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Mines Gain Value Through Digitisation

Johannesburg South Africa, 23 August 2018.

The mining industry will gain in new areas of value, not previously recognised, through the integration of operation technology (OT) and IT systems and data. The reservations relating to change is inevitable but once started, the benefits become obvious and exponential.

“These disruptive changes, which come from digitalisation, i.e. doing things differently using digital technologies, will express themselves as new business operating models. These models and technology deployments will also create opportunities for technology suppliers and services providers as well as potential new market entrants into mining sector,” explains Marc Ramsay, ‎Vice President Industry Business Unit at Schneider Electric South Africa.

Other changes from digitalisation include:
1. Business operating models will change through greater automation and interconnection.
2. The commercial basis that suppliers of mining companies, equipment manufacturers, services providers and technology providers operate will change.
3. The mine ecosystem will be interconnected and far more intelligent.
4. Workforce enablement and empowerment will be positively impacted by these technology investments.
5. New skills will evolve and be required.
6. Established hierarchical operational structures will be flattened and be more dynamic.

“Overall, the transformation is in the creation of mining organisations built around agile mining operations. These agile mining operations are enabled through the utilisation of data for improved decision making processes in a shorter period, with a continuous flow of data and insights at all levels across the mining value chain.”

Adding value with data
“Value additions will not only make your mine more responsive, but will increase overall efficiency and profitability. The list below covers the largest areas of where the value of data is evident to the mining industry executives.”

  • Creation of visibility – there is an immediate value in terms of cost savings, improved efficiency and greater ability to respond faster and smarter with informed action. This applies to all operational functions, operation of mobile and fixed plant, maintenance and people.
  • Ability to predict & control – the ability to use data, once it is available, understood and accurate. Data is used within processes to predict outcomes and anticipate negative events.
  • Ability to integrate the flow of data – the integration of operational technology software and systems with enterprise resource planning (ERP) will enable a level of insight into activities and planning that does not currently exist.
  • Creation of end-to-end digital processes – this enables better predictability, drives greater automation and avoids unnecessary tasks that waste precious time
  • Reducing variability – users can manage variability by applying analytics processing of large quantities of data to identify correlations between anomalies and out-of-the-norm variations.

“New digital and technical applications allow for positive changes that will benefit mines. Agile mining operations will improve the reliability of value generation that mining companies can create and enable better operational control,” concludes Ramsay.

Schneider Electric assists mining companies in addressing their challenges; be these safety sustainability, operational efficiency, value chain efficiency or projects and services; through its global expertise. For more information, go to Meeting mining challenges.

About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is leading the digital transformation of energy management and automation in homes, buildings, data centres, infrastructure and industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in power management – medium voltage, low voltage and secure power, and in automation systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest partner, integrator and developer community on our open platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to innovation, diversity and sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.

For more information, go to www.se.com/za.

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