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Ask any Mine Manager about areas for improvement and Short Interval Control will almost certainly be near the top of their list. It’s one of the latest buzz words in mining, often paired with digital transformation and the internet of things.
Now ask them what short interval control means; you’ll likely get a different response from each Mine Manager. They may say it’s about reacting to issues in the last shift, finding an optimal short-term schedule, ensuring operators know what work needs to be done, or making sure everyone sticks to the plan.
Short interval control can mean many things, and, in fact, a solution for short interval control comprises many components. These include operational transparency, short-term scheduling and optimization, work execution, and production intelligence.
Over a series of blog posts, we’ll examine each of those components – all of which can be implemented at any time, in any order. In fact, that’s the shortcut to short interval control: you don’t have to implement the entire solution at once to achieve benefit.
To start, let’s define short interval control. Originally used in manufacturing, short interval control is a process of reviewing data from the previous interval (e.g. hour, shift, day), identifying issues or deviations from the plan and the actions to correct them, and then implementing the actions in the next interval. LeanProduction.com describes short interval control as a process of “quick and focused reviews of performance data during the shift [to] enable mid-course corrections and immediate small-scale fixes that collectively result in significant improvements in performance.”
So what does that mean for mining?
The opportunity to improve mine productivity, reduce time and resource waste, increase equipment efficiency, and enhance safety. Sounds great, right?
There’s one critical requirement, however, to achieve those benefits. Knowing what’s actually happened (look back) – having the data you need in a time-frame that allows you to look forward and then implement in the next interval.
We will be discussing knowing what’s happened via operational transparency in our next Short Interval Control post which will be available soon.
Read more in our White paper that supports Short Interval Control, please click here to download.