In recent years, it has become apparent that digitally capable organisations that can respond to things as they happen in real-time are better equipped to address the three key metrics for any mining organisation - safety, ROI on assets, and the unit cost of production. To be successful, mining organisations need the right foundations and capabilities in place to positively improve these metrics:
- Worker safety - the lack of real-time availability of accurate worker qualifications may lead to unauthorised access or equipment usage exposing organisations to material risk. Having real-time access to employee qualification information enables organisations to manage the risk.
- Asset optimisation - autonomous haulage emits a huge number of events providing critical information, if data is not harnessed organisations cannot schedule proactive maintenance activities thereby reducing the life of assets. Harnessing these events and sharing the data with equipment suppliers in real-time, is key to maximising the life of assets and minimising unplanned outages.
- Supply Chain Visibility and Optimisation - the lack of real-time data (resource quality and yield tonnage) leads to unnecessary stock-piling, stockpile contamination of mixed quality, redundant handling. Providing real-time visibility means organisations can enable decision making at the edge, reducing the costs of production.
The Integration Challenge
The application landscape in mining is complex. Applications are distributed in different networks, with separation of the applications across layers as per the ISA-95 standard and the legacy nature of these applications. This means data is trapped in silos, which makes sharing the information very challenging. The integration landscape is complex, brittle and expensive to build and maintain with minimal re-use.
To respond more quickly, mining organisations need to look at integration platforms and the underlying architecture, as a strategic enabler.
Key Technology Pillars - APIs and Events
We see APIs and Events are key to solving these challenges so you need a strong API and eventing platform. Along with these, organisations also need strong DevOps, security and auditing capabilities.
Adopting an API led integration approach with clear ownership boundaries is critical to meet today’s pace of integration demands and this is where a platform such as MuleSoft Anypoint shines.
Anypoint is the only end to end API management platform that covers the entire lifecycle of API production from ideation to design to implementation to rollout to monitoring and measurement.
As part of our service offering, we complement the out-of-the-box tools and features provided by the Anypoint platform with our drop-in accelerators that we extend for our customers so that they can fully utilise the power of the platform and focus on their core business of API delivery and worry less about cross-cutting concerns such as logging, exception handling, monitoring, testing and release management.
We see this in our work at a large mining organisation with worker safety and asset optimisation.
The organisation went through a large transformation program in modernising the integration platform, including the adoption of API-led integration approaches for migrating the integrations from the old platform.
They were able to positively improve the safety and asset utilisation metrics using the new platform.
Having APIs that expose worker competency details ensures this information is available in real-time to the security infrastructure boom gates/access cards, reducing worker fatalities and injuries.
By harnessing events produced by autonomous haulages such as automated trucks and drills, they were able to extend the life of the assets thereby improving the ROI for the organisation.
The beauty of the platform and the architecture is that it enables building composable applications enabling reuse of those same APIs and Events to drive rapid innovation. We re-used key APIs to visualise the end-to-end supply chain to enable real-time decision making. For example, manual stockpile management can result in stockpile contamination of minerals which increases production costs - now that operators have real-time visibility the operator can make sure the stockpiles are not contaminated by directing the right grade of minerals to the appropriate destination, thereby reducing the production costs.
Speed is the new competitive advantage and real-time information is the main ingredient. Today we have tools and technology and architectural foundations to deliver this. Choosing the right platform, adopting the right architecture and building APIs and events at the right granularity for reuse is key in realising the dream of real-time enterprise. We leverage best of breed integration platform MuleSoft Anypoint Platform to help our mining customers modernise their digital backbone so they can run their business better, in real-time.
If you'd like to discuss how we can help you unlock your data to run your own business in real-time, book a time to chat!