Tag Archives: XECUTE

RPMGlobal helps optimise bulk miners’ value chain with latest XECUTE update

RPMGlobal has upgraded its advanced mine scheduling software, XECUTE, with a Demand Chain Optimiser (DCO) module that optimises the flow of material required to satisfy customer orders all the way back to the mine for those mining bulk commodities.

The company says it has been working with miners around the globe to bridge the gap between operational planning and customer demand, with this latest update taking the collaboration to a new level.

DCO, RPMGlobal says, removes many of the value chain challenges that can arise for miners with an integrated supply chain, such as coal operations or iron ore operations in the Pilbara.

The XECUTE short-term scheduling solution enables miners to maximise value through intelligent integration by connecting the mine plan to other departments systems, according to RPMGlobal.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, said the latest release of XECUTE was focused on bridging the gap between what the customer orders, and what the mine produces.

“Mining companies understand the risks of not having an optimised value chain in place, with bottlenecks and constraints that limit shipped throughput causing significant problems for both the miner and the customer,” he said.

RPMGlobal worked closely with a major Pilbara iron ore producer to develop the DCO module, with significant time spent refining the algorithms to ensure XECUTE fulfilled each customer’s order by blending product from many stockpiles.

The unique DCO functionality enables XECUTE users to define a list of specific product or cargo builds, the qualities and quantities required and the date by which the shipment must be completed. DCO’s optimisation algorithms then allow the quality of each build to converge to the target in time for completion, avoiding off-specification penalties and demurrage costs, it said.

The algorithms allow out-of-specification material to be blended to the required grade, increasing the quantity of saleable product available and maximising the net present value of the mining and supply chain operations, according to the company.

“By automating a process that was previously iterative and time consuming, mine planners see the downstream impact of changes to mining or processing and can react quickly to changing berthing schedules or unplanned events,” the company explained.

Mathews said: “In order to ensure continuity of operations in changing market conditions, operations need to invest in integrated systems and processes that maximise planning efficiency and satisfy customer orders which is exactly what XECUTE achieves.”

RPMGlobal has also made improvements to the grade control capabilities within XECUTE by integrating with an operation’s existing grade control process to allow rapid inclusion of grade control shapes and qualities. This ensures planners are using the most accurate information to plan, it said.

Planners have the option in XECUTE to use the grade control shapes directly as mining areas, but also have the flexibility to define mining areas independently to take multiple grade control shapes in the one task or include areas that do not yet include grade control information.

Mathews concluded: “Typical grade control processes force planners to use only the shapes that have already been defined, but don’t necessarily allow the flexibility to dig areas that don’t have those grade control shapes, and that’s what we’re doing in the latest release of XECUTE.

“Early feedback from clients has been positive as no other tool on the market provides the same level of flexibility and sophistication when it comes to optimising the customer demand chain.”

RPMGlobal provides a remote MinVu

RPMGlobal says a new dedicated app is set to transform the way miners collaborate, receive and analyse information.

The launch of the MinVu Shift Manager app comes as the industry continues to adopt mobile technology to increase operational efficiency and collaboration in an “inherently dispersed and complex environment”, RPMGlobal said.

Richard Mathews, RPMGlobal CEO, said making MinVu Shift Manager compatible with mobile would provide real-time data directly in the hands of the decision maker, wherever they are located.

“RPMGlobal has listened closely to our customers and we know that miners are continually looking for ways to leverage digital solutions in order to optimise and streamline the way they work,” he said.

“Shift Manager is an integral component of the digital mine and a connected workforce, so it made sense to make this web-based software available in the form of an app to enable planning and supervision form anywhere.”

MinVu Shift Manager is a short-term planning and execution solution, which RPMGlobal acquired at the end of 2017. The tool is a unique industry-built software solution that enables users to collaborate and communicate through a single, integrated plan to drive more effective on-shift decision support, according to the company.

“The new mobile interface merges MinVu and MinVu Shift Manager into one, easy-to-use platform,” RPMGlobal said. “With the app, different departments and personnel have complete visibility of equipment and equipment status, underpinning the ability to plan intra-shift activities and break through operational silos.”

As remote-enabled solutions, both MinVu and MinVu Shift Manager enable remote teams to collaborate across the value chain, it added.

Users will be able to create any Shift Manager task in the app, such as addressing a possible hazard, checking the progress of diggers and schedule maintenance tasks. Importantly, end users can collaborate and share information from anywhere, whether they are underground on site or in the corporate headquarters, according to RPMGlobal.

RPMGlobal’s mobile applications now extend across its established suite of integrated solutions, which encompass mine scheduling, simulation, finance, maintenance, operations and design.

XECUTE — RPMGlobal’s short-term scheduling solution — only recently underwent an upgrade of its app, according to the company.

Along with user interface and CAD enhancements, the latest XECUTE release comes equipped with enhanced mobile functionality, thereby supporting the real-time data feeds from fleet management systems, the company said.

Mathews explained: “You will be able to see on the mobile device, not just what your plan is, but also how you’re progressing against that plan in real-time.

“With the app, mining personnel will be connected to vital information at all times. For example, a mine planner who is on the bus heading to site can log in to the XECUTE app and catch up with what has happened on site overnight before he even arrives for the shift.”

According to Mathews, enterprise integration is a key enabler for technology, as is the mobile application stack.

“Mobile compatible software is a key component of the digital mine whereby data is connected from central systems to dispersed mining personnel, therefore amplifying the abilities of key decision makers within a business,” Mathews said.

“With RPMGlobal’s enterprise approach, we are helping mine sites increase productivity across the value chain. We are giving them the tools to make better decisions thereby creating an insight-driven mining organisation.”

RPMGlobal goes beyond the pit with XECUTE short-term scheduler

RPMGlobal says it has released several upgrades to its advanced mine scheduling software, XECUTE, designed to underpin “increased optimisation across the entire mining value chain”.

XECUTE is RPM’s short-term scheduling solution to enable miners to maximise value by using intelligent integration to connect planning with other departments within a mining operation.

RPM has experienced a significant uptick in the adoption of XECUTE in the past 18 months, with the solution now operational across iron ore, coal, oil sands, manganese, gold and copper mines, it said. One of the major reasons for this adoption is the Product Optimiser functionality, which according to RPM, determines the optimal way to process, blend and stockpile products to maximise value from what is about to be mined.

The latest XECUTE release includes upgraded optimiser functionality providing further enhancements when integrated as part of the short-term schedule, the company said.

RPM’s Chief Technology Officer, Paul Beesley, said XECUTE’s expanding customer base had led to these product changes.

“The increasing sophistication of XECUTE’s functionality means XECUTE is now capable of going beyond simply planning extraction from the pit. It can now provide optimisation across the entire value chain,” he said.

XECUTE, according to RPM, provides planners with a set of tools that allow users to make dynamic adjustments to mining operations and visualise the impact of these adjustments to mine production as well as the entire downstream value chain. This means a planner can make decisions based on the impact of planning decisions on not just production in the next shift but also alignment to longer-term plans on processing, transport, and shipping.

As part of the new additions, RPM’s coal customers will have increased support with the introduction of coal wash plant features. “This functionality allows the planner to schedule the whole way through the plant rather than stopping at the run of mine,” RPM said, adding that this feature is particularly valuable in a multi-product operation and is currently being implemented at one of the “world’s most sophisticated coal blending and processing operations”.

XECUTE’s architecture means real-time data is made available through any connected source, according to RPM.

“By enabling users to have a better understanding of the economic value produced from a commodity, miners are better placed to make decisions about crucial impacts that are generally outside their control,” the company said.

For example, XECUTE facilitates short-term planners visualising changes in the pit through live integration to fleet management systems/high precision GPS and drill systems. Deviations from the plan are, therefore, identified immediately, allowing planners to adjust if required.

On top of the Product Optimiser enhancements, other key areas of focus include XECUTE’s User Interface and CAD functionality.

“Unlike many other linear programming engines, XECUTE has a highly intuitive, user-friendly interface that allows planners to spend more time analysing results, instead of learning how to program the inputs,” the company said.

“There are also significant enhancements to speed and usability within this XECUTE upgrade, including an 80% improvement in geology and reserving processing speed.”

XECUTE mobile improvements enable users to use integrated data feeds from the pit in a mobile application to quickly compare the short-term plan with actual production, according to the company, giving planners and supervisors a plan compliance tool on the move. Information such as drill holes, bucket positions and machine positions are fed straight to the mobile user.

More miners closing the gap between planning and execution, RPMGlobal says

RPMGlobal says it is experiencing exponential growth of its advanced mine planning and scheduling software XECUTE® and XPAC® Solutions.

The 2019 financial year has seen a significant increase in the industry’s adoption of XECUTE as more miners begin to reap the benefits of closing the gap between planning and execution, according to RPM.

Over recent months, this has seen the company add several new XECUTE customers in what has been the fastest uptake of a new solution RPM has experienced in many years, it said. This has been across a range of commodities (oil sands, coal, copper, iron ore and gold).

The software is already used extensively around the world across various commodities and mining methods, with the significant growth in sales of these products attributable to both their innovative nature and the fact more organisations are starting to realise the “power connected solutions can deliver to their planning functions”, the company said.

XECUTE is RPM’s short-term scheduling solution to enable miners to maximise planning value by using intelligent integration to connect planning with operations. It uses a highly visual user interface to enhance communication between mining specialists, according to the company.

“XECUTE supports this by providing short-term work assignments to HPGPS and Fleet Management systems. The dynamic integration then allows the solution to bring back the ‘actuals’ (from those systems) to view what work was done and compare it spatially to the shift plan,” the company said.

“XECUTE takes guidance from longer schedules ensuring that operations are always working towards the strategic goal of the longer-term planners. Short-term planners then have a rich visual compliance tool, overlying longer-term guidance, the short-term plan and actual operations all in one 4D environment.”

XPAC, meanwhile, is made up of pre-defined logic, which, when combined with the tacit knowledge of mining engineers, automatically determines what is practically possible to achieve across one or many mining operations, according to the company. This agility gives engineers the ability to respond rapidly to the market and maximise output delivering shareholder value.

The schedules developed in the latest version of XPAC can be passed directly to XECUTE and, likewise, any changes made within XECUTE can be passed back to XPAC to update the short-term schedule, ensuring a seamless scheduling interchange and more importantly, far easier analysis of plan compliance, RPM said.

One of the major differentiators of RPM’s scheduling tools is the Integrated Product Optimiser (PO). Product Optimiser is a mathematical algorithm that determines the optimal allocation of material to destinations through the mining supply chain.

RPM says: “Unlike other scheduling packages, PO is integrated with the schedule to find the optimal way to process, blend and stockpile products to maximise value from what is about to be mined. Mining organisations tend to have very sophisticated supply chain operations which makes it difficult to produce a specific blend at any given point.

“PO optimises the process by determining the single best solution with all of the material available at any given point in time with the goal to maximise the net present value,” the company said. It can therefore have a significant role in reducing stockpile costs by providing the ability to define the requirements of the blend before the port.

XECUTE has, as its foundation, RPM’s Enterprise Planning Framework™, with enterprise data feeds providing planners with the most up-to-date scheduling inputs to be automatically pushed to downstream systems.

RPM CEO, Richard Mathews, said: “The mining industry is focused on plan compliance and driving more predictability into their planning processes. Not only because of the cost savings available to them but because predictable operations are also safer ones.

“To create XECUTE, we listened to the market, worked with key players and delivered a solution that can align horizons, optimise the plan with the supply chain, and connect planning/maintenance and production as well as delivering a visually rich compliance tool.

“As we move increasingly toward autonomy, solutions such as XECUTE are vital. With more automation comes less human intervention, with better data collection and integration comes better execution and with better execution better outcomes are realised.”

He concluded: “The investment we have made into enterprise integration over the last seven years is really paying dividends to both RPM and the industry.”

RPMGlobal XECUTEs another mine planning and scheduling software update

XECUTE is the latest in RPMGlobal’s extensive line of mine planning and scheduling software solutions to receive an update.

XECUTE 1.10 builds on the core capabilities of XECUTE and features advanced upgrades to improve the live planning environment. This uses “enterprise enablement” to deliver real inter-departmental collaboration, according to RPMGlobal.

XECUTE was designed to bridge the gap between short-term planning and operational execution and has been adopted at several sites globally, RPMGlobal says.

The latest updates have seen the product integrated with MinVu, a suite of products the company acquired earlier this year.

When the MinVu acquisition was announced in December 2017, RPMGlobal said XECUTE would “be able to immediately utilise the MinVu integration adaptors to bring back data such as Equipment GPS coordinates, actual bucket positions, material movements, drill hole details, actual production rates and incorporate them into the production plan. This will extend the functionality of XECUTE whilst increasing the number of modules in the RPM suite.”

MinVu’s ability to pull this data directly from areas where it would otherwise remain in silos, means manual data processes are eliminated and users spend less time gathering and manipulating data and producing reports, according to RPMGlobal.

MinVu, itself, received an update last month focused on integration with the Australia-headquartered company’s Enterprise Planning Framework.

RPMGlobal has also started to build XECUTE into an augmented reality environment on iPads, iPhones and Android devices, according to Michael Baldwin, Executive General Manager of Product Strategy.

“This means you can access the information on mobile devices regardless of your physical location, which is often a problem with remote mining operations. This also allows for clear communication of the plan, including any updates to the plan,” he said.

The latest release also sees new scheduling functionality, including upgrades to the integrated product optimiser as well as user interface improvements that make the live planning a better overall user experience, according to the company.

XECUTE aims to minimises data entry and maximise planning value and adaptability by using automation to connect planning with operations, with 3D cross-team collaboration and integrated design and scheduling, according to RPM Global.

The system combines RPMGlobal’s proprietary Product Optimiser with a game-inspired 3D interface. Enterprise data feeds provide planners with the most up-to-date schedule inputs, allowing outputs to be automatically pushed to downstream systems and closing the loop between planning and execution.

RPMGlobal said: “The companies that have adopted XECUTE have realised the potential of a collaborative, live planning environment and the improvements this could bring to their mining operation.”