New technologies are increasing the safety of the workers in the mining industry and increasing their productivity.
FREMONT, CA: In the last decade, mining, manufacturing, and the massive machinery sector were relatively slow to adapt to the digital technology transformation in comparison to the service sector, due to high capital investments and unskilled labor associated with the industry. However, since in the past couple of years, the mining industry is witnessing more top competition due to increasing production cost due to the growing penetration of international players. Hence, the mining industry is expected to increase its technology adaptation in the next couple of years.
The mining industry is moving towards the adoption of Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is a new concept of a smart factory with an automated process and connected machinery. Industry 4.0 reduced the dependency on human labor and improve process efficiency. For the implementation of Industry 4.0, mining companies need to automate the mines by investing in automated machines to replace the dependence on the labor force. Besides, sensors are used to monitor the performance and functionality of these machines. Cameras are also along with sensors to monitor the operations. This not only increases the production rate but also decreases the margin of error.
For the adoption of industry 4.0 for the mining industry, factory automation is not enough. Process automation is also needed for smoother operation of the entire supply chain. Multi-national corporations are investing in on-premises and cloud base software to operate, track, and monitor the flow of mined material from the mines to the factories of the end-users. Client engagement, billing, and invoicing is also managed through software. The most used process automation software is Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
Industry 4.0 for the mining industry includes factory automation and process automation, which can be monitored from a control office under the supervision of and group of employees with technological knowledge. This is expected to increase the productivity of the mining industry and reduce the degree of health hazards and accidents common among mine workers.
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