Tag Archives: data analytics

Hitachi CM looks for access to resource industry start-ups with Chrysalix fund investment

Chrysalix Venture Capital, a global venture capital fund with a history of commercialising innovation for resource intensive industries, has announced Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd has invested in the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund.

Hitachi Construction Machinery, a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, joins a cluster of mining and metals players such as South32, Severstal and Mitsubishi Corp in the fund, and “will leverage Chrysalix’s extensive network in the mining field to strengthen open innovation by connecting with start-ups that possess the latest technologies for mining in areas such as robotic systems, IoT, AI and data analytics”, the company said.

“Chrysalix has made step-change innovations in the metals and mining, manufacturing and machinery industries, through digital solutions and advanced robotics technologies, a major theme of our fund, and we are delighted to welcome Hitachi Construction Machinery to the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund,” Alicia Lenis, Vice President at Chrysalix Venture Capital, said.

Just some of the companies included in Chrysalix’s portfolio include Novamera, which is developing its Sustainable Mining by Drilling technology for narrow-vein mines; and MineSense Technologies, a Vancouver-based start-up developing real-time, sensor-based ore data and sorting solutions for large-scale mines.

Naoyoshi Yamada, Chief Strategy Officer at Hitachi Construction Machinery, said: “We identified Chrysalix as having a valuable network of start-ups in its global innovation ecosystem, and a unique window on innovation opportunities in the mining industry.

“With the trends toward digitalisation, the autonomous operation and electrification of mining machinery, as well as the growing need for solutions to streamline and optimise not only mining machinery but also overall mining operations, many start-ups offer novel technologies and services, and our investment in the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund will enable Hitachi Construction Machinery to tap into these new breakthroughs.”

The Chrysalix RoboValley Fund, Chrysalix says, seeks to achieve significant returns for its investors by enabling resource intensive industries, including energy, mining, construction, infrastructure and mobility, to tap into innovation from high growth start-ups.

Antofagasta backing ‘digital transformation’ of operations

Antofagasta, in its 2018 financial results, has promoted its innovation focus, saying it is critical to creating long-term value and being “a key enabler of safe, sustainable competitiveness and growth”.

One of the ways the company is seeking innovative solutions is through the increased use of data and technology, which it calls “the digitalisation of operations”.

Antofagasta said it is investing significantly in this area, which has an implementation budget of $40 million, to strengthen its technological platform, including critical operating systems and connectivity.

The company has also applied advanced data analytics at its processing plants to better understand and improve their performance.

In the meantime, it said work was underway on the design of a Remote Centre that will allow integrated operations management at its Centinela operation in Chile. Service provider Wood is currently preparing a prefeasibility study for this technologically-advanced integrated operations centre, which includes cloud data storage and information management for its operations, easily accessible from anywhere in the world.

Antofagasta continued: “It’s not just at the operating level that there are benefits of improved data.

“Los Pelambres constantly monitors its tailings deposits and, as part of the Programa Tranque project, expects to start releasing the monitoring results online early next year. This will provide the community with real time information, helping to build trust between ourselves and our neighbours,” the company said.

Programa Tranque contemplates the development of an online monitoring system of tailing deposits to transmit, process and broadcast, in a user-friendly way, updated physical and chemical indicators of the deposits.

It incorporates the best available technologies and innovative mechanisms for the measurement of critical parameters and variables, as well as an information management platform to communicate information to authorities, mining companies, and the community, allowing an early warning system to be activated ahead of potential emergency situations.

In addition to Antofagasta, BHP and Codelco are partnering on this five-year programme that seeks to position Chile as the leading country in information transparency related to the performance of its tailing deposits.

Anglo readying predictive maintenance solutions following Barro Alto implementation

Anglo American has highlighted its predictive maintenance efforts on equipment at its Barro Alto nickel mine in Brazil in its recently-published annual report.

The company said it is developing predictive models so it can make better informed operational decisions. These models, built by data scientists and often powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, contain advanced algorithms that leverage the power of data to generate predictions, according to the company.

“At the operational level, we are using customised learning algorithms across a range of different applications,” Anglo said. “In one such instance, we monitor equipment health at a number of our operating sites, with the aim of improving operational performance through predictive maintenance.”

The company said at Barro Alto, which has two rotary kilns and two electric furnaces that smelt nickel ore, it is focusing its predictive maintenance efforts on key pieces of high-power equipment.

Anglo said: “By building a comprehensive data platform that monitors 38 major elements of the Barro Alto operation, we are increasing our knowledge of the performance of the equipment and we are using data to accurately forecast failures before they happen.”

Soon, the company will be able to “dynamically manage” maintenance intervals – only replacing parts when required – Anglo said. This ensures greater operational uptime and product throughput, according to the company. “The implementation is expected to improve furnace reliability, as well as realise cost savings for the nickel business,” Anglo said.

The learnings from Barro Alto are also being applied to fixed-plant assets in other operations, Anglo said. “This nascent project is on track to deliver considerable value from just one data analytics application.”

On the technology in general, Anglo said: “Data analytics augments the intelligence in our people by helping them make better, confident data-driven decisions. Remote monitoring of assets takes people away from physical equipment and helps avoid high-energy failures, which leads to a safer working environment. Reducing unplanned equipment failures can also bring significant environmental benefits owing to the reduced likelihood of spillages.”

Anglo plans to extend the reach of its data analytics platforms to all aspects of its value chain and extend operational decision support to the mining and processing phases of its assets, it said.

TAKRAF to focus on HPGR, technical studies and data collection at Bauma

Tenova TAKRAF says the company’s high pressure grinding roll (HPGR) technology, among other developments, will be highlighted at the upcoming Bauma fair in Munich, Germany, on April 8-14.

The company said, for the first time, show visitors will be able to have a complete overview of the company’s entire service portfolio, which ranges from project development services to technical studies on comminution and minerals processing, innovative fabrication solutions, various technical services and comprehensive after-sales support.

“With a view to further developing their capabilities within the market of the comminution industry, TAKRAF continues to develop their range of roller presses, with a scale model of a HPGR on display at the booth (pictured),” the company said.

Two of these machines are being manufactured at the company’s specialised fabrication facility in Lauchhammer, Germany. These machines can each handle more than 907 t/h of cement clinker, with each machine incorporating rolls with a diameter of 1,800 mm and a weight of more than 450 t per roller.

“In order to meet the challenging longevity requirements of such a machine, each roll surface is protected from wear by weld hardfacing for cement applications, and with tungsten carbide inserts for ore processing,” TAKRAF said.

The company continued: “With the integration of the well-known DELKOR and Tenova Advanced Technologies (formerly Bateman Advanced Technologies) brand of products into TAKRAF as specialised product lines, the company’s portfolio for the minerals processing and beneficiation sectors has been considerably enhanced.”

At Bauma, visitors will be able to focus upon the company’s capabilities in minerals processing, including solvent extraction and lithium recovery; as well as flotation, thickening, filtration and dry stack tailings, according to TAKRAF.

The company will also use the event to highlight its Mining Technology Centre, TAKRAF said.

“Technical studies, which compare the techno-economic aspects of different system or equipment layouts are an intrinsic part of every investment process. The quality of the study strongly depends on the experience of the study team and the level of customer involvement,” the company said.

“Based upon a common understanding of the weighting of all such decision criteria, the transfer of technical and operational experience and expertise, even beyond their own portfolio, is a key driver in enabling the customer to make a competent decision regarding the optimal solution for the specific conditions of their particular mine.

“More and more customers appreciate the added value provided by the studies as part of the engineering service portfolio, and for this reason, the company has decided to restructure and tailor their services even better in order to best meet customer requirements.

“TAKRAF’s Mining Technology Centre will be present and on hand to present the myriad of possibilities and benefits of innovative study approaches to demonstrate they are pursuing this strategy together with their customers.”

TAKRAF said, in order to provide additional benefits and services to the company’s customers based on new digital technologies, several R&D projects in the field of the industrial internet of things have also been advanced.

“In an attempt to find the most suitable technology, which results in the greatest possible benefit for the customer, first pilot machines were equipped with remote data collection and evaluation systems.

“Utilising a combination of edge computing and a proprietary azure-based platform established by Tenova, TAKRAF is able to develop applications that provide valuable insights of the company’s machines through modern and intuitive interfaces across any remote location.

“First results evince that this information can greatly assist in reducing downtime by identifying problems before they escalate into major issues and optimizing machine design, operation and performance.”

Implementation of more advanced analytics and machine learning strategies are currently on the company’s R&D agenda, TAKRAF said. “In addition, remote support solutions can also be offered.”

The company said: “This enables a remote experts-team to provide on-site assistance to the local commissioning or maintenance personnel using smart glasses and an appropriate software tool.

This is a great solution for reducing reaction times and as a side effect for reducing or even avoiding costs for expensive and time-consuming trips to the destination area.”

The company’s stand will be located in hall C2, stand 349 at Messe München in Munich, Germany, during the event.