by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE future of the mining industry can benefit from the application and adoption of relevant digital technology, to address rising pressures mounting on business sustainability and reduced energy consumption.
This is according to an executive of a digital transformation-focused company Schneider Electric South Africa.
Marc Ramsay, Vice President Industry Business Unit at Schneider Electric South Africa, said the global and local organisations had invested significantly to further develop the specialised competence in mining applications.
He said technology integration combining energy management, process automation and software through the company’s Internet of Things (IoT) enabled platform, EcoStruxure, leveraged an enabled, open and
interoperable architecture to deliver true digital transformation.
“We are able to help our customers to address their challenges for practical applications,” Ramsay said.
He said one of the main challenges has always been to make real-time decisions based on information that was spread across disparate databases and applications positioned at the edge and locked within mining hierarchical disciplines.
Nonetheless, connected devices (data acquisition layer) can now be safely and reliably accessed from the cloud and mine product deliveries can be traced back to the mine design with a click of a button, in real-time.
“This is truly a unique time to be in mining,” Ramsay said.
Recent studies indicate autonomous and mechanised mining can have a significant impact on extending the economic life of many mining operations, as well as the profitability of these mines, which in turn
will have a significant positive impact on an already strained gross domestic product.
It is estimated in the next five years, mining industry leaders will achieve their most significant improvements by embracing digital technologies, such as IoT, advanced analytics and augmented reality that can harness the power of big data in a secure way.
Of all trends impacting the mining industry, few will be as critical as effective digitalization, Ramsay concluded.
“It will affect every aspect of the industrial operation and provide the greatest potential for improving business and operational efficiency.”
– CAJ News