What if an industrial vehicle or piece of equipment could tell you to change a part or warn you before it breaks? The impact for mining and other industrial companies would be tremendous in terms of reduced downtime and maintenance costs. As I spent time with mining executives at the recent SAP Mining Forum, many interesting discussions were around the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) in their operations. In fact, Cisco and SAP have been working on using (or ‘mining’) the wealth of data from sensors and machines in new and innovative ways.
The most immediate impact of IoT on mining is in the improvements to maintenance of mining heavy machinery and assets. Based on the many conversations I have had with industry experts, it is apparent that many in the mining industry are using a ‘break to fix’ mentality on their assets. They ‘push’ the asset to a point that it breaks. The issue here is that this approach is unpredictable and incredibly costly to the operations of the business. Waiting until a machine breaks leads to downtime which leads to lost revenue. Read More »
Maciej Kranz, VP and GM of Cisco’s Corporate Technology Group, shares his perspective on Dundee Precious Metals and the Internet of Everything
I’ve traveled a great deal around the globe in the last year and am amazed at the interesting things organizations are doing with technology to connect the unconnected. As we enter the next big phase of the Internet – the Internet of Everything (IoE) – no industry can afford to be left behind. Even the industries that existed long before the Internet was even a glimmer on the horizon, such as manufacturing and mining, can realize great value through IoE. Dundee Precious Metals (DPM) is one example. They’re a manufacturing company that has capitalized on the connections between the people, process, data and things that IoE is enabling, transforming one of the world’s most traditional industries in the process.
When DPM set a goal to increase production of their flagship mining operation by 30 percent, their IT team needed to find a way to reach the target without increasing manpower or the number of vehicles.
With the help of the connections from IoE, now Dundee can share important information in real time, such as miners’ locations, equipment updates and data such as the number of buckets filled. This lets their teams troubleshoot as they go, instead of just at the end of a shift, keeping crews better on track to meet daily goals. What’s more, miners and mine managers had limited communication options since their Wi-Fi didn’t function well underground. So they leveraged Cisco’s unified wireless network to provide coverage along 50 kilometers of tunnels. This let drivers, supervisors and managers communicate efficiently – above ground or below – with calls and instant messaging. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags placed on miners’ caps and vehicles keep everyone synced up with location tracking via a 3D map for improved worker safety. New collaboration capabilities extend to other DPM locations, making face-to-face collaboration possible between managers, geologists and metallurgists as they discuss production, development and project schedules. This all adds up to better understanding and decision-making across the board.
So what have these changes meant for DPM?
Production increased by 400 percent, far exceeding their original 30 percent goal.
Miner safety has improved as they track miners’ movements and know where everyone is at all times.
Asset utilization of vehicles has also improved via continually transmitted data identifying repair needs.
Communication and energy costs have been lowered through more efficient use of resources.
This is just the start of DPM leveraging IoE’s capabilities. The company plans to replicate the same systems in all of its mines, as well as extend the Internet of Everything concept to health monitoring of employees, using connected environmental health sensors.
The Internet of Everything is not just the technology of tomorrow. It is here today, and the networked connections it provides can impact all industries, even those industries with roots from long ago.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) is a juggernaut of change, transforming organizations in profound ways. It sows disruption, and it grants enormous opportunities. But this sweeping wave of change is not reserved for what we normally think of as “technology companies.” In the IoE economy, even seemingly “analog” endeavors must be bestowed with network connectivity, no matter how venerable a company’s roots or old its traditions.
In a world where Everyone Is a Tech Company, there are some great examples of older companies that are heeding this new reality. Retail, manufacturing, transportation, and education are just a few of the places where people, process, data, and things are being connected in startling new ways. Companies that are ahead of the IoE transformation curve will ensure their competiveness in marketplaces that are ever more vulnerable to disruption.
Dundee Precious Metalsprovides a great example of a company that is embracing change. A far-flung global organization, the company, for example, runs Europe’s largest mine in Chelopech, Bulgaria, from which it ships gold-rich copper ore to a smelter in Namibia. Yet through IoE-related technologies, executives at the company’s headquarters in Toronto, Canada, have gained unprecedented visibility into all aspects of their operations.
The end result? A boon in safety, efficiency, and productivity.
Cisco’s new Quantum Virtual Packet Core technologies and Premium Mobile Broadband will provide remarkable benefits for Public Safety, Smart Cities, Utilities, Mining and more.
Intelligence relies on the ability to create connections -- to connect the unconnected -- and to deliver the right information to the right person, machine or device that facilitates autonomous decision making and action. Broadband network infrastructure technologies, such as LTE, and the Internet of Things (IoT) products and technologies are accelerating our ability to realize the benefits of the Internet of Everything (IoE) by connecting people, processes, data and things.
Public Safety is seeing a dramatic evolution of needs and realizing that the limitations of Land Mobile Radio technologies, while they do provide for mission critical communications are not sufficient to meet the all of requirements of today and the future. Many public safety agencies have the need to support officer safety with sensors from connected devices, or machines during an emergency -- sensors that detect a man-down, for example, or other biometrics. Many personnel in public safety may have video in their vehicles, and some are wearing video giving real time information and intelligence to dispatchers and operations personnel responding to incidents. Video can also be used to support training, investigations, legal evidence, and other processes. Some cities are deploying new Smart City applications that connect lighting, street parking, or control traffic to improve city traffic management and public safety operations. Cities use a broad range of additional applications to deliver and support services in day to day operations. Flexible tools and technologies are needed. Read More »
By Tony Shakib, Vice President of IoT Vertical Business, Cisco
I’ve been in IT for a long time and I often hear that data is worth its weight in gold. Well, I recently spoke with Canadian-based Dundee Mining Company about how the data generated from their mines is now “connected” and helping the mine produce more gold – more economically and more safely.