Business Objective

Define the interfaces at all control layers required for operating machinery (eg.manual to fully autonomous) beginning at the biologic interface using a generic example (haul truck).

Project Description

The project was launched in October 2016 to identify how information is passed between mining equipment and between mining equipment and mine systems. The work product describes basic information flow at a level that respects current logical and physical machine and system constraints while avoiding prescriptive solutions.

Information is exchanged via interfaces. Due to the shear number of interfaces, an expected influx of new interfaces, and an evolution of existing interfaces in the near term, it is neither desirable nor practical to describe individual interfaces. As such, this project seeks to describe a small number of information exchange patterns that can be applied to all information flows between mine equipment and mine systems.

At this point, 8 potential patterns have been identified, a modeling process has been constructed, and one pattern for sensor data has been mapped. It should be noted that the patterns are mapped based on existing use cases and, while the patterns may be useful in system or product design, they are not prescriptive templates.

Current project objectives are:

  • Identify and map classes and of information that should be shared between machines and other operations systems, and implement constraints, such as modes of operation, mobile equipment and mine types.
  • Describe the process for creating new patterns and modifying existing patterns. This includes describing the pattern modeling process.
  • Create a guideline for Mine Operators, OEMs, and OTMs to better understand equipment interfaces.

Business Case

The mining industry is driven by data-based analysis, and the most valuable data is derived from mining equipment. However, there remains a gap in knowledge when it comes to how information is shared between each equipment interface. Various types of equipment are failing to communicate as they are speaking a different language, rather than a unified communications model.

The Mapping the Interfaces for Equipment Operation across Control Layers project will provide an understanding of the types of conversations and information exchanged between mine systems and equipment, and between various pieces of equipment. It will identify a common pattern to be used as a model for OEMs that will deliver much-needed clarity on required equipment interfaces for mining operations. This will be the starting point for other technological developments.

Project Updates