How can a mechanized, traditional trade utilize digitalization and connectivity to move towards more intelligent mining? Epiroc knows, having connected 2,800 machines around the world to improve customers’ operations, something that was covered during the seminar Innovation for Good (available on-demand).
As a spin off from Atlas Copco, Epiroc, providing equipment for drilling and rock excavation, rests steady on its 140+ years of industrial heritage. However, a major shift in the mining equipment industry – the move towards intelligent mining – calls for new ways to run operations. Automation, interoperability and digitalization are all important pieces in this shift, aiming to reduce costs and Co2 emissions while increasing productivity and safety.
“We operate in a business that has serious sustainability challenges, but the way operations are run can still be sustainable,” says Olav Kvist, who works with business development at Epiroc. “The society needs metal and gravel, and we constantly try to drive innovation to make customers work smarter and more sustainable.”
Mining is done where the ore is, meaning that Epiroc’s customers are spread out over 150 countries, often in remote areas. Be it in Chile, Australia, Mongolia or Alaska, understanding customers’ operations in the mines used to require some serious travelling for Epiroc employees. Sensors, remote automation, IoT and connectivity have changed all that.
“Every morning, I can check how the 2,800 connected large machines are doing second by second,” says Olav Kvist. “Thanks to the higher level of granularity of the data, we get a better understanding of what good looks like in the operations.”
What’s more is that the global expertise, experience and benchmarking, can now conveniently be delivered to local representatives to consider specific matters such as traffic management and diesel usage.
“Ten years ago, we just asked if the machines worked,” says Olav Kvist. “Now we ask how we can utilize them, why we are behind and how we can improve. Thanks to connectivity and new insights, we are spinning the wheel of improvement.”
Catch up on the seminar Innovation for Good by watching it on-demand.
Image: © Epiroc