Shovel operators are being tasked with an increasing number of responsibilities. As their responsibilities grow, so it seems, does the number of technologies that they are asked to interact with. They need a fleet management system to track production, monitor their loading efficiencies and report on Key Performance Indicators. They need a High Precision GNSS to monitor floor elevation. Precision bucket positioning systems are added to help maintain proper delivery of material to meet quality requirements. They need a payload system to calculate the appropriate tonnage loaded in the trucks. They have the onboard PLCs to monitor equipment health and proper machine operation. Vehicle safety systems to detect and avoid accidents are being installed on the machines. This list goes on; fatigue monitoring, shovel tooth detection, rear and side view cameras…

A convergence of technologies benefitting the plant, engineering, operations, and overall safety, all on one screen for ease of access.

But there is more to it than just presenting the information on screen all at once. Careful consideration is made when consolidating this much output to ensure the information is meaningful when presented and accessible when required. In other words, in the design of the GUI we are optimizing the operator’s Situational Awareness. Situational Awareness (SA) is being aware of what is happening around you and understanding how information, events, and your own actions will impact your goals and objectives.

I delivered a new white paper at SME in Salt Lake City in late February describing Wenco’s involvement in the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines’s Situational Awareness Working Group, our long history in developing operator interfaces with Situational Awareness in mind, and some real-world example of how this expertise is applied to operator screens. You can download the white paper on our Resources Page under the white paper section.