Owners and operators must adapt quickly to changing market conditions to stay competitive in this complex industry.
The wealth of South Africa’s mineral resources is renown worldwide and so is the country’s expertise for their extraction. But there’s more to this market than reputation. With globalisation, the MMM industry is one of the most competitive, relying as much on human labour as technological wizardry.
With resource prices fixed on the open market, the only way to increase turnover is to increase mining volumes and the only way to increase profitability is to reduce costs in the face of increasing raw material and energy costs.
In other words, the way to create shareholder value is to mine efficiently, improve product quality and to show employees that their demands are being viewed in the face of this global reality. This might mitigate industrial action and foster the spirit of competition needed to restore this industry to its former standard of excellence.
Challenges facing the Mining, Metals and Minerals industry
Health and safety
Requires accurate real-time information on tap anywhere throughout the operation. This information needs to be available 100% of the time irrespective of power failures, server malfunctions or network failures.
- System Platform
- InTouch Access Anywhere
Whether it’s a safety emergency or a production stoppage, the right personnel must know what to do without hesitation because this is not the time for trial and error. This makes human workflow mapping and management mandatory.
- Skelta BPM Workflow
Minimising production costs
In some instances, “doing it the way it’s always been done” may no longer be an option. Redesigning beneficiation processes, for example, can be difficult but at least one large SA company has done it and saved hundreds of millions.
Improved capital plant ROI and reduced maintenance costs
Mining machinery such as refrigeration plants, conveyors, diggers, trucks, etc. is costly and its life needs to be extended as long as possible. This can be achieved through the rigorous, real-time monitoring of downtime and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) as well as effective maintenance based on reality rather than the calendar.
Reduced energy costs
Keeping an eye on the meter is no longer good enough. Effective mine energy management involves tracking energy usage to batches and even shifts on a time basis in order to reduce energy usage during peak times but without affecting production.
- Corporate Energy Management
This is helped through real-time and historical trending of plant items as well as precisely matching production with demand.
Reduced industrial process control and industrial IT engineering costs
The mining industry has to perform under increasingly tight budgetary constraints but with fewer and fewer engineers. The proven way to cope with this scenario in a changing world is through the design, implementation, enforcement and maintenance of standards. Standards drastically cut engineering costs and lower the cost of ownership for the automation system as a whole.
- System Platform
Preserving past investments and assets
Most mines have a collection of disparate automation systems as they evolved over time. Although these are valuable assets, what’s far more valuable is the engineering time and effort that was invested in their proper operation. What’s needed in these instances is a system that is designed with this very scenario in mind and that can make all these systems work in concert.
- System Platform
- Device Integration Server
Helping Your Continuous Operation
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