SMS and GroundHog partner to digitise Indian Mines

The GroundHog system is being used by many of the largest mining companies in the US, Canada, and Australia, and the system has been modified with inputs from SMS to streamline and fit the workflows used by the Indian Mines, Mine Developers and Operators, and Mining Contractors

SMS Ltd. and GroundHog have announced their partnership to deploy and use GroundHog’s flagship Short Interval Control and Fleet Management System. The GroundHog system is being used by many of the largest mining companies in the US, Canada, and Australia, and the system has been modified with inputs from SMS to streamline and fit the workflows used by the Indian Mines, Mine Developers and Operators, and Mining Contractors.

In addition, GroundHog has also staffed the Dispatch (Mine Control) with the long-term goal of establishing a centralised Remote Control Room Operations Center to monitor all of SMS’s project sites. This milestone marks a huge step forward for both SMS and GroundHog as the group expands into this new frontier.

SMS Ltd. is a leading underground mining contractor with over 40 years of experience. Their reputation precedes them as pioneers in continuously incorporating mining technology into their processes, and also operates the largest mechanised fleet for underground mines in India. With the Government’s recent drive towards privatisation, India has been one of the fastest-growing mining markets in the world. Private mining companies and MDOs view Digitisation and Automation as a competitive advantage to sustainably increase safety, productivity, and profitability. SMS’s search for a suitable technology partner to establish and execute a digital roadmap ended with finding GroundHog.

GroundHog is a mine digitisation and automation platform focused on increasing production and safety. With over ten years of experience in digitising and automating mining, GroundHog’s products help with shift scheduling & tracking, fleet management, consumables & explosives inventory management, safety LMS, and incident and hazard management.

GroundHog will start the implementation of two of SMS’s major projects. The team will be implementing it in phases. The first phase will focus on consolidating data sources, designing standard formats for data collection, digitising the paper-based shift exchanges, and setting baseline KPIs. GroundHog will also integrate with SMS biometric and HRMS systems to capture employee entry/exit data and other records. SMS and GroundHog will work together on setting up control room monitoring and data entry. The next few steps will introduce mine manager and supervisor apps and provide tablets to supervisors to digitally capture real-time information directly from the operator and further optimise the KPIs. The third phase includes digital data capture from the maintenance team to cater to any down equipment and provide real-time feedback proactively.

“Our first goal is to get the shift allocation time to 10 minutes or under through automatic resource allocation. In the process, it also streamlines data collection formats and collects real-time data. We believe this will eventually help the production team increase meterage (footage) advances, tonnes mined, and equipment availability and utilisation while reducing the cost per tonne-kilometer-hours,” says Amitava Dutta, Director of Product Operations, who is leading the rollout at the SMS project sites.

With GroundHog, SMS can capture trends and quickly identify improvement areas. Real-time capture of delays, downtimes, cycle times, and idle times helps analyse issues and take appropriate actions to resolve them. All these activities help increase production significantly.

“We have seen up to 35-40% increase in productivity over nine months amongst our customers. Understanding that technology alone is not enough. The right set of processes and people, along with technology, makes the execution of digitisation projects successful. Our experiences with our customers have helped us design an execution roadmap that helps companies take it step by step and execute and assess before moving to the next step.”, says Satish Penmetsa, CEO of GroundHog.

A tablet to collect information in the field, a mobile App to view integrated reports and dashboards, and a desktop app for the control room or dispatch center are all needed to use GroundHog systems.

With the industry looking for ways to optimise the process and lower costs, GroundHog helps make digital transformations easy. The future of mining lies in digital, and SMS and GroundHog pave the way for it in the Indian market.

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