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OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT


IIoT will be a key part of mining’s future A CONNECTED FUTURE How the Industrial Internet of Things is shaping the future of mining


n our digitally connected world, technology is increasingly impacting and driving most industrial sectors, including mining. Across these industries, the Industrial Internet of T ings (IIoT) is growing in prominence, with an expanding array of objects communicating, exchanging data and functioning autonomously. A key development in IIoT is the use of sensors to collect large amounts of data from mining equipment, which is subsequently analysed and transformed into actionable insights for operators. In an industry that depends on the


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effi ciency and reliability of their assets, this delivers a number of benefi ts including improved performance and productivity and the avoidance of unplanned downtime. Mining engineering expert Weir


recognised this trend several years ago. It 24 www.engineerlive.com


developed its own IIoT platform called Synertex. Spanning technology, innovation, expertise and knowledge, Synertrex was developed to make optimal performance a reality.


HOW IIOT BENEFITS THE MINING SECTOR Although IIoT usage within the mining industry is still in its early stages, a 2017 Inmarsat study found that 12% of mining respondents have already fully or partially implemented IIoT based solutions into their operations. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum predicts that in the period 2016-2025, digital transformation could impact the mining industry by between US$428 billion and US$784 billion. Such an ambitious prediction seems


justifi ed when the benefi ts of IIoT to the resources sector are considered.


Productivity is a key advantage. IIoT platforms such as Weir’s can provide fact-based insights that allow operators to optimise equipment performance and increase throughput. Predictive maintenance helps detect problems so equipment can be repaired before it fails, saving money through the reduction of unplanned downtime while increasing safety. Weir’s platform delivers these


advantages, and more. Its draws upon the fi rm’s knowledge and expertise, as well as that of its technology partners, Dell and Microsoft. Using critical operating data to generate fact-based insights, customers can monitor their equipment anywhere, anytime. T e portfolio of Synertrex-enabled


products within the platform includes Warman pumps, Cavex hydrocyclones,


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