Saturday, April 13, 2019

Interoperable autonomous mining

I was speaking to someone recently who asked me why I stopped blogging - and timely enough, the Future of Mining conference happened to record a recent short speech and published it on youtube. The video describing Epiroc Autonomous Pit Viper blasthole drills performance and the future of autonomous interoperability is below. I'm not used to summarising so much in 10 minutes, but I briefly discuss the business impact of autonomous blasthole drills, increased production, increased quality, and more consistent performance. I make the argument that autonomy is a critical first step prior to realising an integrated operation: essentially you can not achieve consistent real-time control of your fleet if your reliant on the variability of manned operators, and without the information (rich data plus semantics) produced by autonomous equipment. To achieve the objective of a zero-entry (no people) integrated mine you will need to automate all the mining equipment, and waiting for a single supplier to achieve this means delayed realisation of the business case. Collaboration of multiple suppliers enables best-of-breed and flexibility ensuring we see a fully autonomous and integrated mine sooner.

I'll start blogging again now - covering some of my backlog from the last few years on autonomous mining, but also back to some technical topics as well. Stay tuned.