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Using Data to Improve Mining Operations

using data to improve mining operations

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Numerous industries worldwide depend on the supply of mineral commodities from underground. The dependency of various high-tech-industries on rare earths is a recent issue – coal, on the other hand, is still one of the leading global energy resources. Consequently, the mining sector is pivotal to the world’s economy.

The mining industry operates through a sequence of stages: exploration, discovery, development, production and reclamation and it can be categorized under the following five main activities:

  • The excavation of earth and rock
  • The processing of the excavated material to separate the ore from the waste rock
  • The storage and maintenance of waste material
  • The monitoring of environmental conditions such as air quality, water quality and noise levels
  • The operation of supporting services such as repair shops, labs, living quarters, warehouses and offices

The process of Mining Operations involves a large number and variety of equipment, technology, and sciences. Therefore, providing the engineers and decision-makers with on-time data would significantly impact saving time and money due to data-driven decision-making techniques.

One of the advantages of collecting data through software is using real-time data and predicting long-term trends. In addition, this technique can improve Mining Operations by using the collected data to increase the equipment’s performance and ensure the operation’s quality, maintenance productivity, and enhanced safety, security, compliance, and environmental stewardship.

Keep Thorough Records

You’ll want to keep records up to date and be thorough about them. To implement data-driven decisions and predict future trends, you need to have accurate information – software-based data collection tools can help you with this.

Software-based data collection approach has many advantages over other traditionalpaper-based inspection forms of data collection. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Cost
    The main costs associated with using the traditional data-entry techniques include but are not limited to the printing, storing, and distributing forms; however, setting up the data entry system and using digital inspection forms to capture specific Mining Operations customized to industries’ data would be the saving opportunity. You can also reduce personnel requirements and drive down operational costs without the need for back-end form data entry and processing.
  • Ease of access and Improve data accuracy
    Data gathered using digital forms is more accurate and complete. The data capturing software can auto-populate fields based on data records entered and validated field-level data before submission, and capturing the Mining Operation’s unique information, such as geolocation and time that could save, will increase the data accuracy.
  • Manage work orders efficiently
    Software improves workflow and efficiency by allowing you to schedule, assign, and close work orders quickly and easily. This will enable you to configure work orders and automatically tracks all work orders in the system. By organizing work orders, everyone will know what tasks need to be completed and who is responsible for them.

Use Field Maintenance Reports To Maintain Equipment Standards

Keeping equipment functional is critical for operations to meet targets. However, a maintenance system should not rely on people alone. Technology can be put in place to help make equipment inspections easier and be efficient and standardized.

Setting up automated inspection forms and combining them with a preventive maintenance process for the equipment would be key benefits of using the collected data throughout the inspection.

This continuous equipment monitoring with applicable software ensures the operation equipment’s optimum lifetime performance and minimizes downtime and unexpected costs.

Keep Track Of Material Handling

Material handling equipment represents a critical part of any mining operation. As material travels from the extraction to the processing point, it must be constantly monitored to maximize extraction.

In mining, material handling is often managed through conveyors. Belt conveyors complement machines used in bulk material handling, which are the main components in bulk material transport systems. Their lengths vary from hundreds of meters to more than 20 kilometres in a single section. For large handling applications, conveyors can hold up to 50,000 tons per hour.

One of the essential capacities of mining material handling through conveyors would depend on the optimum operation of this equipment. Now considering the fact of having multiple pieces of equipment and the benefits of using a data collection tool to ensure all equipment has its trends of operations and failures. The modified inspection forms at software-based data collection tools will provide adequate on-time data to analyze and determine equipment failure trends.

How you can use the collected data

By using the collected data, you can prioritize the equipment and maintenance processes that may need to be addressed first and use data to predict long-term maintenance requirements in the future.

Field-eagle merges seamlessly in Mining Operations and can utilize all the above features as an electronic data-collection system. Having the tailored inspection forms based on the operational equipment specification will not only address the equipment’s maintenance requirements but also provide you with unique data from the processes you may need to have implemented.

If you’re ready to see how Field Eagle can help your operations, click here to contact us for a demo. We’ll be more than happy to show you how you can use Field Eagle to collect smarter data and put it to it’s best use.

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