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Short Interval Control 4.0 for Mining

The Process of Short Interval Control (SIC) has its origin in manufacturing and is about tracking task execution against its planned completion at regular intervals in a shift and if need be take action to minimize deviation thereby ensuring shift targets are met resulting in sustainable production.

The use of Industry 4.0 technology has enabled manufacturing to actively monitor:

  • the health of man and machine that are responsible for the task and

  • the environment of execution,

thereby preventing mishaps that can derail timely task completion, ensuring the efficient use of shift time and that production targets are met.

Catastrophic events are escalated to management for analysis and action, resulting in the rescheduling of tasks and re-forecasting of production numbers. In manufacturing effective SIC processes have resulted in productivity increases of 30% and more

Mining has been lagging manufacturing. In underground mines task delays are typically handled by workers and their shift supervisors, data about the task delays and the resulting interventions only reaches management at the end of the shift. This means that the effect on production targets can only be analyzed in rudimentary fashion during the next production meeting (usually held once a day). The combined effect of data (in)accuracy, information lag and slow response produces great inefficiencies, time wasting and cost escalations. Not to mention frustration!

MineRP and our Ecosystem of Partners are investing in Industry 4.0's digital innovation with the aim of resolving mining's SIC conundrum. We call it the Intelligent Place of Work (iPOW)

Do your front line management and supervisors on the mine have sight on schedule adherence of activities during shift? Do they know where and why deviations occurred and do they have the ability to reschedule during the shift to ensure targets are met? Do they understand the knock on scheduling implication of their decisions?

The MineRP Ecosystem delivers connectivity and intelligence down to the workplace. This ensures that real-time quality data, is collected from man and machine regarding task execution and adherence to the plan, while machine and workplace health is actively monitored. Edge computing ensures that data is validated and analyzed close to source ensuring only critical data is trafficked to surfaces. Data is ingested by MineRP 4.0 (MineRP's Spatial Data Infrastructure) enabling Unified Spatial Management by integrating Mine Technical Systems and allowing for interoperability. Validated data is made readily available for analysis of past task execution to improve performance in the future, leading to greater process efficiencies and the effective control of production.

Material deviations from plan, and/or critical health information are spatially reported in the most sensible interval to the right level of management to allow for corrective action. With Unified Production Planning, MineRP unifies the Mine Technical and ERP domains, in addition it amalgamates the mining production schedule with the schedules for the provision of ancillary services into a dynamic master mining schedule ensuring that all activities are accounted for, resourced for and in sync. Now mines has the ability to rapidly reschedule keeping the process in equilibrium.

Short Interval Control 4.0 is about applying the MineRP Ecosystem's innovative Technology to transform the SIC process on underground mines enabling operations to finish the scheduled work on time while at the same time making efficient use of all available resources thereby ensuring that production targets are met.

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