Tag Archives: underground mining

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.

Alexandre Cervinka CEO Newtrax

Conquering the world from deep down underground mines

LaPresse Interviews Newtrax CEO Alexandre Cervinka

Alexandre Cervinka CEO Newtrax

Conquering the world from deep down underground mines

For the original article in French click here.

There are 719 underground mines in operation around the globe, and Newtrax, a Montreal-based technology company founded in 2008, has implemented its safety and productivity solutions in 98 of them.

The goal is to be present is 400 of these mines in the next 3 years. Newtrax ranked 166th among the 500 fastest-growing technology companies in North America last year, according to Deloitte’s Fast 500, and its CEO has no plans to slow down this growth.

Over the years, Quebec has acquired real expertise in the mining sector. Is that why you decided to develop technologies specific to this field of activity? Did you have any prior geology knowledge?

Not at all. In 2001, I was a graduate in Electrical Engineering from McGill University and, with a few colleagues, started a business that used wireless sensor networks to recover stolen merchandise. Then, we developed a technology for the transport of goods and another for border surveillance. We developed projects, but not products.

Eventually, a professor from the University of Quebec in Abitibi suggested we apply our technologies to the mining sector. In 2008, we developed solutions that made it possible to better monitor the work that was being done in the heart of the mine, where telecommunications are impossible.

Our first order from a mining company in Chile, and that’s how Newtrax was born.

What kind of innovation did you bring to this industry that had previously operated in a rather traditional and archaic way?

The managers did not know what was going on in the mine in real time. They would be given a report when the workers came out after their shift. That’s all. They had no idea what was happening with the machines, with the workers, or with the environment in which people operated. We brought them the light, nothing less.

Systems have been developed to evaluate ground stability, air quality and water levels in real time using sensors that are installed in the underground mine. We have also developed sensors that measure the health and parameters of machines, to know the distance drilled, the tonnage moved by the trucks.

Workers have been equipped with a chip that allows them to be located wherever they are in the mine and to be detected in blind spots by large mobile equipment.

Mine managers are given solutions that allow them to better plan the maintenance of their equipment, increase the productivity of their operations while ensuring worker safety.

Your solutions have been well received by the major mining companies, as evidenced by the sharp increase in your revenues over the past year. Where are you in your development?

In 2008, we were eight employees, including the two founders, Vincent Kassis and myself. We got our first big contract with Mexican producer Fresnillo, the biggest money producer in the world, and since then, business has never stopped growing.

We have reached 140 employees, 75 of whom work at our Montreal head office to develop our existing and new technology solutions. Our systems are being assembled by three companies in the Montreal region, and onsite installation and training are being carried out in underground mines. We plan to hire 40 people this year, half of them in Montreal and the other half in our six offices in Santiago, London, Johannesburg, Moscow and Perth.

Our customers are the major producers of gold, silver, and nickel from around the world. These companies are concerned about their productivity and the safety of their operations. Our systems are installed in 98 underground mines and we expect to be present in 400 mines within three years, especially because we have just signed an agreement with Sandvik, the world’s largest manufacturer of underground mining equipment.

Sandvik is present in the 719 operating mines and we plan on becoming the nervous system of its machines. It opens up incredible opportunities. Our sales are expected to reach $ 100 million over the next three years.

How do you finance your growth? Have you opened your capital to financial groups?

We financed our growth from the sales that we made. We also received a good boost from investor Robert Brouillette, founder of the law firm BCF and recognized Angel Investor, who still accompanies us today.

A new shareholder was welcomed in 2014, when Australian mining fund Resource Capital Funds launched a mining technology fund that took a 30% stake in Newtrax.

What will be the next step in terms of growth at Newtrax?

We are already in it. Our technology solutions generate a lot of data and we will generate even more because of our association with Sandvik and its visualization platform. We have also partnered with the IVADO to develop machine learning solutions for our clients worldwide.

We have our foot in the door. We aren’t focused on generating revenue in the AI / Machine Learning sector but we are convinced that AI will further advance intelligent mining solutions for the future.

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%
Loads per cycle Sco

Why Measuring Loads Per Cycle is so Important in Underground Mining Part 2

Why Measuring Loads Per Cycle is so Important in Underground Mining (PART 2)

Loads per cycle Sco

If read our previous blog post, Glencore Matagami mine has recently been able to observe some great productivity ROIs since using the Newtrax Mobile Equipment Telemetry system.  This included:

  • a 5-6%  increase in Utilization on their ore haulage
  • a 4% increase in their Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
  • a 5% increase in their Loads per Cycle

In this blog post we will explore Part 2 of the Q&A on the the topic of Loads per Cycle with one of our experts on the subject, Craig Banks, VP Canada-USA at Newtrax.

Q: What are the advantages of the Newtrax MET system?

A: You know the old saying you can’t manage what you can’t measure? The whole point of the Newtrax MET system deployed at Matagami as well as in other mines around the world is to collect measurable information and make it available for analysis and for management decision-making. Matagami has a wonderful set of reports and dashboards that are visible to their management team and soon to be on a TV screen so that they use them during the morning huddles. It facilitates communication at the end of the day. Whether we’re talking about the reports, the dashboard, the management layer, the analysis, it’s all about facilitating communication, understanding how your operations are going for real. It facilitates communication backed by data from the Newtrax system, and you can really take it to next level and make a meaningful change to a mining operation.

Q: What are some benefits a mine can see from Newtrax systems?

A: Case in point here was Matagami. They use both 45-tonne and 60-tonne trucks, which are impressively large trucks for underground mines. What we’ve achieved with the system that was deployed specifically with loads per cycle at Matagami was a 5% to 6% increase in loads per cycle. And you know what does that means? Well, that can mean extra several tons per cycle. And on a long, long cycle, like what they’re talking about at Matagami, that’s a massive improvement. We’re talking $3,000 per truck cycle, compared to a non-optimized payload.

Q: Are there any new sensor technologies on the horizon?

A: There’s an emerging payload system technology that we’re now using, and deploying in some cases, which uses sensors mounted on truck axles. When you load a haul truck, the axle does deflect even if it’s only a little bit. So what we’re doing is we’re putting sensors on the truck axles, and as the axles flex, ever so slightly, were able to record that and correlate the deflection of the axle back to the payload in the back of the truck. And of course, there’s some clever algorithms there to smooth out what happens as the truck driving goes up and down hitting rock. But what we’re able to do is use it as an alternative system. And what we’re finding is it’s an easier to install and easier to maintain system than the load cell plus pin, and it’s a relative newcomer. But you know, as this stage early indicators show that the results for accuracy and systems maintenance are very positive going forward.

Q: And what’s next for measuring loads per cycle?

A: Going forward to the future of measuring loads per cycle will be to offer different calibration systems, different payload systems, technology-wise, but also make all that data available to facilitate communication. The same way we’re doing it today but with additional types of technology and deployment on these vehicles. The whole goal here is whenever the technology is taking the measurement, make that data available, make sure it’s as rich as possible—because the richer the data, the more analysis you can do. We of course can’t ignore the emergence of Machine Learning and AI,  that need really good data to work. And that’s what we’re generating here for companies like Matagami.

Why Measuring Loads Per Cycle is so Important in Underground Mining Part 1

Why Measuring Loads Per Cycle is so Important in Underground Mining

Glencore Matagami mine has recently been able to observe some great productivity ROIs since using the Newtrax Mobile Equipment Telemetry system.  This included:

  • a 5-6%  increase in Utilization on their ore haulage
  • a 4% increase in their Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
  • a 5% increase in their Loads per Cycle

In this blog post we will dive deeper into the topic of Loads per Cycle by sharing a Q&A with one of our experts on the subject, Craig Banks, VP Canada-USA at Newtrax.

Q: What are loads per cycle?

A: Put plainly, loads per cycle is a measure of haul truck efficiency. Or at least that’s how it’s used in underground mines. In terms of recent Newtrax client engagement such as Matagami, loads per cycle is average payload, literally the weight of the rock carried in a haul truck during one trip from the active mining area to a stockpile, or to a waste dump. This is most often measured in tonnes, and it has a variant which can be either represented by actual tonnes or a percentage.

Q: At a mine, how do you measure loads per cycle?

A: There are several ways to do it. One method that’s commonly used in surface mines is to have a truck scale at static locations in the mine, somewhat like a truck scale on the side of a highway that measures the weight of a loaded truck. In mining, principally in surface mine where a loaded truck would drive up onto a scale, you would weigh the entire thing. Knowing the approximate weight of a truck, you can actually figure out what the resulting payload is. So that’s kind of the way it’s been done for a long time, there’s a few limitations with that type of system.

Q: What are those limitations, is there a better time to measure the load?

A: Traditionally, systems give you a payload per cycle, or a load per cycle, but it’s measured during the cycle. So a truck that has a 45-tonne capacity might have 42 tonnes in its bed. Knowing that is great, but you can’t do anything about it. Because it’s measured halfway through the cycle, you can’t add material to the truck. Having the measurement at the loading stage, which is what Newtrax has done at Matagami, enables the operators to do something about it.

Q: What can be done with all this data?

A: Having all these rich sets of data allows companies like Newtrax to apply machine learning algorithms to build intelligence down the road. So, your mine planning engineers would look at that information and say, “Well, in the future, we need to plan better” or “In the future, this operator needs to be trained to do it differently.” That’s kind of the historical and the analytical end of it. But by recording data the way we do it, not only do you make it available for a rich data set for analysis, but you also make it available to operators, even real or near real time so that they can actually do something about it. And in underground mines, the supervisor isn’t sitting there watching. You’re lucky if the supervisor sees the operator once a day. So the decisions need to happen with the operator, where they can see what’s going on and intervene. It’s both an analytics tool so you can do your planning better and it’s a production tool.

Q: At Matagami, Newtrax has installed scoreboards on the trucks. What are the benefits of these scoreboards?

A: It’s funny in that we get either lovers or haters immediately and we always convert them over because scoreboards are awesome. But the truth is, payload systems have had in-dash scoreboards for quite some time on surface mines but they’re not always used well. If you just have it shown to the truck driver, you kind of have to go back to who’s in charge of the loading event: is it the truck driver or is it the loader operator? Frequently most of the time it’s the loader operator. And so if the information is visible only to the truck driver, probably nobody’s going to do anything about it. The idea of putting the scoreboard on the side of the truck is it facilitates communication between the two operators; it makes it so that as a loader operator is putting the payload in the back of the truck, you’re seeing in real time what that payload looks like. And so if you get the third bucket in the back of the truck and you happen to load lower density material than usual, you might have a little bit more space, maybe there’s an opportunity to do something about it. The loader operator and the truck driver looking at the same information are forced to have a conversation. So the first thing they do is they get on the radio and say “Hey, look, hang on a sec, I might be able to squeeze a little bit more in there.” And they do.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this Q&A coming out shortly!

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.