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Increasing Performance and Safety Through Situational Awareness and Tech Convergence in Machine Operator Interfaces

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… Mines can benefit from a convergence of technologies uniting 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 — that is, it offers optimal situational awareness. This paper describes 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 examples of how this expertise is applied to operator screens.

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