbray, International General Manager at Xylem Europe’s Dewatering business, said: “The S series has set a new industry standard with its ability to easily handle the toughest mining and construction applications, and our latest innovation will certainly redefine toughness for our customers across Europe. Our newest dewatering pump offers increased hydraulic efficiency, greater fuel economy, and streamlined serviceability, and we are delighted to bring such customer benefits to market.”

Under its Godwin brand, Xylem will also highlight its Flood Protection (FP) Dri-Prime series, the first set of high flow, portable pumps certified to handle flooding. The Godwin FP Dri-Prime series is specifically designed to remove destructive floodwaters and prevent flood water from reaching critical building systems and interior spaces, the company said. “The Godwin FP series is the only set of portable dewatering pumps to earn the seal of approval from FM Global, the largest private insurer of commercial and industrial properties worldwide,” Xylem said.

Kevin Snow, Global Product Manager for Xylem’s Godwin brand, said: “Floods can be devastating for businesses, often disrupting operations for extended periods of time. Having smart, high flow pump systems and solutions in place to help protect insured industrial and commercial properties against the growing threat of climate change is a critical flood mitigation solution for building owners and operators.

“The Godwin Dri-Prime FP Series is the latest in Xylem’s resilience-building product portfolio, and is the first to have surface mounted diesel pumps certified by FM Global. Godwin’s FP Series is compliant with the most rigorous certification standards in the world, and each pump in the series can be relied upon to handle the toughest dewatering challenge when flood waters threaten.”

At Bauma 2019, Xylem will also showcase upgrades to its Flygt 2201 series – one of Xylem’s most robust range of dewatering pumps engineered to deliver high performance, it said. The enhanced Flygt 2201 series has been specifically designed for challenging dewatering applications. “The unique, patented DuraSpin hydraulic of the Flygt 2201 has been proven to be three times more wear-resistant than traditional hydraulic designs, leading to improved serviceability and reduced maintenance costs,” Xylem said. The company will also reveal its latest addition to the series, the Flygt Super High Head Cast Iron 2201, which has the capacity to pump up to 140 m.

Xylem’s presence at Bauma follows the launch of Xylem’s new rental identity, Xylem Rental Solutions, earlier this year.

Sherritt signs up for data security trial with Leonovus

Sherritt International has signed up for a trial of Leonovus’ data security software as the nickel and cobalt miner looks to support its evolving storage infrastructure.

The pilot, which starts in January, will see Leonovus apply its “next generation of secure software-defined storage (SDS) solution” at the company’s operations in Canada, Cuba and Madagascar.

John Kiousis, Vice President of Global IT, Sherritt International, said the software will give the company the flexibility to segment data across multiple cloud storage providers, enabling it to take advantage of cost savings while protecting its data.

“Moving to the cloud will extend our IT infrastructure capabilities and support our goal of achieving operational excellence,” he added.

When using Leonovus, customers receive the following benefits, according to the Ottawa-based software provider:

  • “Ability to balance business growth with a flexible hybrid, multi-cloud storage infrastructure;
  • “Greater data security with Leonovus patented ‘encrypt, shred, spread’ capability;
  • “Maintain complete, on-premises control, of their encryption keys;
  • “Greater flexibility and simplicity to meet future data growth requirements through a single pane of glass.”

Inmarsat and IMDEX collaborate in the cloud for drilling intelligence solution

Inmarsat has said it and IMDEX, a leading mining equipment, technology and services provider to the global minerals industry, are working together to enhance a drilling intelligence solution with satellite connectivity.

Now combined with Inmarsat’s L-band satellite connectivity as standard, IMDEXHUB-IQ™ gives mining and drilling companies the ability to analyse and upload field data in real-time from the most isolated locations around Australasia without the need to procure their own communications, Inmarsat said.

IMDEXHUB-IQ (formerly REFLEXHUB-IQ) provides secure access to validated data, seamlessly transmitted from a range of sub-surface instrumentation, analytical instruments and mobile form data inputs, according to IMDEX.

Inmarsat said: “IMDEX’s innovative, cloud-based solution aggregates and transmits vital field data collected from a range of subsurface instrumentation and mobile units. IMDEX’s instruments and systems can connect to IMDEXHUB-IQ to instantly upload real-time field data to headquarters.”

Michelle Carey, General Manager IMDEX Product Development, said: “For mining and exploration operations to be successful, accurate subsurface data needs to be quickly collected and analysed to provide teams on the ground with intelligence to maximise the value of their decisions. This collaboration will allow our IMDEXHUB-IQ solution to connect to the cloud via Inmarsat’s highly secure and reliable network, meaning that the data obtained can be uploaded for analysis in real-time, even in areas with no terrestrial coverage.

“In the first instance we expect to take the solution to market on a regional basis to mining organisations across Australia and New Zealand, with worldwide distribution following closely behind.”

Joe Carr, Director of Mining Innovation at Inmarsat, said: “Inmarsat is committed to enabling the connected mine. We are working closely together with IMDEX to power its IMDEXHUB-IQ drilling intelligence solution, making it accessible to resource and drilling companies across Australasia by providing access to our L-band network.

“By building our global mobile satellite connectivity into the solution as standard, end-users do not have to spend time and considerable effort to reduce the complexity of procuring their own network providers on a project by project basis.”

Earlier this month, IMDEX and Seequent announced an ongoing partnership to deliver a real-time 3D visualisation solution for the mining and exploration industry, aimed at dramatically improving the speed and accuracy of decision-making for drilling projects.