Tag Archives: Ivan Zelina

A timely update from mine software solutions provider Micromine

As the New Year begins, Micromine is reminding mining companies to update their software to avoid potential cyber-security breaches, data loss, system integration issues and operational downtime in 2019.

The reminder comes on the back of Micromine’s release of new versions of Geobank and Micromine in 2018, which delivered a range of new productivity tools features and data security enhancements on both the exploration and mine design and geological data management solutions.

It also comes in the same week mining and metals processing company Nyrstar was hit by a cyber attack.

Micromine Chief Technology Officer, Ivan Zelina, said: “Software updates are often overlooked as they are not as visible as other business processes, but the value of new software versions should not be underestimated in our current, highly digitalised mining environment.

“Investing in software, but not upgrading it, is like buying a new car but never getting it serviced – you simply won’t get the best out of it.”

Potential risks and issues of not upgrading software, according to Micromine, include:

  • Security – all software and saved files become vulnerable to hacking and cyber crimes over time. Developers like Micromine proactively identify and address security threats, holes and bugs in new software versions;
  • Compatibility – many different technology systems and platforms are used simultaneously, which means older versions of software can be slow or not configure properly when integrated with other, newer platforms. As new technology emerges, it’s important that systems remain compatible. For example, Geobank Mobile integrates with the latest magnetic susceptibility devices, barcode readers, GPS, in-built and external cameras and more;
  • Inefficiency – new features and enhancements exist in updated software to make it easier to use, faster and more effective. Micromine invests significantly into continuous research and development to ensure clients enjoy intuitive, feature-rich functionality and interpretive capabilities with each upgrade;
  • Support – older software versions are often not supported as developers focus on improvements to enhance client outcomes. Users operating on outdated versions can waste time and energy on workarounds or lost time addressing issues.
  • People – by providing staff with the latest, innovative software tools, mining companies are more likely to attract and retain the best talent. It provides employees with the opportunity to learn and apply new techniques to problem solving whilst increasing their knowledge and skills.

To ensure clients can easily manage software upgrades, Micromine offers an annual licence programme for Geobank and Micromine.

The company said: “After paying a one-off annual fee, clients receive unlimited software upgrades and patches, complimentary new version training and participation in software beta programs and focus groups.”

Micromine to release AI solution for underground loading and hauling

New underground mining precision performance software, using machine learning to refine and enhance loading and haulage processes, is set to be launched by global mining software company, Micromine.

The solution is to be released in early 2019 as part of the company’s fleet management and mine control solution, Pitram.

Using the processes of computer vision and deep machine learning, on-board cameras are placed on loaders to track variables such as loading time, hauling time, dumping time and travelling empty time. The video feed is processed on the Pitram vehicle computer edge device. The extracted information is then transferred to Pitram servers for processing and analyses.

Micromine Chief Technology Officer, Ivan Zelina, said the solution considered the information gathered to pinpoint areas of potential improvement that could bolster machinery efficiency and safety.

“Pitram’s new offering takes loading and haulage automation in underground mines to a new level,” Zelina said.

“By capturing images and information via video cameras and analysing that information via comprehensive data models, mine managers can make adjustments to optimise performance and efficiency.

“It also provides underground mine managers with increased business knowledge, so they have more control over loading and hauling processes, and can make more informed decisions which, in turn, improves safety in underground mining environments.

“This can contribute significantly to the overall optimisation of underground mines, which we believe have a lot of room for improvement.”

Pitram is a fleet management and mine control solution that records, manages and processes minesite data in real-time.

Micromine trialled the new technology in Australia, Mongolia and Russia as part of a research and development pilot programme.

The initial concept was on the back of a trial project in partnership with the University of Western Australia. One of the master’s students from the university was subsequently employed by Micromine to help drive the company’s development of machine-learning projects across its global business.

“This advance is another demonstration of how Micromine is operating differently to other software providers by extending our products well beyond simple built-in machinery automation to artificial intelligence,” Zelina added.

“The ability for mining companies to increase their knowledge of mining processes through automated data collection and analysis is endless and this is just the start of the work Micromine is doing with our mining software solutions.

“We’re striving to help companies optimise their mining value chain and we believe enhancing one of the most fundamental and critical underground mining assets – loaders – is a great place to start.”

Micromine on board with IREDES standard

Micromine has become the newest mining software and machinery provider to offer technology solutions integrated with the International Rock Excavation Data Exchange Standard (IREDES).

The global mining software provider, headquartered in Western Australia, is among nine companies globally to integrate its products with IREDES, which was developed by industry, for industry, to streamline data exchange between machinery and office IT systems, Micromine says.

Micromine has integrated its latest fleet management and mine control solution, Pitram, and its latest 3D mine design and exploration solution, Micromine, with IREDES.

MICROMINE Chief Technology Officer Ivan Zelina said Micromine prioritised the IREDES integration to provide customers with easier, more streamlined mine digitalisation processes.

“By utilising IREDES we have removed the e-language barriers that often exist between machinery products and office-based software systems,” Zelina said.

“IREDES provides a standardised information exchange interface, which allows different machinery databases, simulation tools and other enterprise level software to exchange data and information.

“This avoids the need to develop and install individual and expensive software workarounds and development projects, and also streamlines and enhances data sharing and reporting.”

Zelina said this conversion is a straightforward process. In the company’s Micromine product, for example, a ring design can be converted to an IREDES file format “so that it can be accessed using other software and systems”.

Zelina concluded: “In an industry where digitalisation is growing exponentially, the integration of IREDES into Micromine’s software solutions reduces the time and cost of interface development during installation and maintenance of systems and products.

“Instead, customers can concentrate their resources on the intelligent use of information to enhance their business processes and outcomes.”

IREDES uses the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), which is a widely used format by commercial standard software and database systems. It builds on this language though XML schemas – the building blocks of the XML file – which describe hierarchy and data exchange parameters. The information is then transferred using XML data sets, which can be readily accessed by users and transferred between programmes.