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64 E&MJ • APRIL 2017 www.e-mj.com SUPPLIERS REPORT Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology re- cently announced an agreement with IBM to jointly work on data-driven productivity and predictive maintenance services for the mining industry. Sandvik, in making the announce- ment, pointed out that improvements in onboard instrumentation and data gather- ing capabilities in heavy equipment offer opportunities to employ advanced ana- lytics and models to identify and resolve productivity issues and improve process optimization and performance. Sandvik cited a recent McKinsey Global Institute report that predicts deployment of digital technologies will create as much as $100 billion of value to resource-producing companies by 2035. The two companies said they are already working jointly with selected customers to pilot the concept and com- mercialize specific solutions. The first phase of work will focus on loaders and trucks, connecting up to 15 units and integrating live data from multiple on- and off-board systems to run analytic algorithms. The collaboration will involve the use of advanced analytics, remote monitoring and cognitive technologies to allow com- panies to combine equipment and appli- cation data from disparate resources and identify patterns to improve performance and productivity. The combination of information ser- vices, remote data collection and data analysis is expected to improve effec- tiveness by increasing productivity, cut- ting costs and reducing time wastage. Sandvik said it has already seen cost per ton decreases of 20%–50% after implementation of the latest digital technologies, and with new analytical capabilities aims to further increase po- tential gains. "Sandvik has been working with min- ing customers on mine automation and remote monitoring of machines for more than 20 years. Our OptiMine and AutoM- ine solutions are also important systems for data collection and consolidation that provide us with a great platform to get a flying start with IBM analytics solutions. So it is a natural step for us to collabo- rate with a company like IBM — experts in advanced analytics cognitive comput- ing and modeling — to create even more value to our customers," said Lars Eng- ström, president of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. "This collaboration fits well with our service portfolio, which is based on tradi- tional life-cycle, enhanced technical, and business services, all of which are aligned to improve safety, secure competences for mine operations and increase our custom- ers' productivity." SA Contract Miner Leans Heavily on Simulation Training for Operators MCC Contract Mining & Services, a divi- sion of South Africa's eXtract Group, is investing substantially to develop one of the largest operator training center proj- ects in Africa, according to simulator sup- plier Immersive Technologies. Immersive said it is contributing to MCC's project through the introduction of a Managed Workforce Development Solu- tion, which is intended to directly improve operator skills and their understanding of the factors that affect asset productivity, cost reduction and safety. This solution will be distributed across the eXtract Operator Training Academy and three mining operations. It incorporates sev- en Advanced Equipment Simulators, 19 simulator modules (or Conversion Kits) and seven Pre-Start Inspection training & assessment systems. This solution will be staffed by a team of embedded Immer- sive Technologies personnel servicing all four locations including a full time busi- ness improvement specialist, a dedicated training manager and operator training personnel. MCC's current mining contracts in- clude the Pilanesberg platinum mine, Anglo American Platinum's Mogalakwe- na mine and Tharisa Minerals, as well as Delta Mining's Nsele coal pro- ject, Sephaku's Aganang limestone pro- ject, and the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana. Its partnership with Immersive Tech- nologies, will focus on: • Addressing complexities associated with multiple mine sites • Removing workforce operational ineffi- ciencies • Reducing asset maintenance costs aris- ing from operator abuse Sandvik, IBM Collaborate on Underground Productivity Sandvik, which has been working with mining customers on mine automation and remote monitoring of machines for more than two decades, says its agreement with IBM will create additional value for its customers.