How is the Internet of Things (IoT) Useful to a Mining Business?
With nearly every industry in the world revolutionizing their operations management by implementing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, the mining industry is cautiously following suit.
In an industry as risk-averse as mining, it is important that we explore the intricacies of these applications and how they can tangibly make an impact on productivity and safety underground.
Ultimately, the question will always remain, is adoption of such technologies worth the investment?
We think it definitely is, and here are just a few reasons why.
— Cutting back downtime after a blast —
After a blast is performed to open up a new site within the mine, the area has to be cleared out due to toxic gases and debris. If there is no system in place to monitor the air, miners need to wait hours before resuming work to ensure that it is safe to re-enter. By incorporating a system that manages the air, mine managers, shift supervisors, and miners are able to instantly know when it is safe to go back back underground. This ends up saving mining companies a ton of time and gets them producing again much faster.
— Cutting down the time of evacuation drills —
Evacuation drills can take hours to complete and sometimes may even take up a whole shift. This can result in a lot of downtime. If we can automate the process and supply safety precautions that will speed up evacuation drills, miners will be safer and will be able to get back underground to continue their work.
— Ensuring safe conditions and mechanical placement —
When miners know exactly where their equipment is located and that the environment around them is safe, they are able to start their day of work much faster. On a daily basis, miners spend a lot of time looking for their equipment and becoming familiar with their surroundings. When there is a system in place that monitors and tracks these things for them, they are able to start work upon arrival rather than wasting productivity hours on gathering the information themselves.
— Cutting back on machinery downtime —
Having an IoT system in place also significantly reduces the downtime of broken machinery. Companies are able to lower the risk of equipment breaking in the middle of a project or shift and they are also able to preemptively order parts that will be needed to restore broken machines as soon as possible.
These are a few of the reasons we believe IoT systems can drastically improve mining operations and the safety of people working underground.
In the next series we will dive a bit deeper on how exactly we can use Mobile Equipment Telemetry (MET) to improve productivity underground.