Maptek 100% owned subsidiary MinLog develops information management systems that contextualise data from various sources to close the loop between operations and planning.
These custom built integrated production and planning systems provide for manual data capture and automated data acquisition across production and maintenance processes. Mining companies can reap value from keeping their software up to date and plugging into a ‘single source of truth’ environment.
Applications range across operational processes such as rail and shipping, stockpile blending, fleet management and maintenance programming. One implementation resulted in the acquisition and reporting of quality analysis results and particle size distribution to complement volume data. This gives plant managers and metallurgists an enhanced view of plant production.
A streamlined end-of-shift philosophy reduces the data validation overhead by operators and supervisors and data is immediately available for decision making.
The modular information system allows miners to work with Maptek to include data from other process sources. One operation discovered unexpectedly high levels of a certain analyte in their production, with serious business implications. MinLog developed a solution to obtain analyte results from various data sources in the operation and report on the weighted average production at each of the available measurement points. This led to the system becoming the primary source for operational data, including production volumes, product qualities and performance.
Train loadout and dispatch is a strong example where data management requirements were extended to include product bed and train turnaround times. This allowed a manganese ore operation to deploy an integrated system to receive and share data needed for decision control over stacking and reclaiming equipment.
Unplanned or unexpected equipment downtimes play havoc with production targets and machinery. The mine to mill feed is interrupted and the plant is suddenly faced with absence of product. The impacts are also felt up and downstream.
For example, a feed conveyor in a beneficiation plant is on breakdown with a belt tear, so the equipment is unavailable. The plant availability could be 50%, and the overall production availability could be 20%.
By mapping the process flow, operations can better understand the influence of individual equipment on overall performance and measure the effect of these interruptions on the equipment, production stream, process and plant as an entity. The data that has been acquired, processed and contextualised from various sources can also be fed into maintenance programs.
In this way, managers can more easily identify expectations before they have significant impact on the operation. Meetings can then focus on devising ways to best manage issues rather than on determining whose information was correct.