In early December, almost 300 leaders from the mining, construction and quarrying industries from Australia, Japan and Indonesia met in Brisbane, Australia for the Digitalization in Mining event hosted by Sandvik. The 2-day summit showcased best practice examples of digitalization.
“Digitalization is helping companies to grow and optimize their operations,” said Jim Tolley, vice president, sales area Australia Pacific, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. “Our partners were keen to join us at this event because they know that digitalization has a critical part to play in making their mines sustainable for the future.”
Day one of the event featured speakers from mining companies across Australia, as well as leaders in mining technology, process optimization and automation. They explained the benefits their organizations have gained by implementing automation and process optimization solutions, as well as the accompanying change in mindset.
“We will improve our productivity, safety and optimize machine performance through a more fundamental understanding of the individual processes that make up our operations. New technology, automation, data transfer and analysis will all assist us in increasing the utilization of our resources. Data is essential, but if it is not being looked at then we are just gathering data for the sake of it. We need to continue to increase the levels of engagement between all stakeholders. We are doomed to failure unless we take our people with us and are prepared to question and be challenged.”, said Pat Boniwell, managing director, Byrnecut Australia.
“Machine learning powers digital twin prediction, simulation and optimization to increase mine productivity, efficiency and yield, by showing engineers and supervisors how to reproduce their “best performance” 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”, explained PETRA CEO, Dr Penny Stewart. “PETRA’s MAXTATM Suite digital twin applications provide platform agnostic software-as-service operational decision support across the mine value chain — from resource engineering through to processing plant set point optimization.”
Day two of the event began with a presentation on Sustainability by Henrik Ager, President, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. He talked about how critical it is for long-term performance:
“Driving productivity and greenhouse gas efficiency together is going to be key for us at Sandvik, improving productivity and GHG efficiency will be the best way for us to add value for our customers. My view is that the more we link our sustainability targets to normal business targets and find ways to combine them to achieve a common good, the better chance we have to deliver on them.”
Also during the second day, delegates had the opportunity of a virtual visit to a number of Sandvik customers, including: Northparkes Mine (Australia), Resolute Mining Syama Mine (West Africa), RedBull Powder Company (New Zealand) and Aeris Resources Tritton mine (Australia).
“An amazing two days at the Sandvik Digitalization in Mining 2019 conference in Brisbane. There was an incredible attendance and a range of world class speakers who basically all had the same message: innovate or lose to someone else who will… The discussions were not only about automation, but AI, machine learning and comms technologies to name just a few, backed up by case studies and commentary from some tough, pragmatic and savvy operators and the numbers they were quoting were BIG!” Steve Franklin, CEO and Principal Consultant, Cement and Aggregate Consulting.
Sandvik also demonstrated its latest digital offering and introduced participants to the latest innovations across its product portfolio, including process optimization with OptiMine®, information management through My Sandvik digital services and autonomous operation with AutoMine® – together with the latest equipment in underground and surface drilling, loading and hauling, crushing and screening and the rock tools management system.
During the event Sandvik also announced two product launches: (i) AutoMine® Access API, which gives mines the power to connect non-Sandvik equipment to AutoMine®, thereby moving underground mining digitalization even further, and (ii) its first Stage V compliant underground loaders for hard rock mining applications.
“We often get asked for reference cases and data to illustrate the value and payback of digital solutions,” said Harry Hardy, general manager customer accounts, applications engineering and marketing, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, Sales Area APAC. “Over the two days of the conference, our customers were able to share their own experiences and quantitatively demonstrate how our solutions have helped increase their productivity, reduce their production costs and increase their safety.”