The drive to improve productivity and reduce downtime will lead to further investment by mining companies, large and small, in predictive maintenance for both plant and mobile equipment in the next two years.

GlobalData’s latest mine-site survey revealed that, while over three-quarters of mines had already made at least minor investments into predictive maintenance, 48% of miners surveyed expected to either invest in the technology for the first time or invest further in the coming two years. Further, 43% expected to invest in predictive maintenance for mobile machinery over the same period.

Source: Global Mine-Site Technology Adoption Survey, 2020

Investment in predictive maintenance is critical for mines looking to improve productivity and reduce expensive downtime. The ability of predictive maintenance to collect real-time data from sensors on equipment and use data analytics to detect potential problems before they lead to machine failure not only ensures continued productivity of critical operations, but saves money in parts and labour and can even extend the life of equipment, so the benefits of this technology are considerable.

Elsewhere miners had already invested extensively in mine planning and management software and communications systems and networks. WiFi (WLAN) networks were the most popular across mine sites, while fixed network / fibre and fixed wireless ranked second and third overall, with the former were more popular in the Americas and latter in Asia.

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By GlobalData

According to GlobalData’s annual surveys, the technology that has seen the highest increase in adoption over the last two years is drones. While 44% of mines had invested to some extent in drones in 2018, this share had risen to 64% by the end of 2020.

Source: Global Mine-Site Technology Adoption Survey, 2020

The survey was conducted in November and December 2020 and included 158 operating mine sites across all regions, with respondents including mine managers, general managers and mine-site IT managers. Of the respondents, 28% were from Africa; 23% from Europe, FSU and the Middle East; 21% from the Americas; 18% from Asia and 10% from Australasia.