The first two installments of the System 6 Spotlight explored how the latest version of the Wenco Mine Performance Suite reimagines mine monitoring and control and how it handles mining data to extract unrealized value from mining operations. To close out this series, today we show how System 6 provides actionable data that uncovers opportunities for extracting unrealized value at mines. Essential information comes to the surface in the Mine Performance Suite’s business intelligence (BI) platform, Avoca.

Actionable Data for Improved Mine Performance

BI involves systems and methods for analyzing data to support smart business decisions. Unlike standard reporting, BI includes a broad set of functions to help users understand business conditions — dynamic reports, data mining, predictive and prescriptive analytics, and more. Using these technologies, organizations can explore their data and identify opportunities for improvement, then implement fact-based strategies that advance them toward their performance goals.

Sectors like retail and finance have prized BI for a generation, but mining has only adopted it in recent years. Still, adoption is poised to increase. As digital transformation takes hold in the industry, mines say they are eager to find solutions that help them understand cyclical trends, project accurate forecasts, and improve the effects of their decisions.

How Can Mines Use Business Intelligence?

Wenco’s BI platform, Avoca, starts by validating and importing all mining data into the Wenco Data Warehouse. This data comes from fleet management databases, maintenance records, ERP systems, or any other data system used throughout the operation. (For an in-depth look at the Wenco Data Warehouse, please read System 6 Spotlight #2: How Wenco handles mining data to extract more unrealized value.)

Once the data is ready, mines can quickly and easily explore rich visualizations that show links between equipment units, operational statuses, geography, machine condition, supply chain data, material processing, and other factors on site. Wenco organizes this data across a series of preconfigured dashboards that relate to common mine departments — Operations, Equipment and Maintenance, Administration, and so on. Simply looking at these dashboards provides useful information about operational behaviour and progress toward goals. But, the system comes alive when mine personnel use it to manipulate and interact with their data.

Clicking and dragging on any visualization selects a series of data points, focusing on areas of interest and filtering out remaining data. At the same time, other visualizations on the dashboard change to match the data selection. Users can opt to include or exclude certain points, then watch as related visualizations update in real time. In this way, users can easily explore how certain data points behave in relation to each other, accessing new depths of knowledge about their mining operations in the process.

How Mines Extract Value With Mining BI

Mines can find 1,001 opportunities for improvement with this sort of BI system. For instance, one Wenco customer recently reported how it uses Avoca to extract more value from its employees’ work hours.

To make better use of its human resources, this site pays a lot of attention to Avoca’s Haul Cycle Variability dashboard. Blending information from several data systems, this dashboard shows variations in the amount of time it takes operators to complete cycles of a known haul route. By clicking and filtering the data shown in the dashboard, managers can easily sort and rank the active operator roster based on performance. Operators on the left of the chart frequently complete their circuits faster than average, while operators on the right take longer than average more often. Ideally, operators want to complete each haul cycle as close to the average as possible.

Haul Cycle Operators

Site managers already know the majority of slow-driving operators are trainees. They are more interested in knowing which veteran operators continue to take longer than average to complete their haul cycles. Clicking and filtering the same data once again, they can easily exclude any operators who have joined the company in recent months. With the dashboard showing only long-time employees, managers can easily see which operators are underperforming. Then, they can show this chart to those operators to prove they require additional training.

Before doing this analysis in Avoca, a site engineer would spend days collating this data in Microsoft Excel, cleansing it of errors, analyzing it, and preparing a report to senior management. Now, all the busy work happens automatically. Instead of spending days at work, this engineer can now prepare the same report in minutes and switch focus to high-value tasks, like finding causes and solutions for performance problems.

Results at this site have proven strong. Since introducing Avoca into its workflow, this mine has reported less variation among its haul cycles.

A Wealth of Opportunities for Improvement

Improving the value of human resources is just one practical application of a BI system like Avoca. Using these functions, a mine can discover opportunities to extract value and insight across all sorts of mining KPIs — wait times, payload weights, unplanned downtime, and more. The actionable intelligence Avoca offers gives mines access to a wealth of possibilities for improving their operational performance — from a simple boost in operator training to a whole new discovery that resets their standards for efficiency.

Interested in learning more about Avoca? For more information about Wenco System 6, the Wenco Data Warehouse, or the Avoca business intelligence platform, please contact us at info@wencomine.com or 604.270.8277.