Regardless of size or scope, mining operations everywhere are experiencing renewed profitability pressures from two directions: continued commodity pricing volatility and global demand variability.
This has caused mining companies to reevaluate business models and seek smarter, more efficient modes of operation that focus on sustainable cost management practices and improved productivity. Many of the world’s leading industries—manufacturing, oil and gas, healthcare, and others—have also recognized this need for change. While the exact improvements vary from industry to industry, the path to transformation is similar: an emphasis on process improvement through the application of leading-edge digital technologies across the Industrial Internet value chain.
By harnessing the combined power of machine sensors, edge-to-cloud connectivity, advanced data capture, and powerful analytics, the Industrial Internet can deliver deeper insight into mining operations than ever before. These insights can then be used to drive intelligent recommendations for improvement—from asset lifecycle management to condition-based, prescriptive maintenance programs. This approach has already yielded breakthroughs in improved efficiency, increased asset availability, and optimized processes in many other industries.
Those in the mining industry who embrace this need for industrial transformation sooner will have a distinct advantage over competitors who choose to delay their journey to modernization and digitization. Take these companies, for example.
When Vale Fertilizantes decided to reduce loss and improve production at its nitric acid plant, they turned to Asset Performance Management (APM) from GE Digital. The deployment included both the APM Reliability and APM Integrity solutions, which helped Vale with production analysis, thickness monitoring, and root cause analysis (RCA) reporting.
GE Digital’s APM solutions helped Vale Fertilizantes:
When Anglo Platinum decided to improve safety and optimize operations, they faced a mountain of challenges that traditional strategies and process improvement methods simply could not address—disconnected information flows, a lack of SAP integration, and little insight into the impact of maintenance strategies on operations, to name a few. With the reliability centered maintenance (RCM) capability, Anglo was able to integrate data-driven recommendations directly into SAP maintenance plans and then ensure the constant and consistent monitoring of results for continuous improvement.
Anglo was even able to self-install the RCM capability in a matter of days, train users within one week, and begin productive system utilization a few shorts weeks later.
Based on pilot program projections, APM strategies and the RCM capability will help Anglo:
Rio Tinto Kennecott (referred to as Kennecott) began an initiative to consolidate instrument data, update existing operator rounds procedures, and increase productivity. The challenge facing Kennecott was that information resided in numerous silos across the organization—operator rounds, maintenance management systems, accounting tools, and process historians were all collecting data, but were not sharing what they learned.
By partnering with GE Digital, Kennecott received better visibility across the entire organization, allowing for the implementation of new asset management strategies to collect equipment health information at the edge and consolidate it in the cloud. Today, operators at Kennecott enjoy greater visibility into many different areas within a physical plant, and can receive critical asset health information anytime, anywhere using mobile APM technology.
GE Digital’s APM helped Kennecott:
To take full advantage of the promise of the Industrial Internet, mining companies must develop an overall strategy that includes a full assessment of the continuously emerging ecosystem of solutions that will help them reach their goals.
Optimizing the performance of assets to increase reliability and availability, minimize costs, and reduce operational risks.