GroundHog Install at SMS in India

Deployment Model for Site: Underground SIC & Weighbridge Integration

Site Information

GroundHog Deployed the OpsCenter for Dispatch and integrated with Weighbridge for automatic payload tracking. 

Production Operations Management – Pre-GroundHog

The site had about 70 supervisors (about 50 mine supervisors and 20 on the mechanical and

electrical side) who captured or recorded data underground. Each truck’s capacity was about 19 tonnes, so each loader took 3 to 4 trips to load one dumper. They lost 1:30 hours per shift for manpower and equipment allocation, reporting at the end of the shift, and handing over the shift to the next shift.

Everything before GroundHog was based on paper and manual intervention.

  • Foreman and Mine Mates manually recorded all details underground and then entered the same information into their statutory books for record-keeping.
  • Shift Incharge manually entered all shift details into his report, which he then share with his reporting managers via Whatsapp.
  • Daily, members of the Planning Department compile a consolidated report for all three shifts and send it to the appropriate stakeholders via WhatsApp.

Data tracked on the shift report were:

  • Face details, #trips and tonnage for mucking 
  • Face details, #holes and meters drilled for drilling
  • Blasting Location and weight of explosives used for blasting
  • Face Location and Rock Bolt Drilling meters for rock bolt drilling
  • Face Location and #bolts fixed and meters grouted for rock bolt grouting
  • Breakdowns
  • Crusher and Conveyor Report along with maintenance/breakdown information
  • Dumping details such as tonnage and #buckets

Phase 1: Site survey

During the site survey, the project team spent 5 days observing and documenting the current process, including:

  • End-of-Shift reporting
  • Shift Allocation process
  • Attendance process
  • Pre-shift meeting protocols
  • Daily Logs and reports
  • Excel tracking sheets
  • Interviews with Shift In Charge, Foreme, Operators, and Maintenance Supervisors
  • Project Manager and Mine Manager

Data Entry and validation.

During phase 2, GroundHog worked with the site team to import initial data such as:

  • Names of all the mining locations (faces, grizzly, Stockpiles, Crushers)
  • Names, Makes and Models, and Capacities of all the primary and auxiliary equipment
  • Names, roles, skill sets, and safety training documents of all miners, supervisors,foremen, operators and managers
  • Material types, and grades
  • Consumables types and quantities

Phase 2: Staging server and Training the Trainers

The GroundHog Customer Success team installed and configured a staging server (pre-production) on a secure GroundHog AWS Cloud. GroundHog team trained 4 data entry operators to capture the data entered by the operators in paper into the GroundHog Ops Center Platform daily. This data was then validated with the mine manager and shift managers daily. 

We also did a few hours of dry-runs on all the following activity types:

  • Shift Planning
  • Hot-shift changeovers
  • Drill operations
  • Excavator operations
  • Haul truck-related operations
  • Auxiliary support operations (e.g. Scaling, etc)
  • Equipment up / down / delays/standbys
  • Daily shift-end report (Daily Physicals)
  • Safety logs
  • Incident reports
  • Near miss reports

Based on the experience during the dry-runs, the team created the first version of the Mine Control Standard Operating Procedures. Separate templates for reports were created for LHDs, LPDTs, and Drillers. Custom report was built to provide a consolidated view to management after every shift.

Sample templates for each is as shown below:

The end-of-shift report was still manual at this stage.

Specific rooms were also created for these data entry operators.

Phase 3: Go live and Customer Care

After a month of data collection in staging, we went live on production.  After a week in production, end-of-shift report was automatically sent to the management. 

The Customer Care team actively participated during shift-handoffs and for about an hour after work started at the face, until Mine Control felt confident enough to run the show by themselves. The Customer Care team did periodic check-ins with Mine Control throughout the shift for the next two weeks. 

TV was also installed for mine managers, supervisors, and shift incharge to review status and allocation.

Transition to Support

After 2 full crew rotations (4 weeks), the site transitioned from Customer Care to Customer Support.

GroundHog’s support team has a standing meeting with the customer team to review the system, analyze data, seek customer feedback and make improvements to the product and process.


The site transitioned from Customer Care to Customer Support. Over the course of 1 year, a few new projects were initiated. 

Integrating with biometrics for attendance data

The GroundHog Customer Success team worked very closely with the SMS project team to integrate with their biometrics. The data collected from the biometrics helped capture login time for operators automatically. This data was then used as input for shift allocation.

Integrating with the weighbridge system to track payload automatically

A Windows application was developed and installed underground near the weighbridge system. Being a Windows application, it can record data without any loss of data even when there is no internet connectivity and upload to the cloud when there is connectivity, which is critical for weighbridges in underground mines. 

As the equipment arrives at the weighbridge, equipment ID is entered in the application. If there is connectivity, all information about the equipment such as below is mapped from the cloud. 

Data imported from cloud:

  • Operator information
  • Source location
  • Destination location
  • Work history

New information entered:

  • Hauling weight
  • Arrival time
  • Empty weight
  • Empty truck return time

Automatic shift allocation using Preferred equipment and previous work history

Automatically allocate tasks based on the following information:

  • Last Known Equipment status and parked location
  • Remaining rounds from previous shifts
  • Preferred Equipment
  • Face status
  • Attendance data from biometrics
  • Maintenance data-  (equipment availability) from the garage

We created East Zone and West Zone panels, based on these zones, equipment will be allocated to particular activity/location. After the system provides allocation, unassigned tasks are highlighted in information logs for shift in charge to review and assign. 

For 1 week, our development team worked with the site team to review the plan generated before going live.


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