GroundHog at Underground Zinc Mine

Deployment Model for Site: Short Interval Control & Fleet Management System with Supervisor App and Geology App

Site Information

GroundHog Deployed the OpsCenter for Dispatch, and the Fleet Management System app for one of the largest Underground Zinc mine in the US. In addition, GroundHog’s Customer Success team also assisted the mine with configuring the Mobile Device Management System, the Operator FMS app, the Supervisor app and the Geology / Survey app.

Production Operations Management – Pre-GroundHog

The site primarily used a combination of Excel and paper based processes (Daily Physicals / PLOD sheets) to capture production data. These Excel sheets were then used to create pass-down sheets distributed to the crew during lineout.

Shift planning prior to GroundHog was done using a large white board

Phase 1: Site survey

During the site survey the project team spent 2 days observing and documenting the current process, including:

  • Daily Logs and reports
  • Pre-shift meeting protocols
  • Call signs
  • Excel tracking sheets
  • Interviews with Shift Supervisors, Operators, and Maintenance Supervisors
  • Project Manager and Mine Manager

Data Import Templates

During phase 2, GroundHog worked closely with the site project team to transform all their Excel files to a format used to easily import data into the GroundHog OpsCenter platform. Imported data included:

  • Names of all the mining locations (ramps, headings, stopes, muckbays, etc)
  • Names, Makes and Models, and Capacities of all the primary and auxiliary equipment
  • Names, roles, skillsets, and safety training documents of all miners, supervisors, geologists, 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. The team also imported all resources related information. The Customer Success team worked with the site’s Continuous Improvement Team to configure the following:

  1. Customizing the Time Utilization Model to match the mine’s TUM template
  2. Mining Cycle templates (drill, powder-load, blast, muck, bolt, shotcrete, etc) based on heading / stope sizes
  3. Setting up sizes of headings, stopes, etc
  4. Updating the status of each heading, stope, etc.
  5. Updating material inventory
  6. Configuring various types of consumables used
  7. Configuring shift start times, etd times, etc
  8. Uploading mine maps

Dry Runs and SOP Document Creation

After training Dispatch/Mine Control, we did a few hours of dry-runs on all the following activity types:

  • Shift Planning
  • Jumbo operations
  • LHD/Bogger operations
  • Bolter related operations
  • Haul truck related operations
  • Construction relation operations
  • Equipment up / down / delays / standbys
  • Daily shift-end report (Daily Physicals)
  • Safety logs
  • Nncident reports
  • Near miss reports
  • Stop and correct logs

Based the experience during the dry-runs, the team created a first version of the Mine Control Standard Operating Procedures

Phase 3: Go live and Customer Care

Once the site went live, 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.

Transition to Support – OpsCenter

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.

Phase 4: Operator FMS Tablet installs (customer preferred Apple iPads with ruggedized covers

GroundHog’s Customer Success team assisted the site team to evaluate multiple MDM vendors, including Microsoft Intune, MobileIron and Scalefusion. GroundHog recommends using an MDM solution to manage all mobile devices used at a mine site to seamlessly distribute the apps to Operator Tablets, Supervisors phones and to Mine Managers phones.

Operator Training: Classroom and ride-alongs

GroundHog trained the trainers on the Operator apps at the project site. GroundHog oversaw the first set of training for Jumbo operators, LHD (Loader) operators, and Haul-truck operators. The GroundHog team also did ride-alongs with the operators to assist operators on how to correctly update task status and to correctly log downs and delays.

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