Extracting the planet’s natural resources is becoming autonomous and smart to optimize cost-effectiveness.
More productive and efficient, safer and less environmentally damaging. Those are the four elements driving transformation of the mining industry through the introduction of new technology. Greg Smith is a General Manager at Hitachi Construction Machinery:
Smart mining is simply a terminology used to define product developments and mining process improvements that focus on enhancing operational efficiency and safety. In today’s economic climate, we must utilize technologies to operate more cost effectively and assist in enhancing the overall performance of both the machines and mining operations.
Future Market Insights projects the smart mining market to be worth US$13 billion by 2020.
Advanced communications infrastructure is the first smart piece of the puzzle. In the vast Sierra Gorda copper and molybdenum mines of Chile’s Atacama Desert, a Cisco Unified Wireless Network of ruggedized routers copes with extreme dryness and temperature changes at high altitude. WiFi reduces the number of arduous round-trips remote workers must make to the mine’s central office. Cisco claims that it’s saved 720 man-hours per month for field and construction engineers, and reduced both vehicle fuel expenses and employee fatigue.