Rio Tinto estimates that the tires of each of its surface mining haul trucks contain 40 sensors. The engines on these trucks are embedded with 32 sensors. On their own, these trucks generate terabytes of data daily. This is the second in our three part series on technology and the mining industry.
The mining industry has a structural advantage in deploying automation, robotics, and connected devices.
Mining processes are often simpler and less risky than those in other extractive industries, such as oil and gas production where complex operations like deep sea drilling offer less margin for error.
As discussed in part 1 of this series, miners pioneered early adoption of fully automated vehicles in mining operations, ahead of wider adoption of the technology by other industries and consumers. Taking advantage of simple, repeatable processes, the industry is also an early leader in industrial digitization.
Mining companies run analytics on data produced by IoT sensors and devices to reduce costs, enhance productivity, and improve safety.
One barrier to adoption: some in the industry believe the benefits of automation and digitization are not worth the investment, given the relative simplicity of mining processes. Another is connectivity challenges at isolated, rugged mine sites.
In this research brief, the second in our three part series on digitization and automation in the mining industry, we’ll look at how mining companies are overcoming connectivity barriers and using IoT-driven processes to improve operations.