Mining interoperability standards could be the gift that keeps giving
INVESTMETS.com, a website which seeks to provide investors and miners with authoritative insight and views on global mining equipment, technology and services leaders, strategies, markets, finance and R&D, has recently published an article off the back on an industry report on ERDi’s very own run AMIRA P1208 project.
INVESTMETS.com reports that the industry-sponsored project aimed at framing interoperability standards for key information and operating technologies is expected to provide vital impetus and clarity to miners such as Roy Hill in Western Australia, and a host of vendors eager for an official start to the industry’s “open era”.
Roy Hill, controlled by Gina Hancock’s Hancock Prospecting, has appointed the industry’s first “manager for interoperability” to oversee the company’s ambitious efforts to integrate a new-generation mine information management and reporting system with a large-scale autonomous, mixed-fleet equipment deployment.
Michael Waller, about a year into the role, describes Roy Hill’s autonomous haulage system (AHS) project as the “largest OEM-independent autonomous truck deployment in the world”. According to Waller, “advancing and implementing a truly interoperable platform where systems can interface with each other without the need for large scale and/or costly bespoke development” is a core focus of his role. Adoption of an “interoperable platform” will cut costs and “barriers to entry” through increased competition, faster development and “continuous improvement in the autonomy space”.
The Australian Mineral Industries Research Association (AMIRA) P1208 Interoperability Enablement for Natural Resources project, launched in 2020 and sponsored by Gold Fields, Fortescue Metals Group and South32, is seen as being of real importance to Roy Hill and other projects.
“For a lot of the interfaces they need for that project there are no interoperability standards that exist,” an experienced mining technology consultant told InvestMETS.com.
The AMIRA project has no less lofty an objective than to help mining companies to “realise the digital mine”.
Head of the University of Western Australia Industry 4.0 Energy and Resources Digital Interoperability (ERDi) TestLab team in Perth, WA, John Kirkman said a year or so of “proof of concept” work in what were seen as four vital application areas was wrapping up.
Kirkman has said previously the four proof-of-concept streams were designed to “directly address some of the key areas of value that can be unlocked via i4.0-based interoperability and technology advancement”. A lack of “sufficiently mature” interoperability standards had proven to be a barrier to efficient, critical information flows at and between mines.
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UWA i4.0 ERDi TestLab - Ground Floor, 191 St Georges Tce, Perth, WA 6000