Mining is an industry that is facing overwhelming pressure. There is a lack of supply as well as falling prices for commodities worldwide. In order for mines to succeed technological innovations need to be introduced to achieve breakthroughs in productivity and performance.
Big data is perhaps one of the greatest changes to the mining industry in recent history. Digital advancements such as remote sensors and predictive modeling allow for mines to monitor every aspect of the mine operations. Data can be collected from remote areas using drones, planes, and satellite imaging. This data is used to monitor and understand the performance of the equipment and provide early warnings of failures or breakdowns that would not otherwise be readily apparent. Digital technology has allowed for better inspection of the equipment and the ability to predict failure before it happens. This has been a huge advantage for many mines as downtime can cost tens of thousands of dollars per hour. In addition, drones, planes, and satellite imaging have removed the barrier of time and distance that once separated mines from their workforce.
Modern mining also leverages robotics and automation like never before. In a typical mine, a large amount of man hours are required to move tons of spent ore and other debris. Likewise, man hours are also required to assist in the loading and hauling of loads from the site. Tasks such as these have been replaced by automation that can efficiently complete the same tasks much faster than humans with no risk of injury to themselves or their coworkers. These automated solutions are not only faster, but also more cost-effective than humans in most cases.
Over the next 5 years it is projected that mining technology will continue to see advancements across all aspects of production including material handling, equipment performance, and efficiency of resources. Check back to see all the latest articles on mining technology and advancement.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker/SMC. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of safety, producing the best E-House in the industry. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.