Mobile Field Apps are Making Mining Better

The mining industry worldwide is under pressure for many reasons, including:

  • An increase in the cost and complexity of new exploration and the exploitation of existing ore bodies
  • Ever-increasing legislation and the need to be compliant
  • More emphasis on better corporate governance across the industry
  • Expectation of digitization and low tolerance for lack of data
  • A need for minimal disruption to mine operations

Due to these expectations, miners are increasingly being pressured to implement technological solutions that can digitize the core load and haul process. Mine owners today have a low tolerance for dealing with the challenges common in mining without “digital transparency” and the ability to interrogate their operations in real-time.

The inherent nature of open pit mining, though, mandates the need for an outdoor network, and many mines have mobile / cell phone network coverage but cannot afford an additional in-pit WiFi system. This poses challenges to the adoption of traditional technologies due mostly to the legacy issues that exist in the architecture of these applications. Today, smart devices are robust and pervasive, and the expectation from users is for a system that is easy to use and inexpensive to deploy. The mining industry has been waiting for a system that is also tailor-made for the conditions under which mining equipment must function, including the constant change in ore bodies as well as the type and size of the mining fleets used to extract the rock.

Today robust tablets are widespread, and the Android or iOS mobile platforms are well-known to miners mostly “off the job”. Mobile / cell phone networks are a reliable and cost-effective means of transmitting mobile device data. The widespread use of these devices for personal use has helped remove some of the difficulties associated with using mobile devices in more sensitive applications of the harsh mining environment. Today, mining organizations, including small companies using contract-mining equipment, have the expectation of a technology that adds value to mining in areas like:

  • Tracking mobile equipment using GPS
  • Presenting easy-to-use ‘queues’ so operators can manually input information
  • Digitally assigning work to equipment operators on the machine
  • Turn-by-turn navigation to assist operators in finding their next location
  • Collating information in a central location, enabling better communication between departments
  • Cloud-based central servers reducing deployment complexity and time.
  • Providing mine-wide information to smart devices, accurately and reliably in real-time

All while being cost effective, easy to use and easy to deploy and support.

Ramjack has recently partnered with software company Reactore to make the above solutions available to our clients. Their core MineOne product has been jointly developed with miners from all levels. It delivers a cost-effective fleet management solution for open pit mines. Different than many alternatives, this product has a depth of functionality, including a fully featured truck assignment engine. The MineOne solution starts with a shift operational plan and allows short interval control (SIC) to be conducted by managers, supervisors, operators, and those in other roles relevant to the mining operation. The resulting solution is user-focused, robust, and helps deal with the real-world challenges miners deal with every day.

Reactore’s mobile applications take the power of their mining software solutions from the back office and place them in the hands of all workers in the field. Reactore features a number of user-friendly applications that can be used in a variety of environments outside the mine operations space. These can be used as independent standalone tools or as part of an integrated solution that can include existing applications and hardware.

Contact us now to find out more.