The Industrial Internet, and How It's Revolutionizing Mining
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The Industrial Internet, and How It’s Revolutionizing Mining

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How the Industrial Internet is Revolutionizing the Mining Industry

The Industrial Internet and How It Is Revolutionizing Mining

Today’s infographic was done in conjunction with GE Digital

The Industrial Internet is the convergence of the global industrial sector with big data and the internet of things.

Big Data: New insight to make decisions in real-time is made possible by combining the ability to process and make sense of large amounts of data with a universally standard industrial platform.

Internet of Things: By 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to the web. Many of these will be sensors, which can now be produced at a lower cost, creating new levels of network connectivity between machines and people.

The result of this convergence will be up to a $15 trillion increase in global GDP over the next 20 years stemming from smarter decisions, optimized performance, higher productivity, and substantial savings in fuel and energy.

How the Industrial Internet works

The Industrial Internet encompasses vast amounts of the complex physical machinery and processes that make our world work. It costs trillions of dollars each year to run these intensive systems. That’s why improving efficiency by just 1% can create millions in cost savings.

For example: the combined operating expenditures for the Top 40 miners in 2014 were $531 billion. 1% of that is $5.3 billion in potential savings.

Examples of the Industrial Internet in motion:

  • Predictive analytics warn airline operators of potential engine failures before they occur, saving millions by avoiding downtime and flight delays
  • Driverless haul trucks will soon be the new norm for miners around the world. These robots are more efficient, and are controlled remotely from hundreds of miles away.
  • Drivers and engineers can get real-time reporting on a train as it is in transit. Analytics calculate engine temperature, fuel efficiency, speed, weight, and vibration patterns. The location is tracked to optimize the efficiency of the entire system.
  • By consolidating all the mill asset and process information in a common platform, a mining production manager can see the whole picture. As a result, she knows where the team needs to focus to maximize throughput, recoveries, and quality.

When Hardware Meets Software

The revolution in data analytics and connectivity is changing how people work with heavy-duty machines around the globe, and mining is no exception.

Major mining companies have all started to incorporate big data into operations through the industrial cloud. This allows them to avoid unplanned downtime, to act in the best interest of shareholders by converting insights into outcomes, and to use the best available technology.

Using predictive analytics and process optimization, the industrial internet can save miners millions of dollars each year.

Here are just some examples of the minimum potential savings from a given asset per year using predictive analytics:

  • Crusher: $119,000
  • Pump: $62,000
  • Mill: $312,000
  • Haul truck: $62,000

Here are just some examples of the minimum potential savings gained per year by optimizing entire processes:

  • Flotation: $1.6 million
  • Grinding: $0.7 million
  • Surge: $0.2 million
  • 50 PID Loops: $1.5 million

Case Study

The senior metallurgist of a platinum mining company had a problem: the milling circuits were processing more and more waste material together with ore from the main reefs, causing significant operational issues. Even though the different sources were blended, the characteristics of the ore being fed to the mill changed dramatically, often in the space of minutes. This led to extreme variability in the circuit.

The Challenge: The company believed that it was losing potential revenue as a result of sub-optimal throughput and efficiency in the milling circuits.

The Action: Implemented GE’s Mine Performance solution for process optimization on one of the milling circuits, to stabilize the circuit and optimize throughput.

The Results:

  • Increased average throughput by more than 5.5%
  • Decreased power consumption per ton of material fed by almost 2%
  • Decreased density variation of the cyclone feed

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Land of Waste: American Landfills by State

The U.S. is the world’s most wasteful country. In this graphic by Northstar Clean Technologies, we map tons of waste in landfills per person, by state.

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Northstar Clean Technologies: Landfill by state

Land of Waste: American Landfills by State

Each American produces a whopping 1,700 pounds of waste every year, making the United States the world’s most wasteful country.

Approximately half of the country’s yearly waste will meet its fate in one of the more than 2,000 active landfills across the nation.

In this graphic by Northstar Clean Technologies, we map and compare different states’ landfill waste per capita, using data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

States With Highest Tons of Waste Per Person

Upper Midwestern and eastern industrial states rank highly on the trash-per-capita list, with Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio taking the top five spots.

The availability of cheap landfill space in Michigan attracts trucked-in garbage from out of state and even from Canada. That’s because, under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, waste is considered a commodity, and states and counties cannot restrict its import or export from other states or even other countries.

The state also faces challenges with recycling. Michigan’s statewide recycling rate is around 18%, while the national recycling rate is 32%.

StateTons of Waste in Landfills per Person
Michigan66.5
Indiana59.9
Pennsylvania57.4
Illinois54.8
Ohio52.4
Wisconsin51.8
California50.4
Nevada 48.4
Colorado 47.0
Kentucky46.8

Some states are accumulating new landfill waste faster than others. Indiana leads the nation with an annual “landfill waste acceptance rate” of 2.35 tons per year per resident.

States with Fewest Tons of Waste Per Person

More sparsely populated states such as Wyoming, Idaho, Maine, Vermont, and North and South Dakota, all rank among the states with the least landfill trash per resident.

Largely because it accepts considerably less trash by volume than most other states, Connecticut hosts the least buried trash per person, with only 8.7 tons per resident.

StateTons of Waste in Landfills per Person
Connecticut8.7
Massachusetts16.3
Minnesota18.0
Wyoming18.0
North Dakota21.4
Idaho21.4
Maryland21.5
South Dakota22.1
Vermont 24.0
Maine24.0

Food waste, plastics, and paper products make up more than half the garbage in U.S. landfills but other products like glass and metals, for example, can have a significant impact on the environment.

A Multi-Billion Dollar Opportunity

One of the major sources of waste is the construction industry. Every year, around 12 million tons of used asphalt shingles are dumped into landfills across North America.

However, this material can be repurposed to create new materials like fiber, liquid asphalt, and construction aggregate, generating revenue while fighting climate change. In neighbor Canada, for example, recovering and reprocessing shingles is already a $1.3 billion market.

In this context, repurposing waste has not only become essential to minimizing waste, but also to creating new business opportunities going forward.

Northstar Clean Technologies’ mission is to be the leader in the recovery and reprocessing of asphalt shingles in North America.

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BlackRock MyMap: Designed for First-Time Investors

First-time investors are faced with an overwhelming amount of information and choices. See how BlackRock is simplifying the process.

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Whether you’re sending your kids to university or preparing for retirement, meeting future financial needs can be a mighty challenge.

This is due to the many economic issues that eat away at your savings. Inflation, for example, is increasing the cost of gas, groceries, and other daily necessities. The COVID-19 pandemic, on the other hand, has thrown a wrench into many people’s personal finances.

Starting Your Investment Journey

This infographic from BlackRock introduces their MyMap range of multi-asset investment funds, and describes the benefits to first-time investors.

BlackRock MyMap Funds

Today’s Savings Struggles

The above infographic highlighted three savings struggles that make it difficult to meet your future financial goals.

The first is inflation, which refers to the increase in prices of goods and services over time. To understand how inflation can erode the value of your savings, consider this example:

  • £100 worth of goods in 2000 would cost £179 in 2021
  • £100 worth of goods in 1980 would cost £456 in 2021

In other words, inflation reduces the purchasing power of your savings over time.

The second savings struggle is increasing longevity, also known as longer life expectancies. Living a longer life is generally a good thing, but it does increase the risk of outliving your savings. Coming up with a solid retirement plan is becoming more important than ever.

A third struggle is the COVID-19 pandemic, which appears to be having a long-term impact on UK households. In a December 2021 survey, UK families were asked to rate their financial situation following the pandemic. Of the 5,770 respondents, only 38% said they were “financially secure”.

How MyMap Can Help First-Time Investors

Investing has the potential to generate inflation-beating returns. This not only protects your wealth from erosion, but may help it grow over time.

Unfortunately, just 33% of Brits are currently investing in the stock market. To improve this ratio, BlackRock developed the MyMap range of investment funds, which are designed to be approachable for first-time investors. This means that simplicity is a top priority.

As shown below, each MyMap fund is diversified across several types of assets. Or to put it another way, diversification means spreading your savings across different types of investments, to mitigate the risk of any particular one performing poorly. In this case, diversification is achieved through a single product.

FundAllocation to Equities (%)Allocation to Bonds (%)Allocation to Alternatives (%)
MyMap 322%75%3%
MyMap 3 Select ESG26%74%0%
MyMap 445%52%3%
MyMap 4 Select Income33%67%0%
MyMap 564%33%3%
MyMap 5 Select ESG64%36%0%
MyMap 682%15%3%
MyMap 7 Select ESG100%0%0%

MyMap funds also vary by the amount of risk they take, with a lower number signifying less risk. This is why MyMap 3 is heavily weighted towards bonds, which are relatively safer than equities. MyMap 6 takes the opposite approach by investing heavily in equities, which offer greater return potential at the cost of higher risk.

Generally speaking, MyMap 3 is suitable for shorter-term goals (like buying a new car), while MyMap 6 is suitable for longer-term goals (like retirement).

Putting Your Money to Work

For over 30 years, BlackRock’s mission has been to help people build better financial futures. The MyMap range embodies this by giving new investors a simple, one-stop solution for whatever their goals may be.

Sustainable options are available as well, through the MyMap Select ESG funds (3, 5, and 7). These are tailored to investors who are interested in aligning personal values with financial goals.

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