The client is a mining company based in South Africa with its global presence across different continents. With multiple mining sites, their South Africa location focused mostly on platinum, iron ore, and thermal coal. Their advanced portfolio of high-quality mining assets includes precious metals & non-metals, base, and bulk commodities. Commitment to safety, operational excellence, and sustainable development support was the prime goal of the client's company in an ambition to become the world's largest mining company.
The client approached TatvaSoft to develop an application that will identify the status of mining equipment through a web interface. They wanted to develop an “Equipment Monitoring app” that would help them manage equipment in a healthy state.
As per the client’s requirements, they wanted a solution that performed the analysis and interpretation of mining data obtained from different equipment; monitored the working conditions of the equipment pieces and minimized the breakdowns. The maintenance and inspection status was only available through ERP systems which were extremely time consuming and needed some predictive maintenance.
Some of the key challenges faced by the client during the development of the application are
- Collection of data from various equipment sensors for different types of equipment from different manufactures using various third-party services live Leica controllers, IMD devices, KOMTRAX, and CAT VIMS
- Aggregation of the raw data obtained from mining equipment was very cumbersome and difficult to implement
- Calculation of equipment faults from running average of trends and dynamic addition of trends for each model of mining trucks
- Automating the process of system switching from one operation to another after a predefined interval of time
- Displaying vehicle travel path and direction on the map using sensor data along with the road condition
Tools & Technology
Microsoft ASP.Net • C# • Microsoft SQL Server • Proficy Historian • .Net Charting • Highcharts
The analysis and exploration have performed well during the development phase and the client’s business was now able to generate huge benefits by partnering with TatvaSoft. Our .NET (C#) solution proved extremely useful and monitored the health status of different pieces of mining equipment.
- The web Equipment Monitoring System was developed to monitor the health of the equipment in mines including Haul Trucks, Dozers, Excavators, Shovels, etc. The website displays the overall status of the fleet and allows drill down to view the status of equipment including the status of different components like Engine, Breaks, etc.
- Map module was developed which shows the road conditions in mine using data collected from sensors mounted on trucks and other moving vehicles.
- The maintenance module was developed to collect the data from IMD devices and automatically schedule maintenance of equipment based on predictive analysis.
- AI module predicts the faults in different parts of the equipment based on the history of data and suggests recommended actions to fix the fault which helped to reduce the downtime, ensure high availability, and increased output.
- Developed a Windows CE based application to be installed on embedded computers and collect data form CAT VIMS and send it over GPRS with a fail-safe mechanism to prevent any data loss.
- Equipment monitoring system improvements which included changes in display method, calculations performed on raw results data for display, database changes, fault measurement, and recommended actions to resolve faults, etc.
- Aggregate the initial status obtained from many sensors using complex logic to show the daily status of each equipment part e.g., engine, hydraulics, breaks.
- Display live health status of equipment in a large screen with different manufacturers and models in the fleet.
- Interactive map module to show road conditions in mine to help plan the equipment movement and avoid downtimes.
- Calendar view to show maintenance plan with device status and responsible person for maintenance with predictive maintenance schedule.
- Analyze weekly trends and faults in the machines.
- Recommended actions to track and fix the faults.
- Report and graph generations (equipment type, equipment number, equipment operations, faults, maintenance, and inspection).
- User rights and access privileges, user settings, Facility of GUI personalization through customization of font, background, color, and displays.
- Graphics enriched third party graphs offer features like zooming options and options to change the y-axis minimum and maximum, showing detailed data and comparing it with different truck models, option to change time window, exporting the graphs to excel and pdf, etc.
- Enormous volumes of process information are collected, archived, retrieved, and distributed at high speeds using powerful and commercially available historian tools that also provide data compression and security at the same time other than just boost operational performance.
By introducing the “Equipment Monitoring System” in their daily operations, the client realized their operations to be hassle-free and more cordial. Our custom software solution was a sure-shot answer to all client's problems with added advantages such as
- Challenging and manually near to impossible calculations for equipment now have become simplified, error-free, and efficient saving most of their time and efforts.
- The graphical representations of information (calculated from raw data) help in the better analysis process and resulted in better decisions.
- Equipment breakdowns can be identified at an earlier stage and can take proper actions against it. Automated equipment maintenance schedule resulted in operational cost reduction, enhanced equipment efficiency and hence increase in production capacity.
- Early detection of poor road conditions helped to avoid accidents and increased output.