Tag Archives: Software as a Service

RPMGlobal brings Software as a Service to the haulage sector

RPMGlobal has launched its first Software as a Service (SaaS) product, providing mining companies, it says, with the capability to undertake haulage calculations in a cloud environment.

With more and more operations choosing to move business-critical operations into the cloud, RPM has leveraged the growing shift from the desktop by collaborating with industry partners to launch a service-based approach to haulage calculations, known as Haulage as a Service (HaaS).

This cloud enabled, service-oriented approach to haulage analysis means users are no longer confined to one application on the desktop. Under the new SaaS model, customers are able to write their own applications to interact with HaaS. Users can then configure haul traces, haul routes, settings and trucks to run travel time calculations automatically in the cloud.

HaaS leverages the travel time calculation engine contained within RPM’s TALPAC product which has been the de-facto standard for simulation within the mining industry for more than 40 years, according to RPM. This calculation engine enables users or customer applications to undertake travel time calculations on demand.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, said: “HaaS is tailored to the current requirements of our customers to cloud-enable their operations and enable their businesses to be conducted remotely no matter where they or their people are physically located.

“Providing our customers with flexible and scalable ways to use RPM’s software is a key part of our customer service promise, and cloud-hosted options enhance our ability to support our customers through an internet-enabled cloud access to the hosted application.

“Making our innovative software available through a variety of delivery methods will remain critical moving forward and with a number of our customers undergoing the transition to cloud environments, we are proud to be at the forefront of this migration.”

The reporting and calibration benefits within the cloud HaaS offering are already resulting in miners requesting access to HaaS, RPM says. Miners are using HaaS as a way of measuring haulage performance and identifying areas of haulage improvement, including being able to automatically compare the actual values out of their fleet management systems (FMS) with calculated values, straight after the haulage route is complete on a consistent basis.

With HaaS, miners have increased operational agility to undertake haulage calculations from any location, according to the company. Because there is no desktop application, the calculations can be delivered via the web or mobile apps instantly.

Mathews said RPMGlobal’s cloud-enabled SaaS solutions help to solve several key industry challenges, including the problem of siloed data.

“With HaaS, data is no longer trapped within individual desktop applications or siloed with individual users,” he said. “This cloud-enabled approach enables operations to get the best overall haulage performance right across their operations irrespective of where the users or applications calling the cloud service are physically located.

“Mining is a dynamic and fluid environment, often making it difficult to benchmark the performance of trucks. Miners have had to use key performance indicators such as Effective Flat Haul in an attempt to normalise data. HaaS addresses this challenge by allowing miners to compare every haul against a benchmark calculated value.”

Mathews concluded: “If there can be one positive thing to come out of the global challenges of COVID-19 it is an understanding that companies need to be able to operate their businesses remotely no matter where their people are physically located, and being able to utilise SaaS applications means they can do exactly that.”

Orica on the right Track with new digital blasting solutions

Orica’s suite of rock movement, blast fragmentation and digital blast optimisation solutions have been gaining traction of late, with miners across the globe employing or trialling the products as they look to improve mine site performance.

Ahead of the annual Explosives and Blasting feature (to be published in the International Mining July/August 2020 issue), IM spoke with Rajkumar Mathiravedu, Vice President of Digital Solutions at Orica, to get an update on progress with the company’s digital solutions.

Back in Orica’s 2019 full-year results, Orica mentioned it had secured its first customers in Latin America for its ORETrack™ solution, which provides RFID-based tracking of rock movement from blasting operations.

Mathiravedu said these first adopters were recognising the value delivered by the technology, with ORETrack working well in the initial applications.

“We are also continuing to co-develop and expand our ORETrack technology in collaboration with customers in Latin America, with additional customers adopting the ore tracking capability,” he said.

“Further trials are also planned for the near future, including locations in Australia and North America.”

The number of customers taking up Orica’s FRAGTrack™ solution, which provides blast fragmentation data with auto-analysis capability, meanwhile, has been growing in the face of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Orica carried out its first fully remote installation of FRAGTrack during lockdown in Australia, with a second in Finland and a third one completed in North America recently.

Mathiravedu said a key focus in developing the solution, which captures real-time fragmentation measurement data for downstream unit productivity improvement and tracking of operational performance, was ensuring it was “a plug and play solution” that could be installed and supported remotely.

“We developed rigorous training material and installation instructions and married these with real-time augmented reality capability to remotely guide and support our customers through the implementation,” he said.

“We have found this particularly advantageous during the COVID-19 restrictions, but also this allows our customers to manage the implementation timing to suit their operations.”

An example of this could be the desire for a customer to install FRAGTrack when the shovels are down for maintenance, without having to wait for an Orica specialist to come to the site and install the system.

Reflecting on the recent remote installation achievements, Mathiravedu said: “This proves we have a successful remote release model that customers are valuing during these unprecedented times.”

BlastIQ workflow integration

Fifteen months after the release of its next generation BlastIQ, Orica has now surpassed the 60-site implementation mark of its digital blast optimisation platform.

Mathiravedu said BlastIQ and the company’s ever-growing digital capabilities are designed to improve blast outcomes by integrating insights from digitally connected technologies at every stage of the drill and blast process to drive continuous improvements for its customers.

“Focusing on the needs of our surface mining customers, we have been able to deliver the benefits of cloud-based technology, providing convenience and flexibility for customers to access their blasting data online anywhere, anytime from any device,” he said.

“Customers are also benefitting significantly from digitising their blasting workflows, delivering efficiencies and improved quality control across their blasting operations, resulting in greater visibility of blast inputs and outputs in real time while benefiting from better blast outcomes.”

As an open, secure, and connected digital platform, BlastIQ’s blast-related data is being integrated directly into customers’ mining value chain and remote operation centres via secure cloud-based APIs, Mathiravedu said.

“This is enabling customers to drive better mine-level decisions based on data integrations between our platform and theirs, creating a stronger bond between planning, drilling, blasting, load and haul and processing operations at the site,” he said.

BlastIQ is an inter-operable platform and is being delivered as a Software as a Service product to customers, meaning they receive new functionality, value and features as soon as they are developed, according to Mathiravedu.

“Enhancements are scheduled and developed based on direct feedback and submissions from our customers all around the world to ensure the product evolves to meet the discrete needs of their operations,” he said.

Outside of BlastIQ specifically, Orica has started to deliver digital optimisation services to its customers, according to Mathiravedu.

“State-of-the-art” digital products and advanced data science and analytics, combined with blasting technical know-how and market-leading blasting technologies, enables customers to cover whole of value chain solutions, enabled by blasting, Mathiravedu said.

“Also, using a series of industry 4.0 smart Internet of Things sensors and Edge computing to replace inefficient manual processes, measurement data can be used in real time to improve future mining outcomes based on data science, analytics and machine-learning algorithms to drive continuous improvement of the entire mining value chain.”