Infosys Creates Innovative Business Improvement Solutions for the Mining Industry

By Dick Hill

Category:
Industry Trends

The mining industry consists of complex, highly technical, cumbersome, and -- in many ways -- risky processes. The ore extraction processes and the conditions created in the mine are often unpredictable and if not carefully managed, can be unsafe for workers. This makes employee safety a high priority. Additionally, it is also very difficult to track the quantity and quality of the ore production. These circumstances make it important for companies to be able to monitor the mines remotely, forecast conditions, and use this data to make the processes easier, safer, and more efficient for the employees. Recently, Infosys briefed ARC on that company’s innovative approach for addressing these needs of the mining industry. As we learned, the company’s solutions are designed to improve metrics that revolve around better employee safety, enhanced asset efficiency, improved decision support through data analysis, and reducing the cost of ore production. The solutions aim to reduce complex procedures through common processes and tools across multiple sites and production processes and enable the workforce to monitor both environmental and health conditions in real time. Infosys also aims to help improve its mining customers’ asset management capabilities to reduce their production errors, equipment breakdowns, and enable planning and scheduling of proactive maintenance programs. The solutions support increased operations visibility with real-time dashboards of production performance. Through the Infosys Innovation Fund, they strategically partner with start-ups to provide early-stage capital, mentorship, and product validation. In turn, their technologies provide a variety of important functions for the mining industry. These include health monitoring, air quality monitoring, and underground mine connectivity for employee safety. To enhance asset efficiency, Infosys provides Industrial IoT (IIoT) and predictive maintenance solutions with intelligent edge devices, asset efficiency tracking through analytics of maintenance data, and 3D printing of spare parts. In addition, Infosys supports prospecting and exploration activities through geo-physical data analysis, increased mine efficiency through integration of operations data through dash-boarding, and macro-economic conditions analysis for pricing. In this asset- and energy-intensive industrial sector, most mining companies around the world struggle with maintaining their assets, servicing their systems, and improving energy efficiency. Infosys aims to help mining companies improve operational efficiency through production optimization (OEE) and production planning & scheduling using applied technologies such as productivity modelling, statistical quality control, and inventory optimization. They help improve maintenance efficiency through condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, maintenance planning & scheduling, reliability-centered maintenance, root cause analysis, and anomaly detection. Furthermore, service efficiency gains can be achieved with remote management services, field service management, materials management (spare parts/inventory), service life cycle management, and supply chain analytics. The company’s solutions also support improved energy efficiency and sustainability through energy management, resource efficiency, asset safety performance (alarm management, EHS) and regulatory/ standards compliance. Infosys recently launched Mana - a knowledge-based AI platform that brings machine learning together with the deep knowledge of an organization to drive automation and innovation. It opens up various possibilities for mining companies to achieve operational efficiency by automating repeatable processes. Infosys’ Connected Mines offering uses these solutions to provide end-to-end visibility that starts from the ore and tracks and provides updates until the stock is packaged and ready to be transported. According to Infosys, with this solution, mining companies can start with the extraction planning stage, where 3D models can be made to support forecasting. With this, the team can schedule extraction; estimate costs; gain asset information; create production reports; and view information related to machine status, energy, safety, and more. According to Infosys, the company has deployed these solutions for a number of the world’s largest mining companies. One large iron ore producer gained operational reporting and data analytics, Cloud integration services, supply chain optimization, and more. Infosys helped another large iron ore producer enhance its plant, corporate, and commercial systems, plus its data and integration systems. For another mining company, Infosys developed a playbook for acquisitions and divestitures to ensure smooth integration of acquired assets. The company has also developed an innovation process, program, and governance leveraging the Infosys Innovation Fund. The significant contraction in the mining industry has brought about an intense focus on cost control and mining companies need to adopt technologies like IIoT and analytics to help optimize assets and resources. If they haven’t done so already, ARC recommends that mining companies consider partnering with a service provider such as Infosys that has deep experience in the mining industry to help them improve efficiency, cost control, and the health and safety of their employees.

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