Tag Archives: RPMGlobal

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.

RPMGlobal establishes dedicated ESG mining division with acquisition of Nitro Solutions

RPMGlobal is set to boost its environmental, social and governance (ESG) offering with the addition of Australia-headquartered Nitro Solutions Pty Ltd.

The two companies have entered into an acquisition agreement whereby RPMGlobal will buy the privately-owned ESG services company.

“Nitro is a company that provides the mining industry with a quality-focused ESG service in the areas of environmental approvals, impact assessment, regulatory advice, environmental audits, compliance reporting (due diligence) and environmental economics, policy & legislation advice,” RPMGlobal said.

This acquisition will be the catalyst to bring together RPMGlobal’s ESG professionals, who are based across the globe, into one division to be headed by Ngaire Tranter, the current CEO and founder of Nitro.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, said the acquisition and the inclusion of the Nitro team combined with RPMGlobal’s existing ESG capabilities would see the company form a dedicated ESG division.

“While our mining advisory ESG professionals have been engaged to perform and manage numerous ESG mandates around the world, until now, we have not had a dedicated division focused solely on ESG,” he said.

“Ngaire and her team have an excellent reputation within the mining ESG market which gives us great confidence that we can build a world-class, mining-focused ESG business leveraging an ESG team that knows and understands mining from the ground up.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Tranter said she was proud of the business her team had built over the last six years and was looking forward to continuing to help mining companies take action to improve their ESG performance.

“Alongside the speed of ESG adoption, the opportunity to be part of a larger organisation with a global footprint allows us to assist the mining industry with the increasing requirements in this space right around the world,” she said. “It’s clear that RPMGlobal is passionate about building a premier mining ESG business supported by state-of-the-art software products, and I, together with the rest of the team, really look forward to joining RPMGlobal on this exciting journey.”

With most major and mid-tier miners around the globe having accelerated their efforts to meet decarbonisation targets in parallel with a broader societal commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, RPMGlobal says it has been drawing on its leading technology and the Advisory teams’ strong expertise to deliver a range of ESG-focused services.

“With organisations globally rising to the challenge of meeting increasing sustainability demands placed upon their organisations and operations, I see the merger of Nitro with RPMGlobal as an important step forward to supporting mining companies in their quest to meet decarbonisation, governance and social licence to operate requirements,” Tranter said.

Mathews said this was just the start of RPMGlobal’s ESG journey as the company plans to grow its ESG division with mining services capabilities through a range of organic and non-organic strategies.

“We also intend to harness the deep ESG domain knowledge of the Nitro team to assist RPMGlobal’s technology division identify software products we can either acquire, or alternatively build to service this accelerating market segment,” he said.

The acquisition is expected to close on June 30, 2021, subject to satisfaction of a number of conditions precedent and customary completion events.

RPMGlobal looks for increased XPAC, IMAFS market share with supported language adds

RPMGlobal says it has expanded the reach of its industry-leading planning and scheduling software, XPAC Solutions, adding Chinese to the list of supported languages.

XPAC commodity-based solutions support multiple mining methods for both open pit and underground operations including metals mines, bulk commodities, oil sands, diamonds, potash and quarrying.

Building on a recent major upgrade that marked the introduction of hybrid scheduling, the latest releases of XPAC Solutions is focused on supporting the increasing user base with additional language support features, the company said.

The mine planning solution now supports five languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese) across its commodity-specific mining software suite.

These language enhancements come as the company’s client base continues to expand, with the latest language compatibility upgrade designed to strengthen Chinese operations using the software, according to the company.

David Batkin, RPMGlobal’s Executive Manager, Product Strategy, said: “With the rapid growth of our solution footprint, we are committed to ensuring we invest in true internationalisation, helping our global customer base maximise the value they receive from our solutions”.

RPMGlobal has also added language support for its newly acquired inventory optimisation management software tool, IMAFS. IMAFS is an inventory management and forecasting software solution that uses proprietary artificial intelligence algorithms to greatly improve inventory management, the company says.

In the latest release of IMAFS, the product now supports three languages (Spanish, Portuguese and Russian), ensuring the product’s customer base has a “seamless user experience in regions speaking those languages”, it said.

Other enhancements to IMAFS include a new user interface, making it easier than before to use the software, along with improved visualisation of frequency, usage multiples and lead times.

Commenting on the addition of the new language support, Batkin said the company prides itself on offering comprehensive global multi-lingual support for its products that meets the needs of its global customer base.

“Along with further advancements to our mining software, we anticipate the expansion of more language offerings across our software suite to ensure we are delivering enhanced value to our global customer base,” he said.

RPMGlobal says its software offering is deployed all over the world and is supported by 24 offices globally.

RPMGlobal seeks to align short- and long-term mine planning with Attain

RPMGlobal has broadened its software optimisation suite with the launch of Attain, a solution that, the company says, helps mine planners maintain alignment between their long-term and short-term production schedules and improve the net present value (NPV) of their operations.

The company explained: “The dynamic nature of mining operations creates a high degree of uncertainty across many different elements. Unexpected events often arise which require mine planners to reschedule their mine plan. Should the short-term mine plan deviate too far off course from the long-term plan then value can be eroded by the failure to achieve the strategic long-term goals.”

Attain is a software solution that solves the challenge of mine planning horizon misalignment by ensuring operational mine planning is systematically aligned with the long-term plan, resulting in optimised short-term schedules and improved NPV, RPMGlobal claims.

Once a schedule becomes misaligned with the longer-term plan, Attain will produce feasible, optimised short-range schedules aligned with the long-range schedule. These alternatives are offered to the mine planner who is then able to review and selects the preferred short-range schedule.

Attain targets the two-to-six-month planning horizon and builds a short-term schedule that considers the actual results to-date while maintaining alignment with the long-term plan, it says.

“With a highly intuitive user interface, the user simply selects their preferred long-term plan which then becomes Attain’s optimisation objective,” RPMGlobal added.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, said: “Short-term planners are always reacting to events that cause a deviation from the mine plan but they often don’t have a way of knowing what the unintended consequences of the resulting re-planning decisions are on the life of the mine.

“With Attain, users can make informed decisions while adjusting the short-term plan knowing that the long-term plan objectives are being met. Attain complements all mine planning tools and processes that mining operations use.”

Mathews said the team were excited to launch the Attain solution to the market and would be seeking feedback from early adopters to prioritise future development.

RPMGlobal introduces ‘industry first’ Hybrid Scheduling tool to XPAC Solutions

RPMGlobal has unveiled its next evolution of mine scheduling software with the latest release of its leading suite of scheduling products, XPAC Solutions.

The latest release includes speed and performance upgrades and functionality and architectural improvements designed to provide the user with additional agility.

However, it is the introduction of Hybrid Scheduling in XPAC 3.1 that is already generating excitement, according to the company.

Hybrid Scheduling is, RPM claims, an industry first that provides users with the flexibility of manual scheduling, together with the time savings and ease of automated scheduling.

For many years, XPAC Solutions have allowed users to start scheduling manually then seamlessly transition to automatic scheduling at any point. With Hybrid Scheduling, users can define the high-level strategy, such as the timing of shovel moves or opening of a new pit and leave the AutoScheduler to work out the detail.

The Hybrid Scheduling functionality includes a major update to the user interface that completely turns the traditional iterative scheduling workflow on its head, according to RPM.

Users no longer need to process the entire schedule every time they make an adjustment to the configuration. They can now step through the schedule incrementally, pausing at key milestones and refining the schedule as they go.

With most scheduling software products on the market requiring users to choose one of either manual or automatic mode, XPAC Solutions’ Hybrid Scheduling functionality gives mine planners the best of both worlds – the ability to schedule both manually and automatically which can be used across all solutions in any combination, RPM says.

RPMGlobal Chief Technology Officer, Paul Beesley, said the release of XPAC 3.1 represented a major step-change in the industry’s approach to planning and scheduling.

“XPAC Solutions 3.1 gives mine planners more flexibility and capability than ever before which is critical for the dynamic environment in which mines operate,” he said.

“Key scheduling decisions can be made manually, while the detail of how those decisions will be achieved is determined automatically. Importantly, all three methods are performed simultaneously in an interactive, highly visual environment that integrates 3D animation, Gantt charts and task sequences.

“Planners can pause the schedule at any point and visualise the status of the mine and key equipment so it’s much faster to build practical, efficient dig sequences for all major equipment.”

The latest upgrade to XPAC Solutions includes major speed and performance enhancements across the process. Data compaction and caching techniques make it much faster to load complex 3D data into memory and virtually eliminates any further delays when the plot is revisited, the company says.

Among other improvements, the new version allows delays associated with equipment relocations to be inserted automatically with durations based on the distance that must be travelled.