Mining is a complex business that involves management of a large fleet of vehicles under environmental, legal and safety considerations. It is important for mining companies to have visibility into the use of every vehicle and the performance of every driver in order to streamline operations, improve safety standards and drive higher process efficiencies. A fleet management system for underground mining optimizes operations by controlling production, tracking and scheduling workforce, and presenting intelligent reports that improve fleet productivity. The ability to accurately monitor your fleet location, usage and behavior, can make a significant difference to the bottom line.
In this article, we look at 4 reasons why you should adopt a fleet management system for underground mining, and how this adoption can translate into cost-savings and process efficiencies.
1. Reduced downtime – anticipates and equips the team to deal with failures
Mining companies generate volumes of data from equipment and processes, but only a fraction of this data is actually used to derive insights on equipment health and availability. Recent advancements in data analytics and computing capabilities have enabled fleet management systems to leverage health-monitoring data to forecast maintenance, rather than use the traditional time-based maintenance approach.
Fleet management systems for underground mining operations integrate outputs produced from equipment and infrastructure to predict the probability of failure of specific components. Detecting potential issues early on can prevent shortfalls on production targets and unnecessary downtime, while cutting maintenance costs.
2. Process optimization – improved scheduling, material and equipment flow
In mining, the opportunity for productivity improvement lies in the areas that operational management can control. Mining operations generate extensive production and process data that can be harnessed to maximize utilization of equipment and drive yield improvements. Fleet management systems for mines use real-time data and advanced analytics to make scheduling and processing decisions that increase output. As an example – in mine pits, combining traditional dispatch techniques with smart algorithms can optimize machine movements to drive peak performance.
Fleet management systems can empower mines to keep their equipment running at 100 percent and understand the drivers of yield to step up performance, and optimize process scheduling.
3. Safer Mines – improved safety and higher regulatory compliance
Within a mining environment, protecting people and assets is critical. A fleet management system plays an important role in the safe transportation of both mineworkers and mining materials, and enables supervisors to take corrective actions to minimize safety risks for mineworkers.
Fleet safety initiatives are centered around reporting and improving driver behavior impacting safety, unnecessary fuel consumption, vehicle wear and tear, over-scheduled drivers, and accident investigation and reporting. Monitoring how a vehicle is driven can result in fuel and maintenance savings, and a reduction in accidents due to awareness. It also ensures that drivers are compliant to company policies.
4. Improved productivity – better actuals versus plans, with real-time tracking
A fleet management system for underground mining has the ability to track the precise location and state of mining equipment at every instant – and detect deviations from expected operating standards. This empowers operators to optimize operational plans in real-time, rather than wait for monthly output to drive decision-making. The ability to streamline operations in real-time, using intelligent analytics can eliminate the challenges of underutilized equipment and wasted capital. The availability of a real-time feed also makes it possible to optimize operations across the whole supply chain, rather than local silos.
Capturing value from digital innovations is the key to the next era in mining. Investing in the right fleet management system is a good starting point to place money back on the bottom line, and ensure your fleet is operating at peak performance.
About GroundHog FMS:
GroundHog FMS is a mobile fleet management system optimized for use in underground mines. It is designed to work out of the box for all underground mine operations. GroundHog FMS controls production, tracks and schedules workforce, and helps you get deep insights to drive higher process efficiency. With GroundHog FMS, you can build a mine that is highly efficient, safe and profitable.