Mines are some of the most complex environments in the world. Like many industries embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, mines are moving toward process automation and increased use of smart technology.
Digital transformation is widely accepted as the answer to many of the challenges facing mines today. But like digital transformation, these challenges – volatile fuel and commodity prices; pressure to be safer and more sustainable without sacrificing productivity – demand more than niche technology and partial solutions.
At this year’s MINExpo, Hexagon introduced the Power of One, a unified technology platform and partnership that connects all parts of the mine. In a recent interview, Mining division President Nick Hare shared his thoughts on the Power of One. Here are some of the takeaways.
What is the Power of One?
At its core, the Power of One is Hexagon’s set of holistic solutions connecting all processes of a mine from the pit to the plant. It does this through a platform that connects all sensors and software with an intelligent monitoring system that can be accessed from the field to the cloud.
Most importantly, the Power of One represents the partnership that Hexagon offers its customers.
“It’s really not about the technology, it’s about the partnership,” Hare said. “We are here to make our customers successful and that’s the Power of One.”
Change is not easy, especially when it comes to implementing new technology. The type of challenges that mines routinely face can’t be fixed by simply buying the latest and greatest tech.
Managing change requires a high level of communication and buy-in with the people who will be using the technology, a team to help implement the changes and a defined strategy to adopt and overcome resistance to the changes.
A partnership makes sense. A technology partner can help mitigate some of the pitfalls of implementing new systems and save companies money in the long run.
How does the Power of One work?
One of the best examples of the Power of One is HxGN MineMeasure, the newest portfolio for the drill and blast process.
D&B operations impact the entire mining process, from mining equipment efficiency, through crushing and grinding circuit performance, to recoveries and final product quality. Costs and energy usage increase throughout the comminution process. Efforts targeted at optimizing the blasting process can pay huge dividends downstream, reducing costs and energy consumption.
Hexagon’s portfolio connects every individual part of that process. From blast design and execution to blast movement and fragmentation analysis, information at each step is captured so decisionmakers receive continuous feedback to more informed decisions.
“MineMeasure is a truly autonomous connected ecosystem,” Hare said. “When you’re able to consider all inputs to those variables, you are able to have the maximum output for your customers. It is the highest return in investment we can offer our customers. It brings all of our technologies into one portfolio and it truly demonstrates the Power of One.”
How will the Power of One drive mining innovation in the future?
Hexagon is uniquely positioned in the industry as a market leader in digital reality solutions. The scanning and lidar technology the company offers can create detailed three-dimensional visualizations, or Digital Twins, of cities, mines and other infrastructure.
This means companies can eventually build a complete, dynamic twin of a mine and store it digitally. This copy mirrors exactly what’s going on in the mine. Events that happen in the real world happen in the digital twin, and vice versa. Mines will be able to use this data to run simulations that improve decision making to make operations safer and more productive.
“We can connect everything we provide to a mine in one central location in a realistic, truly smart digital reality,” Hare said. “I don’t know any company that can offer what Hexagon does.”
Watch Nick’s full interview.