Tag Archives: RPMGlobal

Amira Industry 4.0 interoperability project highlights ‘digital mine’ opportunities

Independent global not for profit organisation, Amira, says its global members are set to reap significant benefits from the finalisation of the Industry 4.0 interoperability project P1208 undertaken in Perth, Western Australia.

The Interoperability Enablement for Natural Resources project concluded in November and was sponsored by miners South32, Fortescue Metals Group and Gold Fields Australia.

The Amira project, which was conducted at the University of Western Australia’s Energy & Resources Digital Interoperability Industry 4.0 (UWA ERDi I4.0) TestLab, was designed to realise “the digital mine”, which requires mature interoperability standards to improve information flow.

The project ran multiple proofs-of-concept using interoperability standards (ISA-95/IEC 62264 and B2MML v7.0 (plus process centric event extensions)) that were originally developed to support the manufacturing industry.

These standards had benefited from many years of work (originally with contributions from BHP and continued by ETP and vendors such as RPMGlobal) in enhancing the standards to support mining requirements.

The resulting updated standards were used in P1208 as a means of exchanging information between common mining software packages from Datamine, ABB, AVEVA, RPMGlobal, Wenco and Manufacturing Intelligence. Each of these vendors played a critical part in the project’s success, according to Amira.

Managing Director at Enterprise Transformation Partners (ETP) and the P1208 Project Lead, John Kirkman, said the project was highly successful, demonstrating manufacturing standards could be adapted and used across various mining methods and commodities.

“In terms of benefits, miners should first note ‘interoperability’ is simply a means to an end, with that end being optimal management of their operations,” Kirkman said.

“By enhancing the core specialist software packages used by geologists, mine planners, mine execution/control, materials tracking and maintenance personnel, etc to work together as if they were always engineered to do so, you are thereby implementing the cornerstone of automating and optimising the processes used to manage your mining operations.

“This is just one of the reasons why interoperability is one of only three core pillars of the Industry 4.0 vision as the idea of achieving highly automated and optimised operations without interoperability is simply not viable.

“Industry 4.0 also recognise ISA-95/IEC 62264 as the standard for supporting modular operations management interoperability, while also recognising OPC-UA as the standard for level 2 (machine/process control) interoperability.”

Benefits of Industry 4.0

Kirkman said Industry 4.0 solutions remove a significant amount of manual effort that are currently an accepted part of the mining process.

“This, in turn, increases data quality by eliminating manual entry errors and aligning semantics, improves timeliness of access to new information and enables users to spend more of their time on the quality of their work,” he said.

“This enables the automated capabilities of the software packages to be fully utilised and opens opportunities for the vendors to develop additional high value automated decision support capabilities within their software packages.”

During the course of the P1208 project, this was most clearly and broadly demonstrated via the materials inventory tracking/management software packages, which were able to automatically receive material movement events (from fleet management systems and fixed plant) and material sample analysis results events (from a Lab Information Management System) and update block and stockpile quantities and grade, then send the updated block and stockpile quantities and grade to a mine planning software packages and data warehouse, all without any user intervention.

“With respect to major successes, the fact that we have been able to demonstrate that standards exist that are able to be applied to mining software packages that can exchange information regardless of what commodity you are mining, by whatever mining method, using whatever equipment, whether you are an open pit or underground mine and also supporting multiple areas of the value chain (ie geology, drilling, blasting, mining, processing, railing, port and shipping) is significant,” Kirkman said.

“With P1208, we have successfully demonstrated that standards do exist and that they can be applied to mining with great success and that miners can now begin to include the application of interoperability in their improvement/transformation strategies and, as a result, maximise their return on investment from future technology projects.”

Interoperability in action

Kirkman said this was exciting news for mining companies looking to make technology investments that have a much higher likelihood of achieving a meaningful return on investment.

Project sponsor Gold Fields Australia took part in the AMIRA P1208 demonstrations sessions at the UWA ERDi I4.0 TestLab in Perth, Australia, recently, examining how interoperability in the mine plan, scheduling, execution, and materials and tracking functions can improve performance.

One of the sponsors said: “I don’t think many mining companies really appreciate the magnitude of the inefficiencies and lost opportunities that exist in a typical mine as a result of systems not working together; I think it’s almost just accepted as we have no other choice today.

“The Amira project has really shone a light on this area and demonstrated how interoperability can significantly improve the way of working across the business.

“To witness schedules being published from one vendor’s software and being received by multiple other vendors’ software, and the same again with actuals and inventory balance updates in real-time, is quite exciting and even more so when you consider that none of the vendors worked directly together; they just applied the standard interfaces to their software under the guidance of the ETP/ERDi team and it all works.”

The ETP team and various vendors involved in P1208 are already implementing these solutions into an open-pit and an underground mine further validating the work, with case studies likely to be produced through 2022.

The ERDi TestLab has noted a recent uptick in interest from both Australia-based and overseas mining companies, which bodes well for the vendors whom can now take advantage of their investment in interoperable solutions.

The ERDi team has already commenced work to extend these solutions across asset management and maintenance, fleet management/autonomous haulage solutions to machines and open process control interoperability via integration of OPAS-based solutions from the Coalition of Open Process Automation (COPA), who have together built the world’s first commercially available OPAS-based control system.

Project findings

Some of the key findings from the project include:

  • There were no instances of an information type required by the end customer or other systems not already catered for by the B2MML v7.0 + process centric events schemas;
  • All vendors were able to enhance their software to support the standards successfully;
  • Software performance would likely be the limiting factor in how much data could be exchanged, not the standard itself, which can be addressed by vendors through various approaches;
  • That being able to receive accurate, real-time information from other systems exposed opportunities for vendors to implement new and advanced features that would not have been useful in a manually updated solution;
  • Though the standard supported all requirements and was able to be implemented by vendors, a number of areas were identified in which the standard could be improved to make it much easier for vendors to implement, maintain and update over time as well ensure it is sufficiently explicit to certify products. ERDi has already kicked off work to address these improvement opportunities;
  • Education is likely the greatest barrier to adoption today. As these Industry 4.0 approaches and opportunities are not yet commonplace in the mining industry, miners will need to make an investment in upskilling their workforce to be able to successfully implement and take advantage of these solutions. Industry 4.0 education and workforce enablement has also been identified by platform I4.0 and the world economic forum as major factors in successful industry 4.0 adoption; and
  • It is possible to establish standards management and governance processes to enable more rapid and frequent update of standards.

RPMGlobal acquires three mine planning optimisation software products from MIRARCO

RPMGlobal has announced a further software product acquisition after entering a collaborative research partnership with Canada-based MIRARCO.

The agreement gives RPM ownership of three mine planning optimisation software products that will strengthen its Design and Scheduling product suites, in particular the SOT product, RPM said.

The acquisition is part of a three-year collaborative research partnership with MIRARCO, an innovative solution research provider for the mining industry and research arm of Laurentian University based in Sudbury, Canada.

MIRARCO was instrumental in the original research leading to the development of RPM’s Schedule Optimisation Tool (SOT). SOT, along with Attain and Surface SOT, were products acquired by RPM as part of its July 2020 acquisition of Revolution Mining Software.

RPM CEO and Managing Director, Richard Mathews, said: “We are very proud that MIRARCO continues to place their trust in RPM to further develop and commercialise these important optimisation programs.”

One of MIRARCO’s core research domains is furthering the research and development of decision support software for the mining industry.

MIRARCO has developed three separate but complementary underground mine planning optimisation products, which RPM has, under this agreement, agreed to acquire and commercialise. These products extend and complement the functionality of RPM’s mine optimisation software solutions in the areas of Advanced Valuation, GeoSequencing, and Ventilation, it said.

As part of a strategic multi-year collaboration arrangement, RPM and MIRARCO will continue to work together on research and development projects that deliver demonstrable and innovative solutions for the mining industry.

The Advanced Valuation Module (AVM) facilitates the generation of optimised underground mine plans that can deal with the effects of uncertain product prices and ore grades. The mine planner specifies distributions for product prices over the mine’s life and ore grades. AVM will then optimise the life-of-mine schedule, maximising the operation’s net present value (NPV).

The GeoSequencing Module (GSM) facilitates the generation of optimised underground mine schedules adhering to stope sequencing constraints motivated by geotechnical considerations. The mine planner selects the rules for stope sequencing and GSM automatically generates alternative sets of stope-to-stope dependencies, or GeoSequencing scenarios, while enforcing the selected rules. The output is an NPV-optimised life-of-mine schedule based on the mine’s geotechnical considerations.

The Ventilation Constraint Module (VCM) generates optimised underground mine schedules based on ventilation constraints. Through interaction with a ventilation solver, VCM automatically generates airflow-based constraints on the equipment for each ventilation district. Using these constraints, VCM generates optimised NPV life-of-mine schedules that are feasible from a ventilation perspective.

Mathews added: “This acquisition is strategically important for two reasons. First, it further supports our commitment to delivering real innovation to the industry through the ongoing investment and collaboration with the leading minds within key research and development institutes such as MIRARCO. Secondly, it continues our commitment to owning and further investing in the development of innovative strategic mine optimisation solutions particularly for our underground mining clients.

“With the completion of this transaction, RPM is now the proud owner of nine underground mine planning software optimisation products that are used by software suppliers to the mining industry particularly in the underground space to build optimised underground life of mine plans.”

Mathews said the company started acquiring and developing underground mine optimisation products back in August 2017, starting with the acquisition of MineOptima (borne out of research of the Network Optimisation Group at the University of Melbourne) and then in July 2020 with the acquisition of Revolution Mining (borne out of research of MIRARCO) and now with MIRARCO once again.

Dr Nadia Mykytczuk, Interim President and CEO of MIRARCO and Executive Director of the Goodman School of Mines, said: “RPM’s global reach and drive to deliver innovative technology solutions for the mining industry make them a perfect industry partner for MIRARCO. We are looking forward to building on our already strong partnership and collaboration with RPM over the next three years and beyond.”

RPMGlobal to create Emissions Management Software solution with Eden Suite deal

RPMGlobal (RPM) has entered into an agreement with Eden Suite Pty Ltd to acquire a copy of its Environmental Data Management and Reporting Software, Eden Suite.

This acquisition provides RPM with the exclusive worldwide rights to the intellectual property in the Eden Suite software for use in the mining and quarrying industries, along with the ability to extend and integrate the use of the software inside RPM’s suite of software products, it said.

This latest announcement follows closely from the recent acquisitions by RPM of two environmental, social and governance (ESG) consulting and advisory businesses – Blueprint Environmental Strategies and Nitro Solutions.

This acquisition, RPMGlobal says, is strategically important as it will be the first software solution within a brand-new Sustainability vertical in the technology division.

Richard Mathews, RPMGlobal’s CEO, stated, “RPM’s ESG consulting and advisory division has an enviable reputation in ESG matters and the establishment of a dedicated technology vertical focused on ESG technology will further bolster their credentials.

“RPM has a lot of ESG capability already built into its software products to address topics such as emissions simulation, disturbance scheduling/reporting and avoidance zoning. This strategic acquisition provides RPM’s mining customers with a proven ESG focused solution that has been specifically built and tailored for the sole purposes of supporting users with their environmental management and reporting requirements.”

Eden Suite has been supporting carbon management for almost 10 years and was initially developed to capture the fundamental mechanics of annual emissions reporting. This capability can also be applied to the annual National Pollutant Inventories (NPI) and other regulatory greenhouse gas emission reporting requirements. It does this by streamlining the capture of usages for anything that creates an emission output for an organisation, RPMGlobal explained. Usages of emissions sources can be manually entered or automatically integrated through direct data linkages.

The solution has been designed to make it easier for organisations to proactively track, forecast and subsequently report their emissions outputs.

“One of the major challenges faced by miners with emissions reporting is that of data capture, which is a critical component of the regulatory reporting framework,” the company said. “Eden Suite is configured to mirror how an organisation operates. Data is captured in a manner allowing for auditability and transparency, ensuring material disclosures in relation to carbon are accurately calculated and reported.”

RPM’s Emissions Management solution will be entirely web-based, and cloud delivered and is configured to reflect an organisation’s asset hierarchy. Inputs are then measured by vehicle, fleet or at an individual asset level allowing granular reporting and flexibility of changes which is important for historical and auditable reporting.

Mathews continued: “Mining organisations are being required to undertake an increasing amount of time-sensitive statutory reporting for ESG and this can no longer be reliably delivered through the use of Excel spreadsheets. With the RPM Emissions Management Software solution, a site or an entire organisation can generate annualised emissions submissions that can be summarised into daily emissions trends per activity or even source. Having a solution with real-time data capture allows mining clients to proactively monitor and manage their progress across Scope 1, 2 and 3 inventories.”

Eden Suite’s CEO, Peter Robertson, stated: “RPM is ideally positioned within the mining industry to further the growth of this software solution within that market. RPM is an industry leader in the mining consulting and advisory space and has a proven track record developing and integrating technology. We are pleased to have such a strong partnership with such a respected and progressive company.”

RPMGlobal extends haulage vehicle simulation to green hydrogen, hybrid-diesel power

RPMGlobal says it has further advanced its simulation platform to support hybrid vehicles that are powered by green hydrogen or hybrid diesel.

The hybrid vehicle functionality, developed in partnership with Tier-One miners and OEMs within the mining industry, enables users to simulate and test multiple scenarios including vehicles that use hydrogen or hybrid diesel. This is particularly useful for organisations looking to decarbonise their mining operations and are looking for a way to quantify potential options, the company said.

RPM’s simulation solutions use a Discrete Event Simulation engine that has been specifically designed for the mining industry. Organisations typically build a base case simulation they use as a yardstick to measure any changes to the haulage network, road rules, mine layout or vehicles.

Richard Mathews, Chief Executive Officer of RPMGlobal, said the demand for HAULSIM and SIMULATE has been strong. “RPM is experiencing a significant increase in organisations needing to measure and quantify the financial and emission benefits of utilising electric, hydrogen or hybrid diesel alternatives to their traditional diesel fleet.

“The global decarbonisation effort has certainly created demand for RPM’s unique simulation solutions that can assist with answering questions that you simply can’t answer in a spreadsheet.

“RPM’s Commercial Off-The-Shelf simulation solutions are already used worldwide by miners, contractors and OEMs. With mining companies across the world pledging to quantifiably improve their decarbonisation efforts towards net-zero targets, software solutions that can measure and quantify the potential benefits of using lower emission options that are available in the market are super important.”

This latest software release also includes several other developments such as interaction rules for autonomous vehicles, upgrades to electric vehicle infrastructure simulations, additional microservices to evaluate alternative options remotely (server or cloud) and more detailed reporting for electric vehicles.

With this release, RPM is offering usage of the software and training free of charge to anyone taking part in the Charge On Innovation Challenge to support participants in delivering innovative decarbonisation solutions, it said. This challenge came about as a result of BHP, Rio Tinto, Vale and Austmine recognising that the mining industry needs to be at the forefront of tackling climate change. The Charge On Innovation Challenge is aimed at encouraging innovative technology development that will support the mining industry’s decarbonisation efforts.

RPMGlobal increases XPAC ESG scope with environmental disturbance modelling and reporting functionality

RPMGlobal has taken what it says are the next step in the development of its environmental, social and governance (ESG) technology capabilities, with the introduction of environmental disturbance modelling and reporting functionality into its mine scheduling products, XPAC Solutions.

The company is collaborating with a major mining client in Canada to develop the module, with on-site testing completed in September.

This new module provides users with environmental disturbance functionality associated with any disturbance of environmental significance across the life of a mine, RPMGlobal explains.

“Unlike a simple reporting tool, XPAC Solutions has the capability to restrain a mining schedule based on pre-set limits associated with both water catchment and flora and fauna zones,” it said. “For example, users can request a reduction in an environmental distance of some type and the software will then proceed to find a different schedule that honours that restriction.”

This new module is required because organisations now need to plan and report how much environmental disturbance has taken place in specified areas, allowing organisations to plan better when applying for, and receiving ground disturbance permits.

This forward-looking environmental view gives users the foresight they need to understand how the mining process will impact a piece of land, according to RPMGlobal. Users can easily configure the product across many different sensitive habitats and report results independently or in combination.

With RPMGlobal’s automatic environmental disturbance reporting functionality, users will no longer have to take a mine schedule and manually place it into a GIS system to build environmental reports, the company said. Instead, users configure the product once and it will generate the data required every time a mine schedule is run.

RPMGlobal’s Head of ESG, Ngaire Tranter, said the environmental disturbance capability would be critical for companies operating in jurisdictions that have stringent environmental restrictions.

“Organisations require forward-looking solutions that help them efficiently manage and demonstrate compliance with increasingly complex environmental rules and regulations that govern the industry,” she said. “Across many jurisdictions, policy makers and regulators are strengthening environmental disclosure requirements which underpin the importance of innovative software solutions that help mining companies navigate this evolving space.”

Since the commencement of the dedicated ESG division in July 2021, the company says it has been focused on developing and integrating unique ESG capabilities into its suite of mining specific software solutions.

The development project follows the completion of the company’s electric vehicle simulation capabilities which sit inside the company’s vehicle simulation suite of software. Separately, development has commenced to include hydrogen-powered haul trucks inside the same simulation platform.

Tranter said there were already planning sessions occurring for the next stage of XPAC Solutions’ ESG capabilities, which are focused on rehabilitation planning.

“There is an increasing focus from shareholders on an organisations’ social licence to operate so it’s important that we, as a software provider, continue to stay a step ahead by developing solutions that mitigate risk and add value for our clients in this space,” she said.

“Our intention is to develop a world-class ESG technology stack that builds on the expertise of our Advisory division.”

RPMGlobal establishes Asset Management Centre to address AMT software demand

RPMGlobal has announced the opening of its Asset Management Centre of excellence in Perth, Western Australia, which has been developed to, the company says, address the rapid growth and demand of/for the company’s AMT software suite.

The centre brings together personnel with a diverse range of skills focused on best practice in the asset management space, with the centre having a particular focus on supporting clients and projects in Western Australia.

AMT is RPMGlobal’s asset management software which helps mining companies, contractors, OEMs and their dealers effectively manage their assets using a “unique” Dynamic Life Cycle Costing engine.

Since early 2021, RPMGlobal says it has been recruiting heavily for asset management specialists to cater for additional deployment and support skills to enhance and support the delivery of current and future demand of their asset management suite of solutions.

According to Richard Mathews, RPMGlobal CEO, the decision to base the centre in Perth made sense on several fronts.

“Perth became an obvious choice due to the highly sought-after skills and experience of the recruitment pool as well as the time zone with a number of our bigger customers and users of the software,” he said.

RPMGlobal claims to have secured a marked increase in new organisations using the software in the last 12 months and is making room for a heightened period of growth, in particular from its Western Australia customers.

“Perth makes sense not just for Western Australia but also several globally strategic projects,” Mathews said. “We are expanding for what is a significant period of growth across our business, particularly in the AMT space.”

The upward trajectory builds on a big 2020 for the Perth team where a major renovation of RPMGlobal’s Perth office was completed, adding another floor and unveiling a dedicated Customer Experience Centre to support the company’s growth in the local market.

Mathews said this latest period of accelerated growth across its Western Australia customer base is in line with securing major sales and accelerating development of new products and services.

“Our intention is always to have a very strong local support network for our customers and the increased investment in our Perth footprint is a strong reflection of that commitment,” he said.

The company’s organic expansion coincides with a period of increased market confidence and positive industry outlook, coupled with a sharp focus on innovation from major mining companies, RPMGlobal says.

Mathews added: “It’s certainly an exciting time for the mining industry and we have seen Perth, in particular, emerge as a digital and innovation mining hub.

“Our Perth Asset Management Centre demonstrates our strong commitment to the region and providing our growing customer base with technology solutions that unlock long-term value across the mining value chain.”

RPMGlobal’s SaaS model enhanced with IMAFS and Shift Manager cloud-based transitions

RPMGlobal says it has accelerated the transition of its product suite to the cloud, releasing two new cloud offerings to the market.

The company’s IMAFS™ inventory optimisation and Shift Manager™ operational management solutions have now made the transition, the company said.

IMAFS uses artificial intelligence-based algorithms to enhance inventory management and forecasting accuracy for miners. It connects to an organisations ERP, enabling operations to continuously improve the accuracy of parts availability, reduce inventories, decrease stockouts and reduce equipment downtimes, according to the company.

Transitioning IMAFS from a hosted solution in the cloud to a full Software as a Service (SaaS) model will provide users with greater flexibility in security and authentication, RPMGlobal claims. As a result of the shift to the cloud, customers can now continuously optimise their inventory management processes.

“The move to the cloud has as an array of benefits, including increased ease of use, as users now only need a browser to access the IMAFS software,” RPMGlobal says. “Other benefits include high levels of scalability and availability, a modern API interface, faster deployment time and improved cost effectiveness.”

Shift Manager, meanwhile, is a short-term task planning and execution solution that enables users to collaborate and communicate through a single, integrated plan. The software allows users to manage tasks and resource allocations to drive more effective on-shift decision making and greater compliance to plan, according to the company.

As a cloud-enabled hosted solution, users are able to execute short-term shift planning through a single, integrated, web-based application without the need to be physically on site, the company says. Other benefits include enhanced security and collaboration across departments and a rapid implementation methodology that includes several pre-built integration points.

RPMGlobal Chief Technology Officer, Paul Beesley, says cloud adoption will help the industry unlock additional productivity and sustainability improvements.

“Cloud applications facilitate remote collaboration and the scalability that mining organisations require while creating robust data storage solutions that are more cost-efficient when compared to outdated hardware,” he said.

“Our products have been designed to leverage the tools and services available on the cloud platforms to rapidly build enhanced solutions for our customers. The transition to a full cloud offering across our full product portfolio is being enabled due to our above industry average investment in research and development and we look forward to continuing our progress in releasing more cloud offerings to the market soon.”

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, added: “The company is committed to investing in technical innovation to enable customers to operate their mines as efficiently as possible.

“With more customers adopting a remote-operating business strategy through technology enablement, our work to migrate other products to a complete SaaS model will ramp up as we strive to add additional value for our present and future customers.”

RPMGlobal’s software, sustainability capabilities to be showcased at MINExpo

RPMGlobal says it will showcase some of its latest software offerings and new sustainability capabilities at MINExpo International 2021 alongside its commitment to support mining organisations on their journey towards “greener” operations.

The company will have several of its latest software innovations on display at the show in Las Vegas, September 13-15. With RPMGlobal’s strong investment in integrated cloud capabilities increasing significantly in recent years, MINExpo will be the first opportunity for many attendees to learn more about its Software as a Service offerings, which includes the Haulage as a Service (HaaS) simulation product, the company said.

In addition, the increasing sophistication and functionality of RPMGlobal’s industry leading scheduling tools, XECUTE and XPAC Solutions, will be front and centre at its booth. This includes the next evolution of mine scheduling software with the introduction of the Hybrid Scheduling and advanced pit-to-port capabilities.

RPMGlobal’s General Manager of the Americas, Sandeep Sandhu, said the company had been focused on accelerating and expanding its software suite in line with the company’s commitment to driving real change in the mining industry through innovation.

“We continue to strengthen our portfolio of products which is evident in the growing breadth and depth of our software offerings since the last MINExpo in 2016, which is something we are very proud of,” he said. “RPMGlobal’s purpose is to help operations extract more value through innovative software solutions and sustainable mining methods so we are very excited about showcasing the progress we’ve made across our software suite in a face-to-face setting in what is undoubtedly the most anticipated mining event of the year.”

RPMGlobal’s exhibit will demonstrate the company’s commitment to advancing the industry towards a more sustainable future, achieved through a focus on innovative technologies and the provision of domain expertise.

Alongside the mining industry’s commitment to sustainability, RPMGlobal’s Consulting & Advisory team will be able to update attendees on the company’s strengthened environmental, social and governance (ESG) services following the acquisition of Nitro Solutions.

With the global mining industry facing an array of complex challenges, ranging from evolving community expectations to a decarbonisation agenda and controlling costs, Sandhu said miners will need to embrace innovative technology and deep domain expertise to grow sustainably and profitably.

“The pandemic has accelerated the focus on technological innovation as operations have realised they need the right technology to operate their systems and software remotely,” he said.

“In addition, more and more organisations have committed to emission reduction targets. As a METS company, we have a responsibility to assist mining operations respond to the increased demands and achieve those emissions targets so we are really looking forward to having a lot of great conversations with clients and attendees alike about how we can help the industry mine more sustainably.”

RPMGlobal adds electric vehicles to the HaaS simulation mix

RPMGlobal says it has further advanced its environmental, social and governance (ESG) software capabilities following the completion of enhancements to its Haulage as a Service (HaaS) simulation product to incorporate support for electric vehicles.

In addition, the company is planning to add hydrogen haulage vehicle technology into the mix later.

As a cloud enabled, service-orientated approach to haulage analysis, HaaS provides mining companies with the capability to undertake haulage calculations in a cloud environment, according to RPM.

The introduction of electric vehicle support will allow users to model energy usage and regenerative braking within HaaS, providing users with the ability to complete travel time calculations programmatically in a cloud-based environment.

RPMGlobal’s investment in both cloud and sustainability has increased significantly in the past year, culminating in the latest release of HaaS. HaaS, which was the first RPMGlobal solution to be released as a true Software as a Service offering, is a native cloud application that gives miners increased operational agility to undertake haulage calculations from any location, the company explained.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, said the latest release further demonstrated the company’s commitment to support mining organisations on their journey towards environmentally responsible operations.

“RPMGlobal is focused on contributing towards a sustainable future for the people and organisations that we work with and it is great to see the advancements that our software is contributing to in this space,” he said.

With hydrogen now viewed as having an important role to play in the industry’s bid to decarbonise through the integration of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, the next step for RPMGlobal’s haulage simulation platforms will be the introduction of hydrogen vehicle technology to the mix. Foundation work has already started on the offering, with completion planned later this calendar year, the company said.

“This new functionality will allow organisations to simulate hydrogen-powered vehicles and run scenarios with the specific characteristics of the new hydrogen technology,” RPM said. “The simulation platform will then provide a way to assess options and scenarios for diesel, electric or hydrogen powered vehicles in any combination.”

Mathews views the platform as critical capability for mining organisations and original equipment manufacturers as they search for ways to remove reliance on fossil fuels in mining.

“As more and more organisations commit to emission reduction targets, it will be critical to have software that can simulate different outcomes based on what combination of diesel-, electric- or hydrogen-powered vehicles are deployed within the mining operation and allow users to quantify the results of each scenario in a way that assists them to make the best decisions inclusive of sustainability considerations,” he said.

An increasing number of miners have formally set emissions targets while the majors have committed to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Many of the plans to reach these decarbonisation commitments have an element that focuses on haulage of material and the shift from diesel to alternative energy sources that are more sustainable, according to Mathews.

“Whether an organisation is looking to battery-electric vehicles, hydrogen, or trolley infrastructure as a greener alternative, our intent is to ensure RPMGlobal’s simulation solutions can support and enhance those decisions into the future,” he said.

The company added electric vehicle support to its haulage simulation platforms, HAULSIM and SIMULATE, back in May.