Mining continues to be one of the biggest industries in the world today. Everything from copper to gold to silver, mining plays an important part in the global economy. Indeed, some commodities are far more lucrative than others, but it is still quite the money maker. That said, the mining industry has yet to adapt to the modern world. Sure, they use the biggest and most advanced equipment, but they’re failing to adopt certain technologies.
Indeed, you may never connect some of these technologies to mining, especially underground mining, but with the right utilization, you can gain an edge over your competitors.
Have you ever heard of Internet of Things (IoT)? What about Big Data analytics? Cloud computing? There are so many ways that you can complement your current underground mining technology operations with some of the aforementioned systems. Here are five tips to enhance your underground mining technology:
1. Incrementally Add New Technology to Operations
Let’s be honest: everyone is always apprehensive to new. Many of us are set in our own ways, and we have become accustomed to the way we do things. That’s just how it is.
With this in mind, if you are considering adopting new technology to your operations, then you must do so gradually. If you begin throwing IoT platforms at your team or making Big Data a big part of all of your decisions, then you will confuse everyone and hurt your productivity.
It is always better to incrementally add new technology to your protocols. Bit by bit, one by one.
2. What is Your Objective?
Another thing that you should consider is understanding what exactly your objective is.
Prior to a business investing in new equipment, technology, systems or even personnel, they first determine the main goal of these decisions. Once a company knows what it wants to achieve with these measures, and how they’re going to utilize these additions, then they move ahead with these aggressive and worthwhile investments.
3. Decision Making with Data in Mind
As soon as you get used to things like data analytics, and you start becoming more astute in it, then you can incorporate your decision making with data in mind. Of course, you can’t necessarily make every single decision based on Big Data – there is something we call the human factor (see below).
In other words, the Big Data should provide you with the necessary information to help you come to an informed step, measure, action or decision.
4. The Human Element is Still a Factor
This ties in the previous point: ensuring that the human element continues to play an immense and crucial role in your underground mining operations. Since you likely have years and years of experience in this field, you just have a sixth sense, a knack for all things mining.
Big Data, IoT and other advanced technologies can’t make all of the decisions for you. Like a manager of an MLB club, you can have all of the data in the world, but you need to pull the trigger on the course of action you want to take.
5. Rebuilding the Fleet or Replacing?
Here is an age-old question for so many mining firms around the world: is it time to rebuild the fleet or should you replace all of the equipment and heavy-duty machinery?
A simple data analysis can give you some advice.
Simply put: if it is costing you more to repair the current fleet of tools than to merely replace everything, then you should go with the latter. Moreover, technology can determine if you’re losing out on productivity levels by an aging fleet and how much you can recoup with the new.
Out with the old and in with the new indeed!