Digital transformation is a reality that any company that wants to stay competitive in today’s market need to embrace and implement. Microsoft hosted a panel on March 2017 in Santiago de Chile for the MINExcellence event where top executives of important firms analyzed how digital transformation is pushing their businesses forward and the impact these new tools can have on mining.
Digital Transformation in Mining Companies
Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, the Cloud, and collaborative working spaces are being implemented now in the Chilean mining industry. The use of these technologies has been a success in mining companies, always with the support of experts in the subject such as Microsoft. The Cloud, for instance, is where all these new technologies are based, which provides a space that helps to become more productive and efficient in the different businesses where they are used.
The copper production in Chile meant a 30% of the world red-metal production in 2015, which can be considered a great deal, taking into account the ups and downs of the world economy in the past few years. However, there has been a decrease regarding this industry’s contribution to the Chilean GDP (9%, as opposed to 20,7% in 2006). The company executives participating in the panel see a real opportunity in the implementation of IoT and Big Data in the national mining industry. Using these technologies it is possible, together with Machine Learning, to predict how the mineral and metal extraction is going or how and when the machinery needs maintenance work.
How companies are doing it
Komatsu is one of the companies that is implementing a Cloud and IoT solution. Sensors have been installed on the trucks and machines used by mining companies in order to monitor them in real time.
Codelco, the biggest Chilean mining company, has been developing the Codelco Digital initiative, which aims for the automatization of complex mining processes and the implementation of digital technologies in the industry.
In his final remarks, the Microsoft’s managing director mentioned how fast this transformation is happening how necessary it is for business to hop on it since, by 2020, a million new devices will be on the market every hour. People are changing their everyday habits thanks to technology and digitalization, and businesses should follow suit if they want to survive.
What new technologies in mining do you know about? What technologies from other industries could be implemented by mining companies?