Drives and Control Solutions

Motors, Control Solutions, Power Transmission and Advanced Motion Technology                                                                 

March 26, 2018

By Sujeet Chand, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development and Chief Technology Officer, Rockwell Automation

I was recently invited to speak at the Future Mining Summit 2017 event hosted by the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group. The two-day conference was held in early December 2017. The venue was a fitting one: 20-metres below ground in Stockholm, Sweden at Epiroc’s test mine.

In addition to my presentation, the event hosted mining companies from around the world, equipment providers, and technology thought-leaders. Presenters shared key trends they’re noticing in the mining industry, as well as opportunities for growth and improvement:

  • Operations challenges arise as mines get deeper and deeper. Machine utilization at depth is relatively low – around 50-60%, compared to 80% in an open pit mine. There’s a need to better track and optimize machine use below ground.
  • There are too many "Clouds." With each automation vendor and OEM providing a separate instance of cloud data, it’s difficult for mining companies to aggregate data across systems and identify trends. Mining companies are interested in open systems so they can better own and leverage all of their data.
  • Everyone is talking about Block Chain. Block Chain is not being utilized in mining today, but there are potential applications to enhance traceability, recordkeeping, and security of transactions across the supply chain.
  • Fossil-free mining. Battery operated equipment is picking up steam (pun intended) as mining companies strive to minimize their environmental footprint.
  • The safe connected mine (PDF). Mining companies are seeking strategies to implement greater mobility and use of wireless in their mines to enhance worker safety and optimize production.

I was also given a chance to share my insights about the future of mining, based on broad market trends I’ve observed as well as conversations I’ve had with our customers.

Insight #1: Mining companies don’t need to collect more data, they need to collect the right data. When you’re running a man-made process, there are only so many variables and meaningful data correlations – most of which we already know to expect.

And we also know that there are some pieces of data that will never connect or correlate. To prevent amassing vast, unusable amounts of data, mining companies will begin seeking ways to pre-analyze data before sending it to the Cloud, so only relevant information is moved.

As OEMs insert more and more intelligence into their machines, mining companies will be increasingly able to perform this pre-analysis.

One of the OEMs that we work closely with in the mining industry, Metso, is already moving down this path with their rock crushing machines: they’re transferring only key pieces of data to the cloud to allow for comparison with other rock crushing equipment.

This enables mining companies to find optimization opportunities based on performance measurements from across multiple sites. It also prevents them from wading through a lake of unusable data. 

Insight #2: Analytics in the future will be distributed, and will leverage scalable computing. Analytics can take place in the Cloud, at the server layer, or right at the device level. In the future, mining companies will seek strategic methods of performing ‘right size’ analytics to solve their problems.

Insight #3: Safety and security are converging. As virtual threats increase in severity and frequency, physical safety and data security are merging into a single objective.

This is a trend I’ve noticed across all industries. Companies must begin drafting internal processes with this in mind: placing the same level of emphasis on virtual mine security as they do on physical mine safety.

This topic generated a lot of conversation, and GMSG took an action item to create a working group to help mines better plan for the convergence of safety and security. 

Changes in the way we think about data collection and analysis will have a big impact on the mining industry. And as more and more of our information is transferred between devices and to the Cloud, a subsequent need for increased data security will change the way we think about worker and company safety.

I’ve already begun to see some of our clients adapting to these trends. How do the trends shared at the GMSG summit match up with what you are seeing in the industry? Are you taking steps to address any of the challenges we discussed at the event? Drop me a note via email or LinkedIn.

And of course, if you’d like more information about the solutions we provide for mining companies, visit our mining automation web page.

https://www.rockwellautomation.com/en_NA/news/blog/detail.page?pagetitle=The-Future-of-Mining%3A-How-Connectivity-and-Digitization-are-Transforming-Mine-Operations-%7C-Blog&content_type=blog&docid=09b5e165d714929d20bda20a0a3d076d


Editor's Pick: Featured Article


DCS-24-HELUKABEL-VFDs-400.jpg

The variable frequency drive (VFD) cable business has become a very large market for cable manufactures in the last 20 years. In the past, standard AC motors had the complexity of a squirrel cage motor – just get power and it would run. The first silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) was developed by Bell Labs/GE in 1958 to vary the speed of DC electric motors used in various applications. Since then there have been motor speed control technology evolving from large-scale integration (LSI), gate turn-off thyristor (GTO), pulse-width modulation (PWM), insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), and space vector pulse-width modulation (SVPWM). These new forms of power conversion to support speed control in VFD motors has caused the demand on the cables to change as well, which has led to many new cable options.


Read More


 

DCS-24-Epiroc-DigitalTransformation-400.jpg

As the mining business adapts to changing technological trends in the market, Epiroc’s Canadian operations have introduced Regional Application Center (RAC) teams to assist in this new digital transformation.

Team of experts that supports digital transformation

Across the board, mining projects are continually pushing for increased production while prioritizing safety. With this in mind, Epiroc has assembled specialized automation and digitalization support systems in strategic locations across the globe to help improve customer processes and boost productivity. The result is a heightened level of production that keeps workers out of danger zones on site while providing enhanced strategic direction for customers. Interoperability improvements have reduced variability and allow project planners to move towards their targets with renewed confidence. 

Read More


 

Product News

  • Prev
Nominal Controls Inc., a Canadian manufacturer of pressure sensing and power control technologies, ...
The safe, simple, and efficient operation of three-phase asynchronous motors is an important ...
CAPAROC is your individual modular system for overcurrent protection. With many combination ...
Electronics housings from Phoenix Contact are now available with integrated touch displays or ...
Littelfuse, Inc. recently announced the 400PV Fuse series, a 2410 size, surface mount ...
The new PS9xxx buffer and redundancy modules extend the universal 24/48 V DC power supply series ...
AutomationDirect’s new 1kV ALL-FLEX MTW/THHW heavy-duty flexible power cable from Direct Wire is an ...
Fluke Process Instruments recently introduced the MP Linescanner Series, which delivers continuous, ...
Littelfuse, Inc., an industrial technology manufacturing company empowering a sustainable, ...
Netzer VLP encoders are ideal for OEM applications. Featuring an open frame, 2 plate design, the ...

New Product

During Hannover Messe 2020, ABB had extended the scope of applications for ABB Smart Sensors with a new generation design for motors in hazardous areas. Chemical and oil and gas customers can now benefit from cost-efficient condition monitoring in a wide variety of applications.

The high-performance wireless smart sensor monitors key parameters to provide detailed insights into the performance and health of assets such as motors and pumps. Equipment installed in difficult or dangerous to access locations can be safely monitored from a distance. Combining connectivity and data analytics means operators can plan their maintenance activities in advance, reduce downtime and extend equipment lifetime.

Read More


 

Latest News

  • Prev
Machine safety is one of the most important requirements in factory automation and it can also be ...
Allied Electronics & Automation has strengthened its robust roster of more than 500 world-class ...
Keeping workers safe and keeping the production line going may seem contradictory, but in most ...
The design of HVAC systems poses unique challenges for things like motor control and circuit ...
ABB has provided electrification, connected control and operations management systems, ...
With interest in driverless cars increasing all the time, and with car manufacturers looking for ...
Tundra was recently excited to announce that they’re now a part of the Wajax Corporation. Be sure ...
In October of 2020, orders in the mechanical and plant engineering sector matched the previous ...
Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil