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IoT Is Optimizing the Mining Industry

Thanks to the rapidly growing base of connected products known as the Internet of Things (IoT), optimizing machine performance to drive down costs at mine sites around the world is now more achievable than ever.

Employing machine learning

The amount of data flowing off connected mining equipment has grown significantly in recent years, with some equipment and service providers now streaming more than 60,000 plus data points per second, more than double what was measurable just a few years ago. In the next five years, it’s anticipated that number will grow to half a million data points per second.

The faster data comes off the machines, is analyzed and turned into useful information, the more quickly mines can react, heading off potential delays and preventing costly downtime. But acting quickly requires trusting the information — essentially, trusting the machines. Our engineers employ machine learning methods to continually improve the accuracy of the data that drives cost-saving decisions.

Keeping up with change ​​​​​​​

In mining, every machine is unique in terms of the challenges they face. This includes tough operating conditions and a variety of minerals. But to accurately predict machine behavior, there must be an understanding of what normal looks like. Customized models, otherwise known as digital twins, are built unique to each machine and the conditions they’re in. Then, as the conditions change, so do the models and predictions. Effective data analytics focuses on looking at abnormalities in the data from typical operation and highlighting abnormal behaviors. You can’t prevent what you haven’t seen.

Through continued machine learning and evolving technology capabilities, such as faster and more reliable networks, the opportunities to use data to drive down operational costs — by reducing or eliminating downtime and increasing productivity — will only continue to grow. By leveraging IoT solutions, the mining industry can increase operational efficiencies, allowing operations to mine the same amount of minerals while utilizing less energy in a more cost-effective manner.

Engaging to grow 

Machine learning capabilities and algorithms grow more accurate with each challenge solved, so the more engagement with industry partners, the stronger everyone’s capabilities grow. As algorithms become more reliable, constant and customer accepted, that information can be incorporated into the basics of machine design, allowing connected manufacturers to continue improving product offerings.

Mining providers are steadily improving the flow of data and the speed at which it translates into actionable information, providing customer-driven solutions that leverage IoT to revolutionize mining for a sustainable future.

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