Tag Archives: XPAC

RPMGlobal bolts on new environmental features to XPAC scheduling software

RPMGlobal has released the latest version of its scheduling software, XPAC Solutions, with some of the notable features including disturbance reporting and scheduling, landform surface definition, support for battery trucks, multiple independent calendars, bi-directional Integration with RPM’s Schedule Optimisation Tool (SOT) and many more commodity-specific enhancements.

The latest version is focused explicitly on significant features requested by and developed with XPAC Solutions users globally, the company said.

According to Richard Mathews, RPM’s Chief Executive Officer, this release of XPAC Solutions is the most significant in the past several years.

“We committed a lot of resources to this release,” he said. “Coming off the major investment we made in performance and usability in the previous release, we had a very solid platform to introduce these new industry-leading features, without comprising speed, quality or accuracy.”

One of the most significant additions to the software suite is the environmental features allowing for disturbance reporting and scheduling with enhanced spatial zoning. This is ideal for reporting areas that are disturbed by mining and dumping within key areas, such as water catchment and habitat of specific animal species and constraining those areas within the schedule, according to the company.

Along the same vein of environmental enhancements is the addition of battery-electric truck modelling. This latest release provides full support for battery trucks including the ability to define which road segments can be used to recharge batteries. Therefore, users can evaluate whether adequate recharge provision has been made throughout the schedule by providing net energy usage information.

The addition of multiple independent calendars will also appeal to many users of the solutions, the company claims. Schedule and Product Optimiser (PO) can now use different calendars, including those with variable period durations. This provides enormous flexibility and further strengthens what is already the leading optimisation offering in the market.

Bi-directional integration with SOT is also one of the major new features of this latest release. This integration uses an API eliminating the need for file transfers between the products. Users can pass reserves and dependencies directly from XPAC to SOT so they can explore different strategies to maximise the net present value or several other parameters of the schedule. Once a schedule is optimised the results are integrated back into XPAC Solutions to be visualised, analysed and published.

Another new feature allows users of the open-cut coal solutions to import final landform surfaces allowing control of dragline and shovel dumps. Schedules will reflect landform restrictions once the permitted dump height in a particular area has been reached. The resultant schedules are now optimised from a trucking hours and final landform perspective.

Other additions in specific solutions are the support for alternative mining methods within the underground metals solution, simultaneous mining and backfill of pits within the open-pit metals solution, conveyor and strip design import improvements for coal operations as well as improvements to vertical progression for oil sands.

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 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.

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.”