Welcome to Groundhog’s new Mine Digitization and Automation series. We’ll be presenting articles that focus on the many elements of digitization and automation, such as change management, execution, operational insights, etc., and perhaps most importantly, how to make your efforts stick. These will be short, to-the-point blog posts that offer insight into how you might approach or enhance your digital transformation efforts.
The world is rapidly adopting digitization, and businesses of all sizes are realizing how important it is to embrace technology in order to retain a competitive edge in their respective marketplaces. Some sectors waste no time in adopting the latest tech and thrive by being out on the “bleeding edge”, while others prefer the safety of being leading edge. Mining, however, tends to be a conservative business, and therefore slower to adopt new technologies than other industries. This makes sense – there is much more at stake in mining than production…the most important thing to come out of the mine is always the miner.
To make this blog make sense, we should establish a baseline of what we mean when we talk about digital transformation, and it’s pretty straightforward; generally speaking, digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into some or all aspects of your business. A lot of people assume it is software, and that’s definitely part of it, but it can also mean new, digitally enhanced equipment.
The technology might be implemented enterprise wide, or at the site level. It may be brand new, or new to you. It may be as simple as moving away from paper and having your data digitally recorded.
Essentially, you will establish your own version of what digital transformation means, and it can look very different for every company depending on a broad array of factors that we will touch upon later in the series.
Overall, the common outcomes that companies hope for in their digital transformation efforts are:
- Improve safety
- Optimize process efficiency
- Accelerate productivity
- Deliver a greater level of value to their customers and shareholders
There are a number of reasons mining companies and/or individual sites may decide to digitize their businesses, but we all recognize the truth that the more material one can mine safely and efficiently, the greater the likelihood of success in the marketplace, ensuring the viability of the business and extending the life of mine.
Digital transformation means a lot more than simply implementing new tech – that’s the easy part. In future posts on this topic, we’ll talk about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of digital transformation, and how to get the most out of your investment. (As mentioned, you can also expect to see other technical and operational articles.)
Bottom line? Mining in the 21st century involves many changes to how we work. The fundamentals are the same, but technology is taking a big leap forward, and it’s a journey of discovery for everyone. This is good in a lot of ways – and Groundhog has the expertise to make it easier and better.
We hope you’ll join us weekly as this discussion continues.