Tag Archives: Pitram

Micromine Pitram takes control at Independence Group’s Nova operation

Micromine has signed a contract with Independence Group (IGO) to help drive productivity and cost efficiencies at the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt operation in the Fraser Range of Western Australia.

As part of the agreement, Micromine will implement at Nova its fleet management and mine control software solution, Pitram.

This implementation of Pitram, a mine control and management reporting system aimed at delivering mining production efficiencies, comes on the back of a resurgence in Western Australia’s nickel sector, which increased in value by 26% in 2017–18 to $2.6 billion, after several years of decline, Micromine said.

Nova began commercial operation in July 2017 and produced 22,258 t of nickel, 9,545 t of copper and 740 t of cobalt at a payable cash cost of A$2.78/lb ($2.01/Ib) of nickel in the 2018 financial year. Production is expected to increase some 20% in FY19 to 27,000-30,000 t of nickel, 11,000-12,500 t of copper, and 850-950 t of cobalt.

Micromine’s Pitram Operations Manager, Daren Hinchliffe, said Pitram would be used by operations personnel, to capture insights and data from mobile equipment and underground mining activities, in real time.

“Using Pitram’s voice-based mine control system, underground operators can call in their activities, locations and status to mine control, and performance results can be monitored constantly, allowing for continuous improvement,” he said.

Pitram’s automated technology allows shift supervisors to keep track of what is going on throughout the mine, while allowing constantly monitoring of results and performance, he added.

“This will provide IGO with critical data as to how the mine is performing and, help identify bottlenecks, enabling the company to respond quickly to opportunities to implement process improvements,” he said.

IGO’s Chief Operating Officer, Matt Dusci, believes this will drive significant value through productivity efficiencies and cost savings at Nova and, ultimately, serve as a platform for future integration with automation at the mine.

Micromine’s roll-out of Pitram at Nova commenced in December and is expected to be completed in early 2019.

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.

Micromine unlocking the value in data through Pitram OLAP tool

Using data-driven insights to improve the decision-making process and unlock value has been one of the biggest trends in the mining industry over the past few years and it will continue to be a strategic priority for mining companies going forward, according to Micromine.

“While data collection on site is important, what happens with that data next can sometimes be a challenge,” Micromine says.

Many tools exist to help management with analysis, modelling and reporting in order to realise value in their data, with Micromine’s Pitram OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) tool an example.

“Pitram’s OLAP Analysis module provides users with the necessary tools to perform multidimensional analysis of operational mining data. OLAP is a powerful technology used across various industries for data discovery, reporting, complex analytics and predictive forecastin,” Micromine says.

“With mining companies required to manage large and very complex data sets, this type of technology can provide enormous value to a mining operation.”

OLAP technology has been integrated into the Pitram solution to assist mines in understanding key data and improving business intelligence, according to the company, with multidimensional analysis, complex calculations, trend analyses, and sophisticated data modelling able to be applied through the Analysis module.

Pitram Product Strategy Manager Gareth Dean said the Pitram OLAP module can assist mine managers, engineers, geologists and analysts to perform data analysis, while providing them with the insight and understanding they need for better decision making.

The benefits of the OLAP Analysis module for Pitram users are significant, according to Micromine.

Multidimensional analysis, trustworthy data and calculations, self-service reporting and the ability to manipulate data to identify areas of improvement are just some of the features.

Dean said: “Having a fully dedicated and integrated OLAP Analysis module within Pitram makes it easy for users to access their key mining data relating to equipment, minesite personnel and materials.

“Users of the Pitram OLAP Analysis module can leverage the large amounts of data collected on site to improve key focus areas such as production, safety and mine planning.”

The OLAP module can also aggregate data from third party sources such as Microsoft Excel and OEM systems.

Micromine’s Pitram fleet management and mine control solution has been implemented at more underground sites than any competitor product and is increasingly popular with sites using automated practices, according to Micromine.

Micromine aims for productivity gains with Pitram Shift Planner 2.0

The Pitram Shift Planner 2.0 from software developer Micromine has taken into account user feedback, with the latest version built to reflect the dynamic nature of underground mining operations.

The new version, to be released shortly, allows planned work for equipment and mining locations to be divided into small, interdependent tasks or activities, allowing these tasks or activities to be rescheduled or re-allocated in real time during a shift.

These tasks are communicated to equipment operators along with expected duration and/or deliverables. The progress of a task is tracked automatically and supervisors are notified when a task is at risk of delay. Dependencies between each task are shown graphically allowing the effect of a delay to be identified and the overall impact on the shift outcome to be known.

“This type of functionality reflects the dynamic nature of a mining operation, allowing tasks to be rescheduled or re-allocated in real-time during the shift and allowing a manager or supervisor to determine the best way for the shift to be efficient and productive, despite unexpected delays or occurrences that may have occurred in the shift to date,” Micromine said.

Unlike traditional in-shift planning tools that focus on equipment only, Pitram’s Shift Planner monitors the production or development cycle at each location ensuring equipment units are not held up due to delays on other equipment.

“This is extremely important for operations that are constrained by limited access to stopes or development faces,” Micromine said.

Pitram Strategy Manager Gareth Dean said the development of Shift Planner came from collaboration and feedback from Micromine clients: “A missing feature that has been requested by multiple clients is to implement user roles and permissions. Specifically, an often-cited example of this is the inability to lock down a plan and only allow certain users to create or modify a plan.”

The current Shift Planner user interface does not allow for much customisation outside of configuring views. This forces the user to adapt to a design that may not suit their requirements. In Shift Planner 2.0, user interface elements will be dockable (or hidden) as required and can be saved per each user’s preference, for individual customisation.

In addition, the Short Interval Control (SIC) panel provides a graphical view of tasks in the current shift, comparing planned versus actual start and finish times and progress. This will be integrated into Shift Planner 2.0 as part of the application.

Notifications and warnings are an important planning tool to draw attention to the progress of the plan. While the current Shift Planner has no built-in notifications apart from highlighting of tasks behind schedule in the SIC panel, the latest version will include new areas such as: safety messages, tracking the user and being able to add comments.

And Shift Planner 2.0 will also allow users to be able to see how the entire shift is operating in relation to the plan.

Dean said: “We’re moving into a digital age, no longer are mine sites using paper, white-boards and walkie talkies to track people, equipment and their associated tasks on site. Micromine’s soon to be released Shift Planner 2.0 offering is a true example of digitisation that will offer significant increase in productivity gains.”

Micromine addresses software stability and performance with Pitram 4.10

The newest version of fleet management and mine control software Pitram has 35 new major features and over 650 improvements, according to developer MICROMINE.

The enhancements in Pitram 4.10 are geared towards improving stability and performance, according to Pitram Product Strategy Manager Gareth Dean.

“[This] means users will have more control over their operations”, he said.

Pitram assists mining operations to record, manage and process site data in near real-time. It provides mine managers with an overall view of the current operation status through the acquisition of key data relating to equipment, personnel and materials and is suitable for underground and surface mine construction, development and production.

Some of the key highlights for the Pitram 4.10 release include the removal of compatibility mode to support modern browsers, a new non-critical faults panel entry and commenting in maintenance view, improved IIS connectivity and major performance improvements to Pitram Mobile. Pitram Restful Integration Service functionality has also been extended for personnel and reference data elements.

Extensive development work has taken place to enhance the shift planner function, which now includes multiple-shift roster functionality, according to Micromine.

“Earlier versions of Pitram were only able to operate in a single-shift roster mode. In the enhanced version, the shift planner function has been extended to support multiple shift rosters,” the company said.

Previously, Pitram was supported by Internet Explorer browser (IE10 and IE 11) and required the compatibility mode to be turned on. Version 4.10 allows all Pitram modules not using Microsoft Silverlight to be displayed and used in other browsers, such as Chrome, Edge or Mozilla Firefox.

The development team has also redesigned and replaced the mobile database in Pitram Mobile to improve the overall performance of the application.

“The improved database will save time for users, increase efficiencies and allow for a more streamlined user experience,” Micromine said.

The mobile platform also benefits from stabilised mobile installs and increased data transfer. “Current analysis has shown reference data to have improved significantly, with some instances taking only 14% of the original data transfer and processing time,” the company said.

Dean said: “We place a lot of emphasis on better understanding our clients’ needs and their feedback has guided some of the changes in Pitram 4.10. The new features and enhancements will provide greater control for mine managers and assist to increase production, reduce costs and improve the decision-making process.”