Scott Technology has started constructing an automated mine site laboratory at Rio Tinto’s Koodaideri iron ore project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The company, which provides automated technology and robotics solutions globally, had its progress at Koodaideri halted due to COVID-19’s lockdown.
It was able to continue the planning and development work at Koodaideri despite the COVID-19 restrictions, with a number of significant milestones made in recent weeks, including the ramping up of building works as site mobilisation begins.
Scott was awarded a contract to design and build the laboratory at Koodaideri in February.
With production bases located across the globe, Scott has moved more design and build activities for Koodaideri to its Australian operations to adapt to COVID-19’s ongoing impact on travel.
Where possible, the company has relocated team members or recruited workers that are closer to the customer.
According to Scott Technology chief executive officer John Kippinberger, business has been better than expected.
“We are seeing industries and parts of operations across our global group emerging out from under the extreme environment of the pandemic at very different speeds,” he said.
“While the repercussions of COVID-19 continue to affect the global economy, the return to business as usual has been more positive than we anticipated in some sectors and regions, particularly Australia, China and the New Zealand service business.”
Scott has also created new ways to collaborate with customers in other parts of the world using augmented reality technology to offer real-time support to sites.
“This allows Scott’s engineers to see through the eyes of the locally-based engineer, and provide real-time support and instruction, as well as uploading technical data through a visual system to the local engineer where required,” Scott stated.
Rio Tinto’s Koodaideri iron ore project is slated to be the company’s most technologically advanced mine so far, using a range of automation and digitisation solutions.