As mining operations dig deeper into the earth, industry digitalization increases productivity by connecting more assets, automating more processes and analyzing more data. Industry digitalization will also increase asset security and safety for personnel working in dangerous and extreme conditions.
Priorities in mining
Growing profit margins within mining necessitates a focus on optimization in three key areas:
- Productivity: This includes better fleet management and machinery utilization, wide area communications, introduction of autonomous vehicles, real-time location of assets, preventative and predictive maintenance, access to real-time data and analytics, and drones for exploration.
- Safety: With many moving parts operating in harsh and often dangerous conditions, proximity and collision detection are critical, along with the ability to monitor environmental factors like air and water quality.
- Sustainability: Leading mining companies increasingly want to work more proactively while limiting the environmental impact of their operations. Requirements are increasing and along with the interest in getting more attractive workplaces to attract talent.
Automation is viewed as the next advancement that will improve returns on investment.
Paramount for automation is better connectivity within the mines. Current wireless solutions such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi do not meet the evolving demands for seamless connectivity required for automated vehicles, advanced robotics and machinery.
The emergence of high performance 3GPP connectivity and applications as the critical foundation for technical innovation creates an enormous business opportunity for communications service providers (CSPs) to provide a variety of new service offerings beyond just connectivity.
Mining operations implementing industry digitalization need fast, reliable, secure wireless connectivity solutions. Ericsson’s wireless connectivity solutions enable CSPs to offer secure and reliable coverage, support high device density, low latency, and full visibility of assets, processes and data.
The role of automation in the mining industry will uncover the business value of 4G/LTE and 5G technology, in terms of both economics and sustainability.