Tag Archives: Software

Bosch Rexroth opens up BODAS software use, lays groundwork for off-highway automation

Bosch Rexroth says it is opening up its mobile electronics software, BODAS, to all manufacturers and partners as part of a move to help OEMs speed up the launch of new machines and functions.

The company plans to offer manufacturers of off-highway machines free access to the entire standard portfolio of BODAS software for controlling mobile machines, with the company set to highlight this at the upcoming Bauma 2022 event in Munich, Germany, in October. Via the digital myBODAS platform, OEMs can download validated software packages for a range of applications, free of charge, in order to test them and adapt them to suit their own requirements.

Proven modules within the platform minimise the time, investment risks and costs involved, with the service only billed via a payment model based on credits if the software is used during series production. This makes it easy to use, flexible and transparent, Bosch Rexroth says.

“Whether it be hydraulic control, automation, connectivity or electrification – software plays a central role in the highly dynamic off-highway market,” the company says. “In order to achieve success with their mobile machines, OEMs must reduce the development time in a cost-effective manner while reducing functional and financial risks.”

Following registration and confirmation of the terms and conditions of use, the individual modules in the BODAS application software (AS), such as the eDA for the drivetrain, are then available. The modules are developed in accordance with current standards and already meet functional safety requirements, the company says. As a result, Bosch Rexroth helps manufacturers of any size to cope with increasing complexity in vehicle development, to compensate for a lack of know-how or resources and to update or expand their offering more quickly, it added.

“This way, the OEMs’ software developers can concentrate on selected customer values and speed up the launch of new functions and machines,” the company said. “They can also scale their own offering more quickly with software modules validated for Rexroth hardware.”

The open ecosystem of BODAS is being expanded all the time with standardised, extensively documented modules. myBODAS, thus, offers a toolkit for various control tasks involving mobile machines which is always up to date, the company explains. The growing need for automation solutions and the rapidly increasing number of assistance functions such as payload estimation, position sensing or surround sensing also make the system an attractive proposition.

Related to this, the company will present an integrated portfolio for the needs-based automation of off-highway machines, such as excavators, wheel loaders and telehandlers, at Bauma 2022.

The assistance functions cover advanced sensor systems and intuitive operating devices, including driver assistance functions for more efficient working and even virtual walls and emergency braking assistants for greater work safety. Ready-to-use software modules help to reduce the integration time into existing and future vehicle architectures and speed up their market launch, the company says. And, as a hardware platform for higher automation levels, Bosch Rexroth will announce a microprocessor-based, ROS2-compatible robotic control unit.

The automation portfolio presented at Bauma 2022 will be based on the BODAS platform for hardware, software and telematics.

The current range of assistance functions for productive and safe working processes includes easier levelling, load capacity measurement during handling operations, electronic vibration damping and various motion control systems for wheel loaders and telehandlers. Virtual walls and virtual rotary limiting systems protect the immediate surroundings by preventing the machine from accidentally leaving the safe working area. A number of functions can be adapted for other sectors, for example for tractor front loaders.

A ground-breaking HMI concept provides an intuitive user experience, the company says. This is based on ergonomic Sense+ joysticks with multi-dimensional optical and haptic feedback as well as high-resolution, high-contrast and glove-operable BODAS displays with easy-to-record visualisations for the relevant assistance functions.

The BODAS ecosystem also includes telematic modules for remote updates over the air, software remote maintenance and interfaces for transferring the wide range of operating data generated by the automation functions to ERP systems and their digital processes.

The new sensor systems for ultrasound, radar and inertial measuring systems form the basis for numerous other automation functions by recognising objects in the surroundings and recording the position of the kinematic systems with respect to each other via acceleration. There are plans to add extra functions and sensors such as LiDAR on a step-by-step basis, the company says.

For object recognition and terrain mapping, Bosch Rexroth is working with Bosch to develop a ROS2-compatible perception stack. On this basis, Bosch Rexroth plans to offer complete function packages in the future – from sensor integration and object recognition to machine intervention.

The new control platform is currently being developed, with prototypes for pilot projects available from the middle of 2023.

Commit Works appoints new CEO as it looks forward to another year of growth

Frontline work management software company, Commit Works, has, this week, handed over the reins to newly appointed CEO, James Aleman.

Aleman comes to Commit Works equipped with 25 years of Software-as-a-Service knowledge and experience offering solutions to a variety of asset-intensive industries including mining and construction.

Andrew Jessett, Acting CEO at Commit Works and Australasian VP at RCF Jolimont, said Aleman had been chosen from an extremely competitive field.

“James combines business acumen, software knowledge and insightful understanding of the mining industry,” Jessett said. “He also has a range of management experience and curiosity that could not be more relevant or necessary to Commit Works’ current standing and its future success.”

Commenting on his appointment, Aleman said: “Commit Works is a company with an excellent reputation, a clear ethos and a promising future. I am deeply honoured to take on the role of CEO and excited at the prospect of contributing further to the success of our longstanding clients, who have been foundational in the company’s growth.”

He added: “Commit Works’ deep relationships with its clients has underpinned the business’ success, and I’m keen to see that continue. The incredible recent growth of the company – 70% in 2021 – is testament to the endeavours of the Commit Works team. I look forward to working alongside them.”

Centric partners with SFTP Mining to unlock key mining metrics

SFTP Mining, a Côte d’Ivoire-based mining contractor, has partnered with Centric Mining Systems, part of the Datamine family, to, it says, provide efficient access to key project metrics not only for SFTP but also for its mining clients.

Centric Mining Systems has now been implemented at two SFTP projects, with plans for continued expansion. Further partnerships and integrations are planned, as existing Centric mining clients, including Perseus Mining (part of the fleet at the Sissingue mine pictured here), look to collaborate with their contractors to further access and share data.

“Working with Centric Mining Systems on this project is not only beneficial to SFTP given Centric’s demonstrable track record of success across Africa, but also to the wider contract mining services sector as it continues to develop in Africa,”  Hendrik Kruger, Country Operations Manager at SFTP Mining, says.

Centric’s data collection and management solutions eliminate inaccurate reporting and wasted time. Instead of hours of paperwork, unreliable spreadsheets and uncertainty in data accuracy, Centric helps bring mining operations into the 21st century, the company says.

Chris Novak, CEO of Centric Mining Systems, says: “SFTP knows that productive mines and projects depend on proven solutions that standardise workflows, ensure accountability and improve collaboration. We are confident that Centric will unlock significant value for SFTP Mining by ensuring end-to-end visibility of the entire production process and the ability to adapt faster to changes and opportunities.”

With a focus on health and safety, production metrics, and equipment utilisation, staff at the project site can accurately track and report all production-related activities, anticipate risk and foresee opportunities to enhance performance, Centric says.

Novak added: “In today’s mining industry, access to information is essential to achieve operational excellence. The value of a digital mine lies in the wealth of data available across the value chain and the insight to make decisions that will affect the short-term and long-term future of your business.”

Centric is a global software solution provider that specialises in data acquisition, systems integration, data warehousing, knowledge generation and decision support solutions specific to the mining industry.

Howden causes a fanfare with launch of Jetsteam AX

Howden is looking to re-enter the Australian secondary ventilation market with a bang, coming out with a new product that offers the energy efficiency, durability and smarts to help ‘future proof’ underground mines.

Its Jetstream AX secondary fans were launched across the globe this month, with service centres on the east and west coast of Australia having already received units.

Phil Durham, Global Mining Applications Engineer, said the Jetstream AX secondary fan is the missing piece to complete the full Howden ventilation puzzle.

“Howden, in the past, was heavily involved in the secondary market in Australia, but some years after exiting this space, the new Jetstream AX is filling the gap in our lineup, helping complete our total mine ventilation solution approach,” he told IM. “Howden has the Ventsim™ DESIGN software, the Ventsim CONTROL ventilation on demand software, plus all the required equipment including a comprehensive primary fan offering, mine cooling options and mine heating options.

“A global secondary fan was needed to complete the set, meaning we can now be considered a one-stop shop for miners wanting to go down the full Howden route for ventilation.”

While the Jetsteam AX will be available in all markets – bar USA where Howden already has a secondary fan offering – Howden sees it being particularly relevant for the Australian market where evolving diesel particulate emission regulations are making effective ventilation operations a must.

“These regulations will definitely affect how those mines manage, monitor and control their ventilation network,” Durham said. “The smart move would be to use their secondary fans more efficiently in terms of how and where they are locating them, which ones are operating and tightening up on where the working areas, vehicles and personnel are.

“In this respect, the Australia region is a key one in terms of the secondary fan product rollout.”

Just some of the attributes the region’s miners could benefit from, according to Howden, include:

  • The highest fan output at low power consumption, providing high efficiencies across a broad operating range;
  • A range of fans from 762-1,600 mm in diameter, with flow rates from 6.5-108 cu.m/sec;
  • Single-stage or twin-stage configuration;
  • A flexible modular design providing commonality of parts;
  • Adjustable pitch aerofoil blades to maximise operational envelope and provide reliable high-efficiency aerodynamic performance across a wide range;
  • An anti-stall chamber for continued safe operation during transient high-pressure events, offering a “risk-free process” in parallel fan arrangements; and
  • Downstream guide vanes with full inner fairing tube and tail cone in each fan to ensure maximum static pressure regain.

Durham expanded on some of these.

“That main inner fairing tube serves a couple of purposes, with one of the main ones being a reduction in shock losses,” he said. “That same design helps from a maintenance perspective, too, providing protection for the motor. In other ventilation fan designs, the motors are exposed to the dusty mine air. The inner tube provides a good level of protection, without being a totally sealed environment. Some air gets through for motor cooling purposes, but it is much less than your typical exposed fan.”

The option of a dual-speed fan could also be important for gaining sales in Australia given there are limited variable speed drive options in this market than others, according to Durham.

“In Australia, specifically, variable speed control is not a very common option due to the required 1,000 V supply,” he said. “Currently there are no proven reliable variable speed drives at such voltages.”

This dual-speed fan offering provides the mines with high and low speed settings – with high typically employed to, for example, clear blasting gases and low employed when a vehicle leaves the airway, and the ventilation demand reduces.

To get the best out of dual-speed fans, mines will most likely require remote access to easily switch from one setting to the next, according to Durham.

Miners that understand the benefits of using dual-speed fans – reducing energy consumption and costs – will also, most likely, be potential customers for Howden’s ventilation on demand and smart ventilation solutions, namely Ventsim CONTROL.

“We are definitely seeing an increase with the number of mines looking to adopt these new technologies and smarter ventilation control methods,” Durham said. “As they are moving towards digitalisation and automation of mining methods, ventilation is also coming into that equation. This is especially so when you consider that the energy cost coming from ventilation and cooling can be around 50% of the mine’s total expense.”

The use of effective secondary fans is part of that exercise, according to Durham, who said efficiencies of over 85% are possible with these units when used optimally.

“Although the primary fans are generally a much higher kilowatt rating, these mines usually have quite a number of secondary fans in operation,” he said. “Being able to use them in a smarter way on a day-to-day basis means they will be able to make some large savings there.”

Fortescue and K2fly in it for the long haul

Fortescue Metals Group has extended its contract with K2fly as it looks to bolster its tenement management processes across its operations in Western Australia.

The miner has been using K2fly’s Infoscope Land Management software since 2012. Its use has expanded over time to cover multiple business units including tenements and acquisition, heritage and native title, environment approvals and its vocational training and employment centre.

Infoscope helps small and large companies maintain their social licence to operate on land, providing “a single, spatially integrated solution to manage information relating to land access and compliance across multiple industries”, K2fly says.

“It delivers effective stakeholder, tenement, cultural heritage, native title and environmental management, along with a full lifecycle ground disturbance process.”

FMG has recently raised purchase orders in excess of A$300,000 to have additional developments made within its Infoscope solution, the software provider said. The assignments will start in July and is due for completion within the first half of K2fly’s financial year 2019.

K2fly CEO Brian Miller said the contract extension with FMG, which uses Infoscope on a ‘Software as a Service’ basis, “indicates the long-term value FMG sees in the solution”.

“This services and consultancy contract extension comes at a time when other service contracts have been won by K2fly including significant opportunities with Western Power which were previously announced. This will have a material impact on K2fly’s revenues in the first half of FY2019,” he said.