Komatsu, a leading Australian earth-moving company has joined forces with General Electric to bring Australian mining into the future through technological and automation advancements. These two major players plan on providing mining giants who use ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) technology with US based service to process their ‘big data’ to reduce operating costs, improve productivity and optimise machine capability.
Komatsu estimates fuel efficiency could be improved by at least 10% if mining companies were to come on board.
So what’s ‘Internet of Things’ technology (such an unflattering name). According to Komatsu the title ‘Internet of Things’ refers to the world-wide, constantly expanding and improving network of physical, technological items, machines and connectivity/sensor equipment. This includes everything from sewing machines to 3D printers and so much more.
Mining companies are interested in such technology as it can improve service levels and add greater value through simplified and quick exchanging of information thanks to the interconnected nature of the machinery. With the push of a button, or perhaps even a pre-programmed setting, the equipment can relay data to the manufacturer, other machines, the operator and anyone else authorised.
Both Komatsu and GE are well-versed in designing machinery for the mining industry. Komatsu uses remote monitoring technology to keep tabs on its mining machinery and General Electric monitors everything from aircraft engines to gas turbines.
Managing Director of Komatsu’s Australian division, Sean Taylor is proud of the advancements they have made to get to where the business is now and sees a bright future ahead.
“GE Mining has long supplied electric drive systems to Komatsu, which is the world’s market leader in electric-drive dump trucks. Australia was the first market in the world to commercialise Komatsu’s Autonomous Haulage System for driverless trucks and is the first country to market the 35-tonne Hybrid Excavator. We are also the industry’s pacesetter in ICT applications, including our KOMTRAX and KOMTRAX Plus remote monitoring systems and our new line of Intelligent Dozers. Now we want to start offering data analysis services to mining and resources companies in the near future, including iron ore and coal mines in Australia as well as other mining regions.”
If things go to plan, the collected data will be transmitted to GE in the US where GE will process it using their ‘big data’ capabilities. Recommendations will be made from the findings to streamline and improve the mining operations of those companies who’ve adopted the technology.