GMSG-AMTC joint forum emphasizes collaborative work as a path to the future of mining
After a two-day event that gathered industry leaders and representatives from mining companies, big steps were taken on the journey towards developing guidelines and standards for interoperability and autonomy in the mining sector.
“Collaboration will be the backbone to achieve innovation towards future mining” was one of the main conclusions of the GMSG-AMTC Forum Santiago 2015: Building towards the future of mining, organized by the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group and the Advanced Mining Technology Center, held on November 2nd and 3rd at the University of Chile’s Enrique d’Etigny Lyon Auditorium.
“The question is, have we (as an industry) arrived at the point where the benefits of sharing are truly understood? Change is an imperative for our industry—companies today are realizing they must drive change or risk failure,” explained Andrew Scott, Senior Director of Mining Information Technology for Barrick and Chair of GMSG. “We must understand we’re all in it together and the challenge for the industry is to make decisions for the long term. We need to elevate the conversation so it becomes a movement.”
During the two-day event, representatives from several Chilean mining companies heard testimonies, experiences and reports from the industry’s global leaders. Presentations addressed topics such as interoperability, integrated operations, autonomous mining, mobile technologies and lessons learned from other industries.
The event was opened by Andrew Scott, Senior Director, Mining Information Technology for Barrick and GMSG Chair; Dr. Claudio Pérez, AMTC Principal Researcher and Research & Academic Director at FCFM-UCH, and Aurora Williams, Chilean Minister of Mining.
An interactive “Vision for the Future of Mining Panel” brought together insights from 5 industry thought leaders and discussion with all participants. Moderated by Ricardo Aguilera, Co-founder & Managing Director, iMineros, panelists included senior representatives from Alta Ley, Barrick, Flow Partners, OSIsoft, and Hatch. Key take-aways were that integrated data Access and usage, automation and interoperability, and collaboration and openness will be the greatest drivers towards future mining. Yet while technological innovation is currently increasing opportunities for the mining sector, the biggest challenge will be to manage change in the processes and strategies, and to make decisions for the long term rather than being reactive as is the current trend.
The forum’s activities switched between presentations by experts from different organizations (such as the AMTC, Barrick, OSIsoft, Hatch, Flow Partners, the Alta Ley National Mining Program from Chile, Anglo American, Schneider-Electric and Teck Metals), moderated panels and collaborative workshops with the attendants. The Executive Director of AMTC, Dr. Javier Ruiz del Solar, presented a study case in interoperability done by the Center and Codelco Chile, which caught the interest of the attendants.
Two GMSG guidelines, currently in final review, were the topic of active engagement by all participants. One Day 1, Peter Wan, Principal Advisor, Mining Technology for Teck Metals presented and hosted an interactive forum on the topic of open connectivity for devices onboard mobile equipment. A draft Mining Application Program Interface (API) Guideline is driving industry-wide engagement towards defining a solution that would offer clear, measurable benefits to safety, productivity and overall operational efficiency.
One of the main sessions of Day 2 focused on the development of a Mobile Equipment Open Data Guideline that is, in essence, an agreement between global mining companies and OEMs about opening access to onboard data for the equipment owner. The subject was first addressed in a review of the outcomes from prior workshops, including the rational for open data, the guiding principles, and finally, the detailed guideline of data classifications, sub classes and specific data attributes. Later, a workshop was held in which all attendants, gathered according to interest areas, could give their input and feedback and suggested future guideline focus areas for GMSG.
At the forums closing, Laura Mottola, President and CEO, Flow Partners, summarized the spirit of the event: “It is more beneficial to industry at large to share experiences related to interoperability and integrated operations rather than remaining isolated; we have to open communication channels and work collaboratively. Competitive advantage is realized through the specific application in the context of each company, and advanced through industry guidelines and standards. People and processes must be part of every business-driven technology strategy because corporate cultures can prevent success.”
Dr. Javier Ruiz del Solar agrees with the importance of setting standards towards a more integrated mining industry: “Standards allow interoperability of equipment and devices. Why is that important? Because it facilitates, enhances and improves technological development, specialization of companies and also makes the industry more competitive. And that is especially important in Chile, where one of our Government and the public-private alliance Valor Minero’s goals is to increase the exports of mining technology and the number of world-class suppliers, and that will be accomplished only with interoperability between systems and open, clear standards.”
A list of the event presentations:
- Vision for the Future of Mining Panel
- Integrated Operations Case Study – MES Anglo American Minas-Rio Project
- Integrated Operations: Requirements and Collaboration
- Mining API Guideline: On Board Systems Integration
- Collision Avoidance
- Mobile Equipment Open Data Guideline
- Case Study – Interoperability for Tele-operation and Automation of Mining Machinery
- Mining and the Standards World
- API Guideline Requirements
- Fielding Robotics – Lessons and Observations
- Future Mining Panel
- Lean Mining Panel
About the organizers:
The Advanced Mining Technology Center is the leading research center in Chile in Technology Applied to Mining and whose mission is to generate world-class multidisciplinary research, transfer new technologies and advanced human form responding to the challenges of mining to ensure the welfare and development Chile and the world. It was founded in 2009 and is part of the University of Chile.
The Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group facilitates global mining collaboration on solutions to common industry problems, needs and technology through standards, guidelines and best practices. GMSG operates on the five principles of inclusivity, collaboration, innovation, optimisation and technology. For more information please contact Managing Director Heather Ednie at email@example.com.