The Next Wave of Digital Transformation: The “Manufacturization” of Mining

In a recent article from Mining Weekly titled “Digital transformation now a top priority for mines worldwide – analyst” Emilie Ditton, International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia and Pacific energy and worldwide mining practices research director, explains what is driving mining companies to utilize the data they generate to improve business performance.

The “Manufacturization” of Mining

The need to improve the bottom line, coupled with responses in automation and mechanization are helping to drive the need for digital transformation. According to Ditton, “between 30% and 40% of mining companies worldwide have increased the amount that they were spending on IT, in particular in their operations units … This has ensured that a foundational layer of technological investment has been established within mining companies; it has also shifted the culture internally about the role that technology needs to play in mining”

She adds that IDC research indicates that 20% of mining companies will achieve operational excellence by looking to the lean processes used by manufacturing, which will require standardization of enterprise resource planning and operational software integration.

For a roadmap to transformation, the mining industry should consider looking to manufacturing companies such as Toyota, Jaguar or Doosan, who have employed a collaborative digital platform to connect everyone in the enterprise, from the c-suite to the shop floor. With this solution, from Dassault Systèmes, they have created a single source of information from engineering, to businesses processes, enable sustainable innovation.

Already in mining, some companies such as Dundee Precious Metals, referenced in the Mining Weekly article by Ditton as an early innovator, have begun to make significant progress toward digitalizing their businesses. She calls Dundee an example of a company that is implementing Mining Manufacturization in its mining business, employing short interval control to monitor the performance of its operations in Europe.  The objective is to improve production rates and reduce costs without adding new equipment.

Dundee Precious Metals CEO

Watch a video case study on Dundee Precious Metals to see how they achieved a digital transformation with help from Dassault Systèmes.  Dundee Precious Metals, based in Toronto, took up a huge challenge to improve the operations of its mine in Chelopech, Bulgaria: double the production (1 million tons to 2 million tons per year) while decreasing extraction costs by 30%.  This required real-time communication and production management, which is a challenge in any enterprise, but especially so in an underground mine. For more information on mining technologies, take a look at the Perfect Mine and Plant Industry Solution Experience.

By Mark Bese, initially published April 11, 2017 on Dassault Systèmes North America Blog

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