A recent article in Mining Journal titled “Maturity insight builds strategic readiness” urges the industry not to become complacent as it will end up blindsiding them again when things inevitably turn south. In the article, it outlines megatrends that the industry must strategically account for: Digital and Industry 4.0; productivity; resource depletion; extended enterprise sustainability; and education and training for the new generation.
What’s required to address these megatrends is an improved ability to understand, plan, and act. This requires better connectivity between roles, functions, and data that does not yet exist in the industry. By looking to other industries, it is possible to paint a picture of what is possible in mining.
Platforms employed by manufacturers as varied as aerospace and automotive align the organization and all practitioners within it, from design, engineering, procurement, manufacturing, logistics and order fulfilment to one set of data and common, interconnected workflows. Everything that happens in one area has an impact on those that follow. Thanks a platform-based mining simulation, the impacts are readily accounted for and responded to keep costs under control and projects on track.
When a platform is driven by collaboration and enabled by 3D, mine sites, resource depletion, sustainability, and productivity can all be modeled based on the real world – and even holistically as a complete ecosystem.
Platform-based mining simulation, based on operational and historical data, can be put to work to understand how processes will perform or what the impact on the environment is likely to be in the future. With this, the best alternatives can be found and innovative ideas explored and proven before deployment in the real world. This simulation, when coupled with immersive virtual reality, provides a powerful way to communicate with all stakeholders within and outside of a company.
Putting it all together, imagine what would become possible if you could manipulate a virtual mine site the same way a car manufacturing can explore a car design, or walk through a mining operation in the same way a video gamer does a virtual city? Employees would have a complete understanding of an operation before traveling to it and experts from around the globe could collaborate together to find improvement s that would be difficult to conceptualize in the 2-D world.
In every industry where they have been deployed, platforms have enabled significant transformations in the way businesses perform, collaborate and innovate. Platforms are the future and they are available now to mining companies if they choose to embrace them.
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