Geotab Mining Industry Solution

Case Study: Mining Industry Solution

  • Industry: Mining (Open Pit)
  • Vehicles/Assets: 1,500
  • Sites: Southern Africa

The implications for improving productivity in the South African mining sector are clear. Companies serious about both cost control and optimum productivity need to have a greater focus on the efficiency of their equipment. This means stepping beyond short term cost reduction initiatives and a preoccupation with not just extra tonnes leaving the mines, but optimum tonnes, the days of productivity only is for now a strategy of the past.

This is an extract from PWC’s annual mining review, now in its 7th edition, and is in line with the view we have at GEOTAB Africa in terms of our design of value propositions specifically for the mining industry.

Within this report PWC indicates the decline of machine productivity within the open-cut environment declined by 20% over 7 years, this whilst input costs continued to increase, this is so unnecessary in our technology environment today, whilst solutions such as the GEOTAB offering is available, these solutions aimed directly at ensuring optimum productivity within the mining industry, measurable and manageable , in real-time.

Customer Requirements:

  • Pricing model that incorporated all of the different mines across Southern Africa, in a manner that this could be managed from South Africa Head Office.
  • Monitoring of Yellow equipment data, including fuel levels, engine and drive-train data, oil levels, temperature ranges, RPM’s. (Mostly CAT Machines).
  • Monitoring of non-production vehicles (Mostly Toyota LDV’s).
  • Driver behavioural monitoring on speeding, harsh braking, harsh cornering, harsh acceleration.
  • Driver Identification by machine, including the requirement to have vehicle not start if driver is not identified through the driver ID solution.
  • Installations to take place across a variety of mines, on site and in accordance with the different maintenance schedules of the different mines.

The customer approached GEOTAB due to the successes experienced with the GEOTAB at customers site in Namibia, where according to customer GEOTAB saved mine millions of Rands on preventative monitoring of parameters that could lead to damage on the the different equipment on the mine.

Geotab Solution:

  • GEOTAB Core GO7 device installed via the on-board OBDII port (Some machines required two units due to two motors per machine)
  • Driver ID Solution with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
  • Starter Cut solution to allow for equipment not to be started without producing of the Driver ID Tag.

The initial requirement from customer was purely aimed at safety requirements as well as pro-active monitoring of parameters such as engine and oil temperatures to counter any possible damage to machines, this requirement changed dramatically however when customer realized the immense potential from a productivity management, as well as ability to utilize the GEOTAB data for optimizing of the fleet design for optimum productivity.

GEOTAB designed a solution for customer referred to as “Source and Destination”, this referring to monitoring the entire productivity chain from Excavators to Dump Trucks to Dump Sites, recording exactly the number of loads shovelled. loaded and dumped, this against the actual ore classification of the mine, thus mine management could see in real-time exactly what was mined, the actual volumes and the dump by actual site.

The data also allowed mine management to optimize the fleet in accordance to the productivity required and to identify any specific bottlenecks at the different points within the actual production chain.

Initially GEOTAB used only software to determine actual loads collected and dumped, this through making assumptions on times spent at each point in the collect and dump chain, this however evolved and in the latest iteration GEOTAB installed switches on machines to record actual dump and off-load by monitoring bucket positions, thus data errors are now virtually eliminated, and load tally’s are considered 99.9% accurate.

GEOTAB set up the reporting in such a structure that mine management could view all the mines from an overall perspective as well as the viewing by individual mine where required, and from anywhere in the world, thus management at Head Office can now in real-time see production levels at the various mines.

Post the “Source and Destination” implementation GEOTAB engaged with a partner company Applied Vehicle Analytics, whom added further value through a time and motion solution that provided visibility against additional parameters, adding even greater value to mine management, and combined the solutions are disruptive in nature as the system has the potential to replace current systems that cost mines hundreds of millions each year, whilst the GEOTAB and AVA systems are very competitive from a pricing perspective, at about ZAR 6,000 per equipped vehicle if both the GEOTAB and AVA solution is installed.

The GEOTAB and AVA solution also requires no hardware placements and different readers or infrastructure on the actual mine site, thus maintenance costs is very limited and no requirements to constantly adapt or change surrounding infrastructure, more about both solutions below.

GEOTAB Source and Destination Solution

GEOTAB’s offering is based on “inside the gate” and “outside the gate” structure, referring to on-site on the mine, and from there outside the mine.

Inside the Gate

We equip all equipment on the mine with a relative low-cost data collection device and then activate our industry leading software based on our “Source to Destination” solution, effectively allowing productivity managers to measure and manage the type of ore being mined, the productivity indicators of the machinery involved in ore extraction, the volumes being collected by dump trucks, the trip visualization of the dump trucks from source right through to the destination dump site, all classified according to the type of ore levels.

The above effectively means that mine productivity managers can see in real-time what ore is being mined, the volumes at any given time in the chain, the chain performance itself, the equipment status such as drilling, dragging, travelling, dumping etc, and also when machinery is not productive due to breakdown, maintenance schedules and others, all against their productivity targets required.

Similarly the status of equipment will show the number of hours of the different machines, in order to project and book maintenance schedules, equipment protection indicators such as oil levels and temperatures as well as safety parameters such as speeding, harsh acceleration, harsh braking, harsh cornering etc.

Due to the fact that Driver ID forms part of the solution, management can extract safety and productivity reports based at equipment and employee resource level, against the type of ore as well as across different sites, and to further add value this can be monitored from anywhere in the world, thus you can sit in your office in Johannesburg and see exactly how your sites are performing in various other parts of the world, in real-time.

The visualization of the solution adds the extra dynamic that management on site can in real-time identify bottlenecks and divert and manage resources on the fly, no need as an example to have dump trucks arriving at excavators where no ore is being mined due to breakdown as an example, immediate alerts of non-production by any machine for whatever reason, and diversion of resources to higher grade ore where required.

The net effect is greater productivity from human and equipment resources, real-time pro-active management of resources, greater accuracy of reporting on productivity levels, more efficient right sizing of fleet/equipment required and ultimately management by measurement, utilizing benchmarks based on best practices in terms of comparable data capturing by the GEOTAB system.

Outside the Gate

Part of the chain involves the transport of ore to its destination by road and rail to port, and GEOTAB’s Mining Transport Solution allows the monitoring of loads collected, delivered, time at various points, delays if any and to ensure safety is maintained we also measure speeding violations and risky dangerous driving of the chain from mine to end destination.

The Commercials

GEOTAB structures its deals according to requirement from customers, based on customer strategy of CAPEX, OPEX, Cash-Flow, Balance Sheets, and similarly we have unique solutions to bill in various currencies, hence customer can be billed in South Africa in South African Rand’s for its operations outside of South Africa to protect customer from exchange rate volatility.

GEOTAB also offers a “mothball” and “production suspended” pricing option, during times when equipment may not be utilized and therefore not revenue generating, aimed to support our customers during tougher times at their various sites.

Contact us at and let our consultants present our different solutions to you, you are bound to save significantly against current systems on the market that requires significant physical equipment, high annual licensing and maintenance costs, use of spares and other related costs in maintaining these solutions, whilst at the same time increasing your productivity.

Partner Solution – Applied Vehicle Analytic’s (AVA)

GEOTAB Partnered with AVA to supply the mining industry with specific productivity solutions within the open pit environment, the solution analyses real-time data against a set of criteria to maximize the time and motion of equipment, with the result that savings could be realized through reduction of mining fleet and/or maximum productivity with existing equipment.

Some of the benefits of the system are:

  • No capital required
  • Standardized reporting
  • Accurate on shift performance tracking
  • Easy uploading of mine plans and targets
  • Pro-active response on deviations through alerts
  • Tracking down variability and bottlenecks in real-time
  • Ability to improve your real performance against fleet design
  • Tracking of material flow – reduce re-handling and contamination

Partner Solution - Applied Vehicle Analytic's (AVA)

The system design loads the production plan and dynamics into a “Value Driver Tree”, against which any and all deviations are monitored and recorded, against which a set of actions can be implemented to address, these deviations

Impact of Variability Reducing Important Exceptions and OutliersManaging Outliers and Exceptions