Open-cast Mining Case Study

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 our partner solutions below.


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 Outliers
Managing Outliers and Exceptions