Operations case

Business Case for Standard Communications and Open Protocols

Mine operations face a number of similar challenges due to a lack of easy accessibility to data and information from onboard mobile equipment:

  1. Alarm level warnings are no longer sufficient to adequately manage fleets.  Companies need to be proactive with equipment performance because:
    1. Skilled trades/professionals (such as reliability engineers) are becoming harder to find, attract, and recruit therefore centralized resource centers are starting to become the norm – this means remote data collection and analysis
    2. Companies need to better optimize the capital invested in a capital intensive industry – due to the condition of the work banking system, capital is more difficult to obtain and more expensive.  Reliability is again becoming important – good reliability = good data
    3. Companies need to optimize unit costs to not only remain competitive but also to stay viable
    4. Companies need to control commodity costs which may mean employing smart systems to help optimize equipment performance – need raw data to do this
    5. Spare parts markets are getting tight and demand for capital equipment is becoming intense (long deliveries and lead times); need to maximize the life and benefit of what we already have.  OEMs cannot meet current capital demand (2 year lead times for example)

Therefore, it is critical to the operator to be able to monitor, collect, trend and analyze real time data from their equipment.

  1. Multiple protocol and proprietary interfaces are causing operators problems in collecting data:
    1. May not have the resources to develop and maintain upkeep on in-house solutions
    2. May not be able to attract and keep people with the right skillset
    3. May not be able to afford multiple contracts with multiple vendors to keep proprietary systems functioning properly
    4. Reduction of management overhead in maintaining all of the systems with a common protocol