Hexagon’s Mining division has introduced a life-of-mine smart solution connecting sensors and software, infield apps and cloudware to empower digital transformation.
While mining started as a simple means of extracting ore from the ground, advances in technology have led to a myriad of technologies aimed at improving the process.
Where miners once used mainly mechanical means, a raft of systems and solutions now collect and process data.
Vehicles on site often include multiple screens running different software to improve safety, operations, time management and more.
That’s why Hexagon introduced the Power of One, a holistic, life-of-mine smart solution connecting sensors and software, infield apps and cloudware to empower digital transformation.
Hexagon’s mining division chief technology officer Rob Daw says the Power of One’s creation aligns with the company’s journey over the past five years.
“There have been a number of disparate solutions in the mining industry for planning, operations, safety and even more where engineering and geology and surveying are concerned,” Daw says.
“We started to explore how these different areas interact with each other, how information is shared and how we can optimise the process from the pit to the plant.
“So, we started looking at ways that we could make these solutions easier for our clients to use and maximise the benefits of integrated insights.”
The Power of One connects the mine to the boardroom, simplifying the need for multiple technologies with a single onboard ecosystem comprising a smart computer, antenna and display.
“In the industry today, you have four or five screens in an excavator or a truck for various solutions. The Power of One consolidates all those different solutions into one screen to make the operator’s life easier,” Daw says.
“There are also maintenance benefits. By having one GPS antenna, one computational box and one screen, the maintenance and overhead requirements are heavily reduced, as well as fewer opportunities for things to break, so you get a lot more durability and it is much easier to maintain.
“The important part is the Power of One is an autonomously connected ecosystem. For us, it isn’t about a truck driving from point A to point B, it is about how we enable our systems for smarter decision making.
“Another important aspect is the Power of One partner, which is really about how we work with our clients from across all of those different value chains to provide solutions for them to meet their needs today. It also shows them strategies and roadmaps so they can get additional value from these solutions by connecting them all.
“The vision is one partner that you can work with from mine planning to operations, from safety to autonomy – that obviously has a lot of benefits from a client perspective.”
The Power of One offers a scalable, platform-agnostic answer to challenges previously addressed by point solutions and multiple vendors: drill and blast, collision avoidance, operator alertness, fleet management, operator assist, machine control, asset health and more.
For the industry, it points the way to a safer, more productive and sustainable future. For customers, this grows from the benefits of becoming a Power of One partner.
Daw says Hexagon has always prided itself on being original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agnostic, which is backed by a range of skillsets within the business.
“We have people who can come in and install the system, we can have people help to train on the systems, people who can consult on those systems and we will always look at industry best practice,” Daw says.
“We can help people adapt to these new technologies and also help them get the most value out of these technologies.
“It is a really diverse capability and that is the idea of the Power of One partner in that we want to work with customers, we want to understand what the challenges are.”
What sets Hexagon apart from its competitors is the fact that it has access to all the sensor and hardware technologies.
This means Hexagon can enable the data capturing process to help customers take advantage of what is available.
Daw says the benefits of these solutions is the data collected by these systems and the way that information can be applied to operations.
“All of these solutions are generating a tonne of data and it has been our job to turn that data into actual insights,” Daw says. “The end goal is to enable our clients to do more analytics, which leads to smarter decision making.
“Everyone is seeing the value of data and I don’t think as an industry we have been able to realise what is possible yet, so there are a lot of opportunities to unlock.”
This article also features in the December edition of Australian Mining.