Acquire Procurement Services attended the global MINExpo 2016 (Sep 26-28), held once every four years in Las Vegas. The MINExpo featured 1,900 exhibitors from around the world showcasing cutting edge mining products and services and attracted over 44,000 attendees from 130 countries. The MINExpo also featured education sessions from world-leading experts on topics ranging from the commodity market outlook to best practice in various mining practices.
The MINExpo was a fantastic way to gain exposure to the advancements in mining aimed at increasing productivity, improving safety and lowering cost in a mining environment undergoing rapid change and increasing complexity (e.g. less mature ore bodies being discovered, aging workforce, increasing lower grade deposits, increasing concern for environmental impact and operator safety etc;). The innovations showcased fall broadly into the following developments, as mentioned in an education session by leading mining industry experts as key drivers to accelerate change in the industry:
- Data, computational power and connectivity
- Analytics and Intelligence
- Process Digitization
- Robotics and Automation
Here are some of our favourite innovations showcased at MINExpo 2016:
(1) Driverless Komatsu Haulage Vehicle
This fully autonomous haulage vehicle features a cabless structure. This was developed by Komatsu exclusively as an unmanned vehicle and is yet to be introduced to the market. The vehicle is designed to move both forward and reverse, eliminating the need for K-turns at loading and unloading sites. In particular, Komatsu expects that this new vehicle will considerably improve the productivity at mines where existing unmanned haulage vehicles face challenging conditions, such as slippery ground due to frequent rain/snow fall as well as confined spaces for loading’
(2) Virtual Reality Training
Although not entirely a new technology, it was exciting to see the increasing integration of virtual reality into training within the mining industry. In the top picture, the tester wears goggles and virtual hands and is immersed into a live Planning and Scheduling environment at the Runge Pincock Minarco booth.
(3) Technology in Safety
In this Caterpillar vehicle, in-cab technology monitors the driver’s micro-expressions for signs of fatigue (such as eye-close duration and head pose) and when this is detected, the seat will vibrate. This live data is also fed to a 24/7 monitoring centre for review and analysis
(4) 3D Scanning and Autonomous Drilling
In this Sandvik Underground Drilling Vehicle, point cloud scanning technology automatically informs the drill of its exact position and this data is then used to optimize a drill pattern accordingly.
Acquire Procurement strongly believes in keeping up to date with the current trends and innovations in a supply market as this is crucial for maintaining competitive and efficient supply arrangements. The next time you are looking for procurement services for mining solutions, we are more than happy to share what we know. For more information, please contact Simon Thompson.