Take control and transform mining operations with the Rackspace Industrial IoT Smart Mining Accelerator

By Simith Nambiar, Practice Lead, Emerging Technologies, Rackspace Technology

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Mining is an important industry in Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows the sector was responsible for more than one-tenth of the economy between 2019 and 2020. According to a Deloitte report, the mining industry accounted for 8.4% of Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018-19.

It also contributed $143 billion to the national economy, or 7.5% of total economic output. Employing more than 200,000 people, the mining industry significantly contributes to Australia's export economy, with minerals such as iron ore, coal and gold being among the country's top exports.

But mining production has its limits. Some of the biggest challenges include volatility in commodity prices, high labor costs, strict regulations and the impact of automation.

Through the processes of blasting, loading, crushing raw materials, loading inventory onto conveyors, and transporting the materials for shipping, a mining facility only runs efficiently when its schedule, specifications and operating costs are in line.

To help optimize mining production, some Australian mining companies are turning to technology. Increasingly, these companies are implementing automation, remote monitoring and the use of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors on equipment and devices.

Historically, collecting machine and production data to inform operations has been difficult due to the proprietary data formats and protocols of multiple vendors. It’s hard to integrate this data because it’s essentially siloed according to manufacturer, and so it’s similarly difficult to generate insights in operational efficiency.

However, in the last decade the development of standardized open protocols such as OPC UA and others has enabled these vendors to become integrated and allow for the generation of useful insights.

How can your mining operation approach maximum efficiency and reduce the costs associated with lost productivity? The Rackspace Industrial IoT Smart Mining Accelerator is an innovative solution designed to drive the success of mining operations.

Rackspace achieves this through a prepackaged and customisable industrial IoT foundation platform designed with initial services of data ingestion, storage, data management and security. When coupled with simple initial analytics and reporting, our solution enables investment validation for operational stakeholders.

Some typical challenges a mining company faces include scheduling issues, fluctuations in demand, or unforeseen equipment issues. To ensure seamless operations, thorough quality inspections are conducted and all facilities must comply with established specifications, adhere to schedules, and effectively manage operating expenses.

The largest threats to production are:

  • Reliability and maintenance/repair costs
  • Downtime and prevention of breakdowns
  • Safety and environmental issues
  • Interruptions or inefficiencies in quality in staffing, processes or product

If you’ve been considering leveraging technology in your mining operation, perhaps it’s time to liberate your data and kickstart the digital transformation of your operations with the Rackspace Industrial IoT Smart Mining Accelerator.

The Rackspace Industrial IoT Smart Mining Accelerator is a pre-built, customisable solution that collects and connects the data from your operation, analyses and measures metrics over time and displays them. A centralised dashboard gives you a 360-degree view of your operations and can be accessed in real time to receive notifications and remotely identify errors to reduce downtime.

The accelerator enables organisations to be data-driven and sets the stage for machine learning-based use cases like predictive maintenance by leveraging the vast amount of data collected and stored in the mining data lake in the cloud.

The Rackspace IIoT Smart Mining Accelerator provides critical information to anticipate, identify and resolve issues quickly and with accurately.

  • Generate cost savings: By using IoT technology, customers can reduce equipment maintenance, downtime and energy consumption costs.
  • Improve reliability, efficiency and productivity: Get real-time data on equipment performance, resource utilisation, and other key metrics.
  • Access real-time information: Help identify potential problems early, enable prompt resolution, and potentially prevent larger issues.
  • Build an industrial mining data lake: This Rackspace Technology® solution works behind the scenes, sending data to be analysed. Historical data provides valuable insight into past performance and can be used to train predictive models to anticipate and prevent equipment failures or other issues, enabling more proactive maintenance and reducing downtime.
  • Improve compliance and safety: Gain accurate and timely data on environmental and safety conditions. Real-time monitoring and alerts keep managers informed regarding potential hazards.
  • Calculate your own KPIs and metrics that matter to you: Each mining plant is different, define your own metrics from the large set of data points and visualise it at various time intervals in a fully customisable dashboard.

By reducing risk, the Rackspace Industrial IoT Smart Mining Accelerator helps mining customers ensure continuity in critical processes to troubleshoot and avoid downtime that leads to potential disruption and lost productivity.

Along with the lower risk comes greater peace of mind knowing your equipment is operating at higher efficiency and with greater control via the dashboard and remote monitoring features.

Advancements in technology have made it possible to push beyond its previously established production limits. If you’re looking to add value to your mining operation and help to increase profits by improving productivity and efficiency, let’s have a conversation.

Unlock the value of your data with Rackspace Technology

Rackspace Technology is helping mining companies in Western Australia in their transformation journey by ingesting data quickly from their critical assets in the plant, enabling them to generate valuable insights, and providing them with the necessary investment validation they require to expand to multiple mining plants.

Get the information you need to make more informed, data-driven decisions. Through consultation with you and the identification technology solutions for your specific operation, Rackspace Technology can help you achieve higher levels of efficiency.

Are you ready to embrace the future of manufacturing?