By: Leon Best
As we reached the end of the century, I was in the construction arena and managed many large commercial and industrial mining projects. In 2003 I started my own electrical contracting company. Armed with a laptop and an expansive 'hard drive' data storage, I built the systems, processes, and procedures necessary to align my business to the needs of the electrical construction QA/QC that Mining companies required.
Mining uses massive and expensive machinery and is very maintenance intense. Breakdowns were costly both in time and throughput. The construction of process plants and mobile equipment was highly specialised, and more importantly, the support of those systems was paramount to the business' continuity and shareholder profit.
By 2010 data storage moved into the realm of cloud computing. Cloud computing relies on the sharing of services or apps and data storage in real-time. It has given miners the ability to minimise upfront costs in establishing IT requirements and allows mega data storage capabilities and access by all employees at the same time.
The utilisation of 'asset management,' and cloud computing and the cost benefits of data retrieval and analysis, has fast become the norm and has value-added to these mining businesses', and established the significance of Reliability-Centred Maintenance (RCM) and the importance of accurate data input.
What is Reliability-Centred Maintenance? RCM identifies, addresses, and defines specific tasks required to keep assets operational throughout their life cycle. To be able to analyse the RCM model requires a dedicated, knowledgeable team to answer ten fundamental questions. There are many ways to develop and adopt the outcomes provided by the RCM analysis. All of this takes data and storage capability.
The mine owners, executive board and managers could all see the benefits of introducing these asset management principles into their business models, which, ultimately increased shareholders trust in the management of the companies.
Big Data has opened the 4th industrial revolution of Total Remote-controlled (TRC) mining equipment, Nanotechnology (NT), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Mixed Reality (MR) are all becoming the new standard. These technologies are showing the possibilities of the future in asset management.
By utilising these technologies, mining companies are mitigating many hazards that the industry has faced in underground and above-ground mining conditions, making it safer for personnel to carry out their works.
'Asset Management Specialists' are remotely engaged building dashboards that are purpose-built to relay necessary information quickly and are 'tuned' to the business' requirements with real-time data analytics.
We supply reports that focus on strategy improvements, identify risks and opportunities and utilise business intelligence to provide operational data to view trends, compare cause and effect relationships, and predictive analytics.
Building' business continuity plans to ensure catastrophic failures are managed and complied with to reduce insurance premiums and downtime, and 'Event Analysis' of maintenance reporting to Prolong the 'Life Cycle' of the Asset.
Specialised mining maintenance can be undertaken by staff remotely from the site. Fault analysis and diagnostics relayed in real-time by video feed direct to the maintainer on the machine and the uptime of equipment maximised.
'Asset Management' is exploding. Technology is dragging us along for the rides of our life.