Mines generate too much data these days.
You know it, your staff knows it, (and the developers here at Wenco definitely know it).
Since fleet management systems, GPS control systems, and other data technologies took over, mine managers hardly have the time to process all the info coming in (let alone do what they want to do — play Clash of Clans on their phones).
All that data is for the best, though. Measuring everything lets you manage everything, which makes your operation way more efficient than running it the old-fashioned way. Still, now you've got a new problem — how do you make sense of it all?
Reports and dashboards are great, but there's so much more possible when you have mountains of data like Wenco systems do. In these cases, it's a job for analytics.
What do you mean by 'analytics'?
Other industries pounced on analytics and business intelligence years ago, but mining has been slower to adopt it. Until recently, a lot of the tools available didn't work very well in a mining context (or they seemed more trouble than their worth).
Now, the industry is finally starting to see some applications that work for mining — including Wenco's own intelligence suite, Avoca. These systems merge data into one central location, then give you access to it through an easy-to-use portal. They're like a library for your mining data — you can store everything and find the right information when you need it.
Really? More data?
Don't worry. Solutions like Avoca are more than just another tracking device or monitoring system. Rather than adding more data to the pile, Avoca helps you make sense of the data you already have. Like a good librarian, it leads you to answers for the questions on your mind.
Let's say you've noticed a lot of overload alerts lately. Every shift report lists three or four heavy loads that put your equipment at risk — not to mention their warranties.
You're probably wondering, "Hey, what's up with all these overloads?" It could be anything. There's so much information necessary to deduce the problem. Which shovels caused the overload? Which operators? At what time of day did they occur? Under what weather conditions? Are they due to equipment malfunction? Failed training? Another reason entirely?
Analytics lets you sort out those answers in a few clicks. In Avoca, you just click on the overloaded truck in the Payload panel and watch as the View changes to show its loading history. The screen shows which shovels or operators loaded that truck in the past.
Drill down further and you can see the frequency these trucks load with particular shovels or personnel. If one shovel overloads that truck consistently, you can check its loading history with other trucks. If that shovel frequently overloads all trucks — regardless of its operator — you can expect the problem lies in the equipment.
If you discover that only one operator is responsible for the truck overloads, you can probably rule out equipment malfunction and send that operator for training instead. In just a couple of mouse clicks, you've gotten proof to back up your decisions. No complex SQL coding. No back and forth with report writers.
Analytics: a Swiss Army Knife for data
That's just one use. But, analytics has lots of uses. It's less like a hammer and more like a Swiss Army Knife — one tool that solves a host of problems.
Speeding? Wasted spotting time? Poor grade control? You can use mining analytics to make sense of information about all of these areas and more. Or, spot bottlenecks to productivity anywhere in your operation. Or, predict the outcome of future changes to the mine plan. Or, discover personnel who do great work. Or, do all that without leaving your desk and still have time to build up your phone troops for tomorrow's battle with the maintenance shop.
How can you use mining analytics at your site?
Like any piece of technology, analytics is supposed to make your life easier. Finance, marketing, retail, and other sectors already work a lot better thanks to their analytics suites. Now that the mining industry has the right tools too, expect surprising results to come out of all that data. But, expect better efficiency too.
What information are you most interested in exploring with mining analytics? Let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.