MMForum: Automation, Digitalisation and Internet of Things- Face of Modern Mining and Metal Works
The mining industry took its first step out of infancy in the early eighteenth century, when, for the first time, commercial steam engines were used by Thomas Newcomen for pumping in a mine. Many have since believed that it was the crucial turning point towards obtaining an untapped reservoir of valuable minerals that lay deep in the bosoms of Mother Earth. Now more than 300 years later, the planet has evolved in an inexplicable manner and most of its development credit goes to the evolution of science and engineering. With the advent of modern machines the life has become much more simple and same can be said for the mining and metal industries as well.
Let us take a more specific observation. To manage a remote and vast landscape, the focal point revolves around the safe and efficient production of valuable commodities( coal, copper,petroleum, phosphates or gold etc.). The success largely depends on the efficiency and reliability performances of equipment sand systems in which we have invested.
We are also on the lookout to continuously push the technology to higher levels of performance excellence as well as lower cost of operations. in order to achieve the above mentioned targets, the modern equipments must be in a position to provide the operators with exceptional communication, command and control and thus optimising both man and machine performance throughout the entire dig site.
And one of the various answers might be provided via use of Distributed Control Systems.
It can not only convert multiple analog informations into digital data, but is also capable of producing real time information about the performance of the equipments. these are already in usage in many important areas of mining equipment such as shovel production information like Payload or Temperature in the Motors. It is also capable of providing root cause diagnosis to help reduce maintenance costs. These are the modern facets of Digitalisation and Internet of Things that have taken upon themselves to change the world for the good of humanity
I am not an expert nor an industrialist in the mining and metal works industry, but I consider myself an engineer, and I am not afraid to follow a well known quote ” Internet of Things is in Everything, but it is up to us to apply before Everything becomes Nothing. “