Tag Archives: Mobilaris Mining Intelligence

MCE sets new underground mining rules with Event Automation platform

Mobilaris Mining & Civil Engineering (MCE) is putting the power back in mining engineers’ hands with its new Event Automation platform, according to Hans Wahlquist, VP Business Development & Strategic Product Management for Mobilaris MCE.

Having previously provided advanced software that optimises underground operations through its Mobilaris Mining Intelligence product family, the company is now going one step further with its new automation platform.

Wahlquist describes Mobilaris Event Automation as a tool to enable mine engineers to make full use of the information that comes from: location data of machines, equipment, materials and personnel; the status of work tasks in the shift plan; sensory data from various monitoring systems; machine data from a mixed fleet; and much more.

IM put some questions to Wahlquist to find out more.

IM: In a recently published piece, you mentioned your new solution will “unlock the next level of control room capabilities in its innovative Mobilaris Event Automation platform”. Can you expand on this? What capabilities are being addressed with this update? Why are you addressing these now?

HW: For a long time, Mobilaris has made underground mines transparent with cutting-edge situational awareness, including 3D visualisation and technology-agnostic tracking using a large spectrum of positioning technologies from various vendors. With the new Event Automation platform, we take this further, allowing mining engineers to create advance automation features themselves.

Earlier on with the product development, we made mining personnel aware of vehicles, people, etc. Now, we allow them to create automatic actions based on rules involving the location of assets, the status of assets and sensors, etc.

This has, until now, pretty much only been possible with the help of quite costly integrations with external automation frameworks and using experts. Now, this can be done by the miners themselves in a cost-efficient way.

IM: Where will Mobilaris Event Automation provide the most value in underground mining? Will the value come in energy savings or mine site productivity?

HW: The possibilities are virtually endless. Energy saving functions like Ventilation on Demand (VoD) is, of course, a given example on functions that can be implemented using the Event Automation framework. Additionally, there are numerous productivity possibilities that are unveiled with the advent of Event Automation. One example is the opportunities to easily create valuable key performance indicators and tailored dashboards.

IM: How does the solution differ from, in ventilation applications, numerous VoD solutions already on the market? Is it the ability to tailor these actions that is the unique selling point?

HW: Traditional VoD solutions involve costly experts and costly integrations. As an underground mine is an ever-growing operation, these solutions need constant maintenance. With Event Automation, this can be made by mining engineers themselves which makes an Event Automation-based solution less costly, more tailored for the mine’s unique requirements, etc.

IM: Among the numerous systems Event Automation can integrate with, what is the most revolutionary for the mining sector?

HW: As Event Automation is based on the Node-Red framework from IBM with more than 2,500 existing integrations, the probability of the devices/sensors the mine already has already being integrated into Event Automation is high. Examples could be various gas sensors, smart rock bolts, etc.

Just imagine when you, as a mine engineer, can create an automation rule that involves the location of people or machines with the status of various sensors, which triggers actions such as sending a warning message or triggering an alarm.

IM: What mine site has Event Automation already been deployed at?

HW: Event Automation has so far been deployed in large mines in Canada.

Hindustan Zinc after improved safety, productivity with Epiroc’s Mobilaris solution

Hindustan Zinc, India’s only zinc-lead-silver producer, has selected Epiroc to equip its flagship Rampura Agucha mine with Mobilaris Mining Intelligence™ (MMI).

A decision support solution for mine safety and efficiency, MMI enables superior situational awareness and is designed to visualise and support mining operations in all its complexities, in real-time, Epiroc says.

Hindustan Zinc has introduced various technologies and innovations and has obtained success in enhancing safety, efficiency and exploration, according to Epiroc.

Back in 2017, the miner looked to automate many of its operations, acquiring Epiroc drill rigs, LHDs, haul trucks (including the MT65) and exploration equipment to be used in five of its mines in northwestern India. The automation and other high-technology features of the equipment were enabled through the common Rig Control System, with most machines are equipped with the telematics solution CERTIQ.

Following the latest MMI order, Sunil Duggal, CEO, Hindustan Zinc, said: “We are continuously making efforts to develop better, connected and intelligent mines. The partnership with Epiroc will support our direction to develop safer and more productive operations at Rampura Agucha mine”.

Ulla Korsman-Kopra, Global Business Manager, Automation and Information Management at Epiroc, said the company would support Hindustan Zinc’s operational (mining) improvement processes with the MMI solution. “The globally-acclaimed features will take Hindustan Zinc’s operations to the next level of performance gains,” she said.

The MMI portfolio features situational awareness, short interval control, including machine data integrations, and traffic awareness promises to get maximum productivity and efficiency out of a customer’s mine, according to Epiroc.

“Thanks to the openness and transparency of the MMI solution, integrations with mixed fleet machines, sensors and more will create the foundation for vital real-time analytics,” Korsman-Kopra said.

The system is expected to be operational during once the networking is up and running at the Rampura Agucha mine.

Rampura Agucha is the second largest zinc mine in the world, according to Hindustan, with production of 3.9 Mt in the company’s 2018 financial year. It has a zinc-lead reserve grade averaging 15.7% Zn+Pb, with total reserves of 46 Mt as of March 31, 2018.

The ongoing underground mine project is being developed with a vision of producing 5 Mt/y of ore and includes a main production shaft of 955 m depth, 7.5 m diameter and hauling capacity of 3.75 Mt/y; two ventilation shafts, two declines from surface and paste fill plants, according to Hindustan.

Epiroc books battery-electric equipment order from Canada underground mine

Epiroc received a large order for its battery-electric underground equipment from Canada in the March quarter, the company confirmed in its latest quarterly results.

The company, in November, launched its second-generation battery-electric solutions in Örebro, Sweden, presenting 14 t and 18 t LHDs, a 42 t truck (MT42) and its mid-sized drilling family including face drilling, production drilling and rock reinforcement rigs.

In the March quarter results, the company did not mention the name of the miner, the site the equipment will be deployed at, or which machines will be used at the operation, but, at a Bauma media roundtable event, President and CEO, Per Lindberg, said of the recent second generation launch: “We can say that the reception has not been worse than expected. It has been better than expected, and we have high expectations.”

And, earlier this month at The Electric Mine conference, in Toronto, Canada, Morgan Rody, Senior Project Manager: Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems (SIMS), Global Strategic Projects and Alliances, Epiroc, said one of Epiroc’s second-generation battery-electric drill rigs was set to arrive at Agnico Eagle’s Kittilä gold mine, in Finland, in a matter of weeks as part of the SIMS project.

Going back to the mining equipment manufacturer’s Q1 results, the company said orders received came in at SEK 10.06 billion ($1.06 billion) during the quarter, a year-on-year organic decline of 5%, while both revenues and operating profit rose – 19% to SEK 9.79 billion for the former and 27% to SEK 1.93 billion for the latter.

The company’s operating margin went from 18.4% a year earlier to 19.7%, while its basic earnings per share jumped from SEK 0.89/share to SEK 1.14/share.

Lindberg said, during the quarter, the company’s service business continued to grow “healthily”, having a positive impact on the group’s overall profit.

“Equipment revenues increased versus last year, but fell sequentially compared to the very strong Q4, which had a negative effect on our cost efficiency in the quarter,” he said.

“In the Tools & Attachments segment, we are pleased to see that our efficiency actions had a positive effect on the operating profit and margin. Working capital increased in the quarter, and continues to be a focus area for improvement. The operating cash flow was lower than in the previous quarter as a result.”

He said customer demand in the March quarter was “largely in line with our expectations”, with equipment orders at similar levels to the second half of 2018.

“The majority of mining equipment orders are still for expansion in or close to existing mines rather than for replacement,” he said. “The aftermarket business remained strong, reflecting the solid activity in the market, both in mining and in infrastructure.

“While our customers continue to be active and relatively confident about the future, and the mineral prices are at healthy levels, there are still uncertainties related to the economic development.

“We see that our customers primarily invest in lower-risk projects with focus on increased productivity and efficiency. We do not see any clear indications that the current market situation will change and expect that the demand will remain at the current level in the near term.”

During the quarter, the company completed its earlier announced acquisitions of Fordia and New Concept Mining, strengthening its position in exploration and rock reinforcement, and adding some SEK 1.2 billion in annual revenues, according to Lindberg.

On innovations, automation, digitalisation and battery power, Lindberg remarked: “We are pleased to see that we received several inquiries and orders for automation and battery solutions.”

On top of the battery equipment order from Canada, he said orders were booked for Mobilaris Mining Intelligence and, at the Bauma exhibition in early April, the company had presented a number of innovations, including My Epiroc, “a digital tool to help our customers to become more efficient in managing their fleet”, and its new generation SmartROC D65, an automation-ready surface drill rig.

Lindberg concluded: “In 2018, we put a lot of effort into the split and listing of Epiroc. In 2019, we will focus on improving and developing the business further. Besides the continued emphasis on innovation and new product development, a key focus will be on improving efficiency, agility and resilience throughout the company.”

Black Rock manganese mine chases efficiency gains with Epiroc’s Mobilaris solution

Epiroc says its Mobilaris Mining Intelligence (MMI) is set to help improve decision making at Assmang’s Black Rock underground manganese mine in South Africa.

The mining original equipment manufacturer said this will be the first installation of the decision support solution in a room and pillar mine.

Pierre Becker, General Manager Black Rock mine, said MMI will help to increase production and utilisation at the mine. “The solution enables an unprecedented opportunity for mining personnel to make right decisions faster than ever before,” he said.

Through MMI, the Black Rock Mine control room will evolve to a source of real-time production data fully integrated with planning, task dispatch, machine telemetry data, mobile operator clients and a layer of analytics to collect and monitor insights and key performance indicators for the mine production, Epiroc said. “The project is expected to yield significant improvements in employee safety, process efficiency and overall production,” the company added.

MMI enables superior situational awareness and is designed to visualise and support mining operation in all its complexity, in real-time, according to Epiroc. It provides a 3D real-time information model where the position of machines, vehicles and personnel are recognised, and other vital information sources like shift planning, machine and production data are presented.

Andrew Main, Regional Business Line Manager, Underground Rock Excavation division for Southern Africa, Epiroc South Africa, said: “Epiroc will support Black Rock’s business improvement processes with the MMI solution. The globally acclaimed Situational Awareness together with Short Interval Control package will take their operations to the next level of performance gains.”

System installation is expected in June, Epiroc said.

Kimberley Ekapa Mining chooses Epiroc MMI solution to go down digitalisation route

Kimberley Ekapa Mining has agreed to use Epiroc’s Mobilaris Mining Intelligence (MMI) solution as it looks to embrace mine digitalisation and create a decision support system to boost safety and increase productivity.

With the use of MMI, Kimberley Ekapa Mining will be able to track assets in real-time; to integrate and visualise machine data, machine location and the shift plan together to close the loop between the plan and the reality, according to Epiroc.

Howard Marsden, General Manager of Kimberley Ekapa Mining, said: “MMI will help us start to modernise our old diamond mine and be the tipping point in terms of production optimisation.”

Marsden added MMI would allow the company to tag and keep better track of its mining personnel and equipment and provide access to real-time data, shedding some light into the “normally dark world of the underground mine”.

“We expect this is to be productivity game changer,” he concluded.

Thanks to its open architecture, MMI can be integrated easily with other systems in the mine, Epiroc says. Kimberly Ekapa Mining will rely on MMI to compile information from other systems and make all information searchable and easily accessible to decision-makers in real time.

Ulla Korsman-Kopra, Global Business Manager, Automation and Information Management Systems at Epiroc’s Underground Rock Excavation division, said: “The MMI is the world’s leading multi-role 3D location based decision support system, which enhances safety, productivity and efficiency in the mining operations.”

Users can access the web-based MMI interface from different devices to visualise the locations and movements of workers, vehicles and other equipment in real-time, Epiroc says.

Korsman-Kopra said: “When a problematic situation arises, and for example lives are at stake, MMI can be critical. You need to act quickly and make informed decisions to save time and ultimately save lives.”

Epiroc will supply Kimberley Ekapa Mining with an MMI hardware and software package that includes personnel training and support. The system installation will be operational by year’s end.

The Kimberley Ekapa Mining diamond operation in South Africa produced 755,645 ct in the year to end-June 2018. The Kimberley mines were at the heart of South Africa’s early diamond rush in Kimberley in the late 1800s, where the world’s first hard rock diamond deposits were discovered.