Digital Mining · IOC · IT OT Architecture
Integrated Operation Centres
Remote centralisation and integration of operations in large mining processes is the basis of a more efficient digitalized mining.
Progress and innovation in the field of information technology and the ongoing market pressure to achieve safer, more productive, more efficient, and sustainable mine operations, have encouraged mining companies to increase the use of automation and advanced control systems. However, despite these developments, operators and operational leaders still play a critical role in monitoring and overseeing the performance of these complex systems. As these automated systems have grown, the consequences of human and equipment failure have also grown. The work of the operator can be very demanding at times, and the consequences of inappropriate operation in the control rooms, such as omissions, inopportune decisions, incorrect sequences, etc., can be potentially disastrous.
Therefore, an IOC steps in to resolve a large part of these gaps, given that it is a centralization of the operational control points and through fluid protocolised communication, it is also able to integrate the critical decisions of the operational processes to improve the efficiency of the processes, maximize profitability, and reduce operational and health risks.”
Mine, crusher, concentrator, molybdenum, tailings, water, power, and port processes tend to coexist in an IOC room. These are also accompanied by technology support and conditions monitoring processes. This is all integrated through an integrated planning team to ensure adherence with a unique production plan for the entire operation.
• It is a proven model with good results
• It is a service that improves production between 3% and 5% in stable conditions
• In unstable conditions, it can increase up to 8%
• It enables remote staffing to better face COVID-19
• It reduces contact costs and staffing requirements (e.g., by aligning maintenance)
• It eliminates silos and dramatically reduces conflicts between areas
• Through the internal benchmark, it elevates the demand level and draws attention to best practises between areas
• It is a stable improvement
At Vantaz, we see another example of a challenge here, which is not just a technological change but a new way of operating. It has new processes, safety protocols, ways of interacting, new roles, a broad and much more integrated governance, and the adoption of a discipline based on adherence to plans and protocols.
Therefore, we see this transformation beginning with an in-depth work on the operational model, which requires at least:
1. Dedicated support from the CEO and the executive teams to implement the project: this usually translates into an exercise of definition of governance and a business case that helps complement the conversations between executives.
2. A formal process of change management and a validated implementation team that can guide the project with expertise.
3. Diagnosis of foundational technologies and engineering that ensures operational continuity during and post implementation: a good industrial communications architecture is vital, as well as a good orchestration of the production systems, data centres, and CCTV and radio services in optimum operating conditions. This also implies investing in lacking or outdated technologies where necessary.