While Mining 4.0 will inevitably impact the mining industry, experts are still discussing how the digital transformation will impact stakeholders, particularly the operator.
While many think that the operator of the future might be confined to a remote control room, some researchers envision the “Operator 4.0” to be an augmented miner with skills and productivity enhanced through technology. Not only will the Operator 4.0 be fed with real-time process data as he moves around the mine, but he is also able to solve problems directly at the source with remote support and interactions with his team, experts, and suppliers.
Researchers presented the Operator 4.0 typology and looked at eight different ways in which Mining 4.0 can shape the future role of a mine operator (Romero et al.).
- The super-strength miner uses mechanical support of robots and machines to increase strength, speed, and precision.
- The augmented miner relies on augmented reality to interact with information in both digital and physical dimensions.
- The virtual miner uses virtual reality to simulate and train in various challenging scenarios.
- The healthy miner wears protective equipment and sensors to monitor their health and safety while working on site.
- The smarter miner utilises technology as intelligent assistants to oversee various processes and report on malfunctions.
- The collaborative miner first “teaches” the machine a path which it then mimics automatically, the operator controls it afterwards remotely during the actual loading.
- The social miner uses various social networking platform to interact among other operators, consultants and suppliers.
- The analytical miner uses big data analytics to identify useful information, chart out patterns and predict relevant events.
As the industry gradually transitions into Mining 4.0, CyanoGuard offers the operator the ability and capacity to capitalise on our cutting-edge technology to improve the cyanidation process. The following describes scenarios and interactions which the Operator 4.0 will likely experience with our solution.
- Super-strength miner (with extended capabilities): Our portable, handheld devices allow the Operator 4.0 to precisely obtain real-time cyanide measurements at different points in the cyanidation process.
- Healthy miner: Our solution produces reliable measurements without the need to handle a large amount of a cyanide-containing sample, thereby offering a new way to keep miners safe on job site. One millilitre of the sample is sufficient for a measurement.
- Smarter miner: All cyanide measurements are directly transmitted into our AI-based cloud platform. The Operator 4.0 can set limits and receive alerts via Whatsapp, SMS and email when cyanide measurements fall outside the desired boundaries. Having an alert system not only cuts down the response time if a malfunction occurs, but it also prevents an incident from happening in the first place.
- Social miner: Our cloud platform Cyano.IO allows multiple user access, thereby promoting collaboration and information sharing among different stakeholders. The Operator 4.0 can also access 24/7 remote support from our technical team via chat functions online or directly on the handheld device.
- Analytical miner: The Operator 4.0 has access to all historical cyanide levels. He can not only visualise and compare the consumption using the charts function, but also feed data into other process control systems. Full data traceability simplifies the reporting process, enables forecasting of future cyanide consumption and prediction of future events.
Lööw, J., Abrahamsson, L. & Johansson, J. Mining 4.0—the Impact of New Technology from a Work Place Perspective. Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration 36, 701–707 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-019-00104-9
Romero D, Stahre J,Wuest T, Noran O, Bernus P, Fast-Berglund Å, Gorecky D (2016) Towards an operator 4.0 typology: a humancentric perspective on the fourth industrial revolution technologies. In Proceedings international conference on computers & industrial engineering (CIE46). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309609488_Towards_an_Operator_40_Typology_A_Human-Centric_Perspective_on_the_Fourth_Industrial_Revolution_Technologies