All posts by Tiffany Dawson

Newtrax Joins Sandvik Group in Strategic Acquisition

Newtrax Joins Sandvik Group in Strategic Acquisition

MontrealQuebec – June 17 2019 — Newtrax Technologies Inc. (‘Newtrax’) – the leading provider of safety and productivity systems for underground hard rock mines – has been acquired by Sandvik to be run as an independent business unit within the Rock Drills and Technologies division of the Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology business area.  

Newtrax is headquartered in Montreal, Canada, where the company generated revenues of approximately 26 million CAD with 120 employees in 2018 

The combined expertise of Sandvik and Newtrax will create the most powerful, streamlined digital solution to improve safety and efficiency for underground hard rock mines with: 

  • Newtrax’s leading technology in wireless IoT connectivity 
  • Sandvik’s leading suite of digital tools for analyzing and optimizing mining production and processes, including OptiMine® and My Sandvik. 

“By including Newtrax into the Sandvik family, we further strengthen our leading position in areas related to automation and digitalization,” says Henrik Ager, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. 

Founded in 2009, Newtrax started as a university project led by Alexandre Cervinka, Founder and CEO, with Co-Founder Vincent Kassis. In 2014, Newtrax received a major investment from Jolimont Global Mining System, an Australian private equity investor in high growth mining equipment, technology and services. 

Since acquiring the mining division of ISAAC Instruments in Q4 of 2016, Newtrax has reinforced its position as the world leader in vehicle telemetry systems for underground hard rock mines.  

Newtrax will operate as an independent business unit committed to having an open architecture and will continue to interface with other vendors in the mining digital ecosystem. 

“By joining Sandvik Group, we can now confidently say that we have the world’s leading digitalization solution for underground mining customers,” said Alexandre Cervinka, President of Newtrax. 

Newtrax is very happy to announce that sandvik intends to acquire Newtrax Technologies in Q2.

Newtrax Joins Sandvik in Strategic Acquisition to Offer Most Comprehensive Digital Solutions for Underground Mining

Newtrax Joins Sandvik in Strategic Acquisition to Offer Most Comprehensive Digital Solutions for Underground Mining

Newtrax is very happy to announce that sandvik intends to acquire Newtrax Technologies in Q2.

We are very excited to announce that Sandvik intends to acquire Newtrax , the global leading supplier of equipment and tools for the mining industry.

The combined expertise of Sandvik and Newtrax will create the most powerful, streamlined digital solution to improve safety and efficiency for underground hard rock mines with:

  • Newtrax’s leading technology in wireless IoT connectivity
  • Sandvik’s leading suite of digital tools for analyzing and optimizing mining production and processes including OptiMine® and My Sandvik.

“Together, Newtrax and Sandvik provide a seamless offering that is OEM and network independent,” said Alexandre Cervinka, President of Newtrax. “With Newtrax as the “nervous system” and Sandvik OptiMine® as the “brain” of the mine,” this is the most comprehensive digital offering for underground mining.

“With Newtrax joining us, we have a world-leading solution for our underground mining customers,” said Patrick Murphy, President of Sandvik Rock Drills & Technologies Division.

The combined offering of Newtrax and Sandvik OptiMine® will include:

  • Telemetry for all equipment brands
  • Personnel tracking and safety
  • Environmental monitoring and control

Newtrax will be joining Sandvik as a Standalone Business Unit (BU) within Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s Rock Drills & Technologies division and will continue to operate as it does today.

Newtrax will operate as an independent business unit that is committed to having an open architecture and will continue to interface with other vendors in the mining digital ecosystem.

The transaction is expected to close Q2 2019.

Improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness in Underground Mines with Newtrax

Improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness in Underground Mines with Newtrax

“Based on our benchmarking, we observe a global average overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) performance of 27 percent for underground mining, 39 percent for open-pit mining… compared with 92 percent for oil refining”

-McKinsey Global Institute 2016

The term “Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)” draws its origin from the manufacturing industry, and its significance to the underground mining industry is easily transferable.

Measuring Overall Equipment Efficiency for underground mining equipment is becoming best practice in benchmarking progress, identifying losses, and improving the productivity of a fleet.

Most underground mines in the process of digitalizing their operation face similar challenges:

  •     Having a multi-OEM mix of mobile equipment; producing  unstandardized data
  •     The inability to collect real-time data from all the faces, including development faces
  •     Having data, but not knowing how to transform the information into actionable solutions

Newtrax has developed an array of OEE solutions to address these challenges.

The following highlight some of Newtrax OEE successes:

OEE Overall Equipment Effectiveness

Improved Hauling Efficiency: Case Study

A mining operation with a mixed fleet of mobile trucks, including CAT AD30s and Atlas MT436s, was looking for a solution to establish standardized payload monitoring systems.

Newtrax installed its Mobile Equipment Telemetry (MET) system, which interfaced with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM)’s existing sensor network. Newtrax also installed an availability switch, onboard payload scales, and an external/internal payload scoreboard. The payload information was retrofitted to display on the OEM’s load cells.

Four trucks were monitored closely for an eight week period with the approach to Measure, Manage, and Improve using the traditional OEE calculation.

OEE = Availability(A)% x Utilization(U)% x Haulage Efficiency(Q)%

After the eight week period of data collection and observation, it was reported that Availability Time (A) was 93% and the Utilization Time (U) was 52% of the mine’s standard production time calendar. Analysis of the equipment’s payload data over the same time period showed a Haulage Efficiency (Q) of 64% with 19.4 tons out of 30 tons capacity.

These passively measured data points showed the operations OEE being 31%.

Using the information collected, the haulage efficiency data point became a key area of focus in improving efficiencies within the workflow.

SOLUTION:

To improve truck effectiveness, Newtrax proposed an increase to the dumper bed wall height to accommodate extra buckets, as well as digital scoreboards on the trucks’ cab for LHD, and an alarm system on each truck to initiate an overloading situation warning.

Conclusion

  • You can’t improve what you can’t measure
  • Technology is available to overcome stumbling blocks, and enable the management of mixed equipment fleets, through the use of timely data from active areas
  • Offering actionable insight to both mine managers and operators will deliver significant value in a short period of time
  • Improved haulage efficiency will ensure UG mining effectiveness is increased above 27%
INDABA, Newtrax, Cape Town, Mining

Join Newtrax at the Mining INDABA in Cape Town February 4-7

Join Newtrax at the Mining INDABA in Cape Town February 4-7

INDABA, Newtrax, Cape Town, Mining

Newtrax is attending the 25th Anniversary Mining INDABA in Cape Town from Monday, February 4th to Thursday, February 7th, 2019.

With the world’s largest gathering of the most influential stakeholders in African mining, we are looking forward to talking about the future of digitalization with our peers. Newtrax’s Luke Clements (VP Africa) and Trent Jackson (APAC Sales Manager) will be in attendance and welcome the opportunity to meet with customers and prospects.

If you’re interested in how Newtrax can help in your mines digitalization, please contact lclements@newtrax.com to schedule a meeting.

Data collection mining

How Data Collection and AI Will Change The Future of Mine Safety and Profitability

How Data Collection and AI Will Change The Future of Mine Safety and Profitability

Data collection mining

1.  Safety in Mines

Data collection and analysis, especially with the availability of AI algorithms, makes it easier to foresee possible risks that can arise in underground mines, and prevent them.  Predictive maintenance would be the best example of this. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, companies with a 9% reactive maintenance rate had a recordable incident rate of .1%, while those with a 64% reactive maintenance had a recordable incident rate of 4.3%.

These statistics highlight how having reliable equipment is safer.  Interpreting real-time data on your equipment and how they interact in the mining environment keeps everyone safer in the mine.  These algorithms are preparing today for the future needs of safety compliance in safety and prevention.

2.   Mining Productivity and Profitability

Productivity in mines is lower than in other industries, and working underground creates a gap of knowledge transfer between supervisors of different areas of the mine in real-time.  Decisions are made while there are still variables which are unknown. Data collection and analysis however, makes it possible to have a global view of situations for better decision making. There are serious cost savings when you can make important decisions with a full and clear picture in mind.

— Download the Slide Deck to Learn How Use AI on Mining Data To Create Value In Less Than 3 Months —

Download the AI Slide Deck To Learn More

This AI Slide Deck prepared by Newtrax VP of Artificial Intelligence, Michel Dubois, shows how to create value with data collected in underground mines using Artificial Intelligence algorithms.

3. Data collection for Mining

Mines have started digitalizing their fleets and collecting data.  This is where data contextualization comes in. Through the fleet and network agnostic systems at Newtrax for example, the data collected can be connected and contextualized.  Being able to have the full context of any piece of data will bring more possibilities and using trends and algorithms trained by multiple mines can help predict events in any given mine.

Mining will be much more calculated in the next 5 – 10 years, this means knowing exactly what is going on under the surface from to make the mine safer, more profitable and understanding how all of these elements interact with each other to have the most productive operation possible.

Newtrax Technology Enabled, IoT AI

How to Calculate ROI for IoT and AI Solutions in Underground Mining

How to Calculate ROI for IoT and AI Solutions in Underground Mining

Newtrax Technology Enabled, IoT AI

What value can a mine expect to receive from the costs associated with IoT and AI solutions? How does a company like Newtrax calculate this ROI prior to adding a thorough analysis of current data streams from the mine?

To help answer this question, we turn to Guy Gosselin, Subject Matter Expert (SME) at Newtrax to help describe his approach to ROI.

“You need to have a really good understanding of the mining process and how it functions underground. It’s important to fully understand the mine planning because everything is related.” says Gosselin.

Any company will see a return on investment all throughout their mine when digitizing their fleet and incorporating safety technology.  Some of the main areas that Newtrax can calculate tangible ROI are through:

1) Improved Processes

2) Improved Safety delivers production

3) Improved Maintenance Practices

Newtrax Technology Enabled, IoT, AI

Improving Processes Deliver large ROI

Gosselin provides a great example of an ROI calculation that was related to production drilling. ‘’We demonstrated that by getting just 10 more minutes of active drilling per shift per drill could increase net revenue by more than 1.2 million dollars a year” reflected Gosselin. These ten minutes can be easily added to each drill site by minimizing the need to access and leave the work site at the beginning and end of each shift, or by optimizing drill patterns which reduce the set up time.

Another example of ROI was calculated on the haulage process. By cutting off 60 seconds per trip for each truck (only 2 trucks were used in this calculation) there is also a potential savings of over 1 million dollars per year. An example of opportunity for cost-saving on-site is where an access loading point was cut at 90 degrees and each truck was taking 20-30 seconds on arrival and departure, wasting 1 minute per cycle per truck. Improving this represents a huge ROI over the span of a year. Many truck drivers may say their load appears full, but if there is an opportunity to improve that load with more weight within the truck’s full capacity, this will continue to add value to the investment.   

Improved Safety delivers production ROI

ROI from Newtrax proximity detection solutions, despite being a bit less obvious, can also be effectively established. The main priority of proximity detection is improving safety for both workers and equipment. This same system designed for improved safety adds production value in its inclusion of a right-of-way prioritization for ore loaded equipment.

By improving the number of loaded trips each truck makes throughout the day, in correlation with its optimized payload of ore, the ROI of Newtrax proximity detection systems can also be established.

Most importantly, by mitigating any downtime and improving safety standards with proximity detection solutions from Newtrax, costs associated with mine operations stoppage can also be lessened, leading to more efficient shifts.

Graph representing the monitoring of the Caterpillar AD45 engine condition
Graph representing the monitoring of the Caterpillar AD45 engine condition

ROI for improved maintenance Practices

IoT and AI solutions provide the most easily quantifiable ROI with countless cases demonstrating clear cost savings with preventative maintenance practices.

Louis-Pierre Campeau, Research Engineer in machine learning presented a case where Newtrax sensors detected a shift in a Caterpillar AD45 truck engine condition allowing us to notify the mine that something was wrong. They found a faulty bearing, probably from manufacturing which is hard to predict and could have gone without notice otherwise. Catching the issue in the engine ended up costing only a few hours of the mechanics time and $5,000 for the bearing instead of what could have represented over $100,000 for the engine as well as a far greater loss in production time.

Every mining operation is different, therefore calculating ROI needs to be determined case by case. Even two mines utilizing the same mining method would have different variables to calculate what their ROI would be.  A competitive strength of Newtrax is having a company filled with personnel from both product engineering and mine engineering, people like Guy who are very familiar with mining operations and know how to study the mine to find opportunities for improvement and relay those to the Newtrax product teams.

Guy Gosselin was able to estimate costs associated with a truck engine fail in the middle of a shift for a specific mine. It turns out that with conservative estimates, depending on where the equipment breaks, it can cost an average of 50 000$ dollars in production loss and as much as 82 000$ in the worst case scenario. A real case study performed by Guy showed a truck experiencing a major failure in the only access road of an underground unloading point. This resulted in all of the other trucks having to go to the surface to unload, which increased wasted time threefold (x3). The mine lost ⅔ of the planned production during the period of time needed to clear the access.  

When wondering what adding IoT and AI services to your mine’s digital roadmap will offer, consider the benefits of being able to track and maintain performance, keeping your mine safe and having the ability to anticipate and handle machine failures. The added value can extend to shift plan optimization and using the collected data for targeted strategies. Contact a Newtrax expert to find out how we can work with you to achieve your goals.  

Sandvik partner with Newtrax

Sandvik and Newtrax partner to provide the most comprehensive digital offerings for the underground metal mining industry

Sandvik and Newtrax partner to provide the most comprehensive digital offerings for the underground metal mining industry

Sandvik partner with Newtrax

Sandvik is proud to announce it has partnered with Newtrax, the global leader in wireless IoT for the underground metal mining industry, to deliver world-class mining safety, efficiency, and productivity to underground metal mines through digitalization.

Sandvik’s OEM-independent OptiMine® digital platform will seamlessly integrate with Newtrax’s system of wireless IoT to provide all relevant data into one source, delivering both real-time and predictive insights to improve operations.

“We are eager to see our partnership with Sandvik OptiMine® help our customers more rapidly and effectively realize their crucial mine digitization objectives. Sandvik shares our core values, and this partnership ultimately will deliver more value to our joint customers faster, and at a lower cost,” said Alexandre Cervinka, CEO of Newtrax.

“Together, I truly believe we truly have the best solution for our customers. With Sandvik OptiMine® software as the ‘brain,’ and the Newtrax IoT system as the ‘nervous system’ monitoring machines, people, and the environment, our customers will have all they need to leverage the power of machine learning, and more effectively realize the value of their digital investments,” said Patrick Murphy, President, Rock Drills & Technologies, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.

The integrated system will be deployed at select mines and showcased in the SANDVIK test mine in Tampere, Finland in early 2019. Hindustan Zinc’s Sindesar Khurd (SK) is the first mine to implement integrated Newtrax and OptiMine® solutions to drive their digital transformation.

Tampere, 27 November 2018

For more information contact:

Patrick Murphy, President, Rock Drills and Technologies, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, tel: +358406765007, e-mail: patrick.murphy@sandvik.com

or Conny Rask, Corporate Communications Manager, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology

+46 8 456 1368 conny.rask@sandvik.com

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Sandvik Group

Sandvik is a high-tech and global engineering group offering products and services that enhance customer productivity, profitability and safety. We hold world-leading positions in selected areas – tools and tooling systems for metal cutting; equipment and tools, service and technical solutions for the mining and construction industries; products in advanced stainless steels and special alloys as well as products for industrial heating. In 2017, the Group had approximately 43,000 employees and sales of 91 billion SEK in more than 150 countries within continuing operations.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology is a business area within the Sandvik Group and a global leading supplier of equipment and tools, service and technical solutions for the mining and construction industries. Application areas include rock drilling, rock cutting, crushing and screening, loading and hauling, tunneling, quarrying and breaking and demolition. In 2017, sales were approximately 37 billion SEK with about 15,000 employees in continuing operations.

Newtrax Technologies Inc.

Newtrax Technologies Inc. is the global leader in wireless IoT, safety, and productivity solutions for the global underground hard rock mining industry. Newtrax customers are the largest producers of metals in the world and their underground hard rock mechanized mines rely on Newtrax systems to save lives, reduce costs and increase production with unprecedented levels of real-time data from machines, people and the environment.

[Video] Newtrax Helps Casa Berardi Mine Exceed Production Objectives by 4% in 2018

VIDEO: Newtrax Helps Casa Berardi Mine Exceed Production Objectives by 4% in 2018

Hecla Casa Berardi, an underground gold mine in western Quebec, has engaged Newtrax to integrate its OEM-agnostic mobile equipment telemetry system (MET), delivering some major results through the data.

The gold mine has focused its digital transformation on a few key areas, including autonomous vehicles and mobile equipment telemetry, to better manage machine downtime and operator abuse. Some key improvements to the mine include:

1) Increased operating times

2) Reduced maintenance costs

Increased operating times

Since implementing the Newtrax MET system, the Casa Berardi mine has been able to quantify an increase of an hour per day of operations, meaning as much as 30 minutes per shift.  Prior to their telemetry project with Newtrax which started in 2017, they would have to wait days before addressing intermittent equipment issues.  With real-time equipment diagnostics, the technicians in the control room can connect directly to the computer of the machine and can complete an immediate diagnosis by comparing it to other machines in operation.

Reduced maintenance costs

“One of the types of data we were looking at was transmission abuse, and we started seeing that some operators did not know why they were causing these alarms,” said Sonny Melancon, Control Room Operator at Hecla Casa Berardi, “The operators were trained and the change in practices have resulted in hardly having any transmission abuse at all. There has been a decrease of 50%.” After 9 months the mine is saving 7.8% in maintenance costs per ton of material hauled.

Mobile Equipment Telemetry is just one aspect of what can be a full and complete digital integration. Contact us to find out how we can work with your KPIs to plan your custom integration.

How Newtrax can help your journey with AI in Mining

How Newtrax can help your journey with AI in Mining

Image courtesy of Mining Magazine, "Live and Learn" article by Carly Leonida.

Michel Dubois, Vice President AI for Newtrax has been making waves in Artificial Intelligence for the mining industry.  He will be speaking in Quebec City about real-time data validation through artificial intelligence in underground mines.

When:             Wednedsay, November 21, 2018

Where:            Centre des Congrès room 306-B

Time:               2:50 PM

The Quebec Mines and Energy conference is an exciting platform for industry professionals to come and learn about AI in mining.  It’s an emerging topic, getting a lot of attention as the market is adopting technologies to improve safety and processes for the future of the industry.

The following is an excerpt from Mining Magazine called “Live to Learn” by Carly Leonida, Mining Magazine Editor on why machine learning and predictive analytics are so important to the mining industry. Carly explores algorithms, quality data, where to start and lessons to learn.

“Another company making waves in the machine-learning space is Canada-based Newtrax Technologies. The firm is developing an expertise in data quality for machine learning (specifically for underground mining) to improve predictive maintenance and shift optimisation with techniques for detecting and measuring problems with unstable input variables like sensor failures, data integrity, conflicting data, biased data, sparsity, business conformity, outliers, high cardinality, or out-of-order and out-of-date data.

Michel Dubois, vice president of QA at the company, and his team believe that one of the main lessons that miners could learn from other industries is about the value of collecting quality data for training machine-learning algorithms.

“We have seen many other industries, like the internet companies for example, where data collection started much earlier, build enormous value out of the information collected through time. By starting data collection now, miners are building up value for tomorrow,” he says.

Newtrax’s solutions collect data across customers’ underground operations using an IoT-enabled sensor network to create what it calls “an underground mining nervous system“. This includes measuring KPIs in real time for drills, trucks, bolters and LHDs with coverage all the way to the face and without the need for operator input. This passive method of data collection enables the identification of productivity bottlenecks and early warnings for safety, health and environmental hazards. The power of machine learning lies in connecting real-time data from vehicles, personnel and the underground environment. Customers host their data in a Newtrax server on their premises before passing it to Newtrax for processing.

Dubois, who is currently studying data quality for machine learning as part of his PhD in engineering, explains: “Scalability and precision [in machine learning] depend mostly on computing power and quality of data since a large number of algorithms are shared publicly. Also, it is common to hear in the machine-learning industry that 75% of the effort involved in a project is spent on data gathering, cleaning and transformation (the remainder effort is spent on algorithms and infrastructure). That is why Newtrax has decided to specialise in data quality for machine learning.”

Since March 2017, Newtrax has been working with the Institute for Data Valorisation (IVADO), Canada’s largest researcher consortium in data science, artificial intelligence and operations research. Their combined focus is on machine-learning pilot projects for underground mines using open-source algorithms.

Louis-Pierre Campeau, research engineer at Newtrax, explains: “Newtrax has constant interactions with IVADO. For example, one project that we are currently working on with Professor Samuel Bassetto is about the visualisation of complex data to help understand trends and logics in apparently random data.

“An example of an application of this is in predictive maintenance where, given the input of a hundred sensors, we are trying to find out signs of defects in different mechanical parts. This kind of project helps us figure out which sensor combinations are more indicative of the different possible failures, so that machine-learning algorithms can predict more types of vehicle failures.”

Another key area of research for Newtrax lies in harnessing the benefits of machine learning for short- to long-term planning at underground operations.

Campeau is leading the project. “The mathematical model for underground mining that I have developed during my PhD studies provides the tools for optimisation of mine planning given fixed inputs,” he explains. “The combination of machine-learning techniques with such a model will allow for a greater precision and reliability in these fixed assumptions.”

“For example, say that a round has to be drilled in the next shift in a given ramp. A fixed assumption could be to plan for the drilling activity to last the average drilling time of 3.5 hours. Machine-learning techniques on the other hand could use information like the level of experience of the miner drilling the round or the rock conditions in the area to predict that the drilling will actually last closer to five hours. In turn, this prediction could be used to optimise the whole planning accordingly.”

To read the rest of the article click here. Be sure to sign up to Mining Magazine for the relevant news for the mining industry!

Newtrax Partners with Sandvik

Newtrax and Sandvik Drive Digitalization of a Hindustan Zinc Mine

Newtrax and Sandvik Drive Digitalization of a Hindustan Zinc Mine

Newtrax Partners with Sandvik

Sandvik and Newtrax have received a strategic order to implement a major digital transformation at Hindustan Zinc’s Sindesar Khurd (SK) mine in India. It will be one of the most comprehensive digital offerings globally in the mining industry, enabling an integrated mine management solution for the entire mobile underground fleet.

For this project, Sandvik is partnering with Newtrax which will deliver personnel tracking with cap lamps, tracking and telemetry data for the entire mobile underground fleet, including non-Sandvik equipment, numbering more than 150 drills, loaders, trucks and other equipment. The Newtrax offering will be seamlessly integrated with the Sandvik OptiMine® digital platform, with IBM Watson-IoT, creating an integrated mine management solution at the SK mine.

“Sandvik OptiMine® modules can be combined as needed to build up the required functionality and to optimize mining operations. With open interfaces, the solution can also be integrated to other mine IT systems. This interoperability is crucial in enabling our customers to leverage the full value of digitalization”, says Patrick Murphy, President Product Area Rock Drills and Technologies at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.

Hindustan Zinc is one of the world’s largest integrated producers of zinc and among leading global lead and silver producers.

 

Read the full Press Release here: https://www.rocktechnology.sandvik/en/news-and-media/news-archive/2018/11/sandvik-and-vedanta-partner-to-drive-full-digitalization-at-hindustan-zincs-sk-mine/