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The Internet of Things: Moving up the data utilisation value curve

Release date: 11/1/2016

International Mining - The terms Big Data and Internet of Things do mean mine wide and complex solutions but at a smaller scale they also incorporate the smallest sensors and instruments.  Paul Moore explores how technology providers like Dingo are helping miners bring all of this information together, in International Mining's feature, the Internet of Things. 

Moving up the data utilisation value curve
 
While the Internet of Things and Big Data are popular concepts and receiving a lot of industry attention, Dingo argues that most mining companies aren’t equipped to handle the advanced data capture, analysis and decision-making that are required to capitalise on this Big Data. “We have seen very few mining organisations, including the biggest ones, with the systems and/or processes in place to manage and extract the value from the mountains of data being generated.” According to a McKinsey report on how digital innovation can improve mining productivity, most miners use less than 1% of the data collected from their equipment. “Yet, in this same report, McKinsey highlights the incredible upside - an estimated $100 billion of economic impact in 2025 - of tapping into this latent data to optimise equipment maintenance in these areas alone: improve anticipation of failures; reduce unscheduled breakdowns; and extend equipment life.”
 
Based on decades of experience working with maintenance departments, Dingo’s point of view is that there is only value in data when it is applied with the end result in mind. All data should be put through the filter of "Will this information help improve maintenance outcomes and the health of the asset? If it doesn’t check these boxes, it's simply creating noise in the system.”
 
 The company adds: “This is where technology applications such as predictive analytics and data management come into the picture. Used wisely, with the desired outcome in mind, these tools can process and analyse enormous volumes of data, leading to actionable insights that help miners make faster, better maintenance decisions and keep equipment performing at its best. While technology is an important part of the solution, the whole maintenance system, including people and processes, must be set up correctly to capitalise on these insights.” According to Dingo, that's a big opportunity area for many mining operations.
 
Trakka-Field-Inspection-App.jpg
Dingo’s Field Inspection App brings inspection data directly into Trakka for instant expert analysis
 
On a recent trade mission to Latin America, Dingo CEO, Paul Higgins, found that miners were generating volumes of data, but were struggling to produce practical insights that improved maintenance decisions. Higgins believes the issue stems from technology systems that can't handle the wide variety of data sources, along with technology providers’ lack of maintenance expertise. “If you’ve never worked in mining maintenance, it's difficult to know how to apply the technology in a practical way.”
 
The Trakka condition management system was designed by mining engineers for maintenance operations, and utilises all of a mine’s condition data to improve decision-making. Plus, Dingo’s system is supported by a team of Condition Intelligence experts who have over 800 years of combined mining maintenance experience.
 
The maintenance manager of a large North American coal mine said the Trakka software developed by Dingo had major cost advantages for the operation. “Trakka allows our team to run a highly effective condition-based maintenance program that helps our mine operate at the lowest cost per hour. One of the key points is that Dingo and Trakka help us manage risk by continuously assessing the condition of each component. We use this information to ensure we hit availability targets and deliver our mine plan.”

Excerpted from the Spotlight Feature article, Internet of Things, in the November 2016 edition of International Mining
By Paul Moore