Turning data in knowledge with Jigsaw

Turning data in knowledge with Jigsaw

The Pueblo Viejo gold mine, in the Dominican Republic, is a joint venture between Barrick Gold and Gold Corp., which hold 60 per cent and 40 per cent ownership respectively. The mine is operated by Barrick Gold and 2013 was the mine’s first full year of production. Efficient fleet management and production optimisation is a priority.

The focus of fleet management in any industry is to capture, measure and control. Hexagon Mining’s fleet management system, Jigsaw Jmineops, is used commonly to optimise the real-time scheduling and dispatch of mobile mining equipment. Information provided by the fleet management system (FMS) gives greater control of operations and production. Jmineops optimises and centralises equipment tracking, dispatching and diagnostics, ensuring that activities and operators can be directed, material movement can be confirmed, and machine health can be monitored.

Pueblo Viejo purchased the entire suite of Jigsaw software in January 2011, and is running Jmineops, Jview, and Jhealth. In the pit it has implemented Jtruck, and J²guidance for high precision on shovels/loading units, production blast drills, dozers and track dozers.

“One of the biggest benefits of the Jmineops system is the amount of data it captures,” said Shane Boak, former FMS Administrator at Barrick Gold. “Everything that’s happening in the pit, in the mining environment, whether it be time-based information, where the material is being picked up, where it’s getting dumped, who’s operating the equipment, how fast it’s going, or what’s happening with the engine.”

Software + Hardware = Mining Solution
In addition to Jmineops, Hexagon Mining’s complementary software modules and hardware components provide more precise measurement, enhanced operations logic, and wider ranges of equipment usage in run-of-mine (ROM) processes. The Universal Hardware Platform (UHP) also allows numerous OEM independent interfacing options and integration potential for further equipment diagnostics, maintenance, and lifecycle management all within the same system.

“We’re using these tools to pull all this information together so we can make more informed decisions,” said Boak. “We’re keeping trucks running longer and faster, optimising our production and better managing risks.”

Hexagon Mining’s business intelligence (BI) suite for reporting and analytics, Jigsaw Jview, is then used to expand data collection and information management into knowledge. This improves processes, production efficiency and management decisions, all of which helps the mine stay on budget and achieve or exceed goals.

“It’s all recorded and this is where the BI tools come in really handy to come back and analyse all of this information and use it to make more informed decisions,” said Boak. “We can then improve our use of the FMS and our processes based on past performance and benchmarking results with goals.”

Customised data for better decision making
Evaluating operations’ performance and accounting for results depend on having data and information outside the FMS. Every mine must answer to many levels of data consumer and information user. From banking to manufacturing, every industry offers BI solutions, as well as productised solutions from basic reporting to data warehousing within multiple operations up to enterprise resource planning.

Jview takes frameworks and portions of these components, scales the data, and focuses the content.  Information delivery is tailored to many levels of user and data consumer, from mine fleet dispatchers up to managers and analysts. The standard report suite combines dashboards for near real-time information, static reports for common daily and operational reports, dynamic reports for common longer term analysis, and OLAP database cubes for ad-hoc reporting and in-depth analysis. Standard functionality is available out of the box. The platform is extensible and content is easily expanded and modified so you can own and interact with the data.

A mine administrator must provide specific reports to a manager upon request. The manager might not always know exactly what he wants to see and the administrator must explain what type of data is captured in the system, as well as the information it could provide. Using content like OLAP databases, ad-hoc reporting can be expanded and data explored. You can be shown how to slice and dice the data to investigate what you’re searching for by leveraging the data model and tools with no specific coding or query skills necessary. Often the most difficult part of information discovery is the business rules and requirements to solve problems, as well as time lost to access and analyse data.

“Jview makes it easy to draft a report, show the manager, get feedback and then redesign the report to come up with the customised information requested,” said Boak. “We use these systems in a lot of areas. One recent project was looking at visualising the information. A table of data is one thing and we needed different perspectives. Putting it into a visual context and then manipulating the scenario, we can see how the data relates and gives a lot of benefit, a lot faster.”

Data analysis for increased safety
Applying diagnostics information together with production events provides vital insight. This is where detailed historical information from the FMS on operators’ working hours, cycle times and traveling speeds is extremely valuable. With high sample rate GPS data, actual speeds and equipment orientation can be determined before and after an incident. When played back the equipment path and activity can be reviewed.

“Accidents on the mine site are the last thing anyone wants, but when they do happen, it is important to analyse what was happening in the lead up to the event,” said Boak. “Jmineops combined with Jhealth and use of conditional virtual alarms, operational sensor context and snapshots, make it possible to determine use of brakes, gear selection, and engine throttle position, giving you a black box type analysis around many situations.”

Data from Jmineops’ general equipment time use and availability can also be analysed to identify areas of improvement in planning. This allows for transparent decisions by management, shift supervisors, and maintenance crews concerning equipment use, rotation, and requirements throughout operations. Tracking these details to reduce idle time, fuel burn, engine hours, tire wear and other metrics increases efficiency and saves time and money.

Besides maintaining a consistent material feed to the mill through shovel and truck production, other critical operations benefit from FMS and BI. Drill and blast (D&B) can directly affect production as well as haul road maintenance, construction and material stockpile supervision.

“D&B is a critical path in most mining environments,” said Boak. “Every day we have drills out there drilling holes and the supervisor needs to know this process is on track, details on progress for the drilling of a pattern, accuracy in hole positioning and depth control, and even consumable wear. When the blast occurs, fragmentation distribution is critical and the entire D&B process leads to the material removal and crushing. Tools like this make that information a lot easier for supervisors to see.”

Using telematics and FMS integration, blasthole drills can position to survey drill patterns without marking and supervisors can monitor accuracy and progression from any location.

Convenient data for immediate action
Pushing information to the field has always been a challenge. Jview is a simple, flexible platform that is extendable and allows customisation to content delivery across the operation. Supervisors get the information they need to make decisions on the spot, out in the field. Data can now be pushed out more efficiently to smart phones, tablets and 3G networks. Interface layout and design is important because visualisation differs between devices. Visual analysis improves discovery, interpretation, and insight. Matching content with users’ skills and purpose enhances interactivity and engagement.

“The goal is to make the information more manageable and accessible to people out in the field,” said Boak. “Not everyone can always be in the dispatch center, or even in their own office to look at information on those computers. We issue our shift supervisors tablets and they are able to pull up reports while they move around the mine.”

As operations and technology evolve and become more complex, control and monitoring will become even more vital. Demands on FMS and BI will continue. There is always a pull between operational intelligence with real time data versus business intelligence with collection of large historical data sets used to validate performance, discover event correlation, and compare metrics over greater time ranges. FMS will need to evolve to capture more data and store it for analysis. The vast amounts of data available in the FMS will allow us to make innovative changes to operations, exceeding industry standards.

Organisations will then combine the experiential wisdom of employees with engaging self-service information delivery tools: solving problems, discovering anomalies, and taking action. Operations must continue to cultivate a data-driven culture that envisions new business rules, realizes value in the information, and grows with these tools. Knowledge is gained by using data from these systems together with enhancing or implementing new processes and procedures. This method tests and validates current procedures, metrics, and processes by involving users with driving new features and enhancements in the FMS functionality. The outcome — the data is transformed into information which leads to actionable insights and knowledge, resulting in better control. From dispatcher, to analyst, to management, Jigsaw elevates problem solving beyond just data use, allowing you to control the environment, discover information, and gain knowledge.

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