It’s all too easy to get so engrained in the world of IT that sometimes you need a reminder that the globe is a large and diverse place; one that isn’t purely digital.
Such a reminder came most recently in conversation with Joe Carr of Axora; a youthful tech company involved in optimising and bringing innovation into the mining industry. As Joe duly noted, often he has to spend time to those digitally minded explaining that, no, this is NOT data mining, but extracting raw materials from the ground – AKA mining mining…
And, being from a mining background (from college days) rather than IT, Joe understands both sides of the scenario – some mines are basically fully automated, others have yet to move beyond the world of an Excel spreadsheet, run by people who don’t read the latest Gartner tech trend reports by default. In other words, for the latter companies, it’s like the general business world was back in the late ‘80s. And that means one thing – opportunity. As in massive opportunities; the mining industry is rich in more than just raw minerals. It also lends itself to automation in a far more natural and relevant way than most industries that are going for the “DX” experience, talking “AI” and “ML” as fashion statements, without actually really knowing how they can help optimise their own businesses.
Yes, staff and skill shortages are a global and ubiquitous problem that automation can help resolve. But when an industry is based in far-flung parts of the world, in hostile environments, with limited comms – of both a technical and physical nature – capabilities (unlimited bandwidth my a**e!) this is where the right type and correct deployment of technology really can make a massive different to the bottom line. Joe pointed me towards a use case where the headlines are: up to 50% reduction in unplanned downtime, ROI in under six months, around 30% reduced maintenance spend and a massive 85% increase in downtime forecasting accuracy. In the mining world, this quickly adds up to saving not just millions but MILLIONS.
You can read about it here: https://www.axora.com/marketplace/insurance-backed-predictive-maintenance-mm/ – but, in short, what we have here (no, it’s not a Rembrandt and a Stradivarius – for Tommy Cooper fans) is a REAL example of how AI and ML can make a huge bottom line impact on a business. In this instance we are talking about a SaaS solution that ensures maintenance optimisation, cost reduction, and uptime assurance through automated condition monitoring analysis. With the increase in the digitisation of assets, process control software now collects more data than ever before, providing a wide and rich seam (oops – sorry) of additional information for automated condition monitoring purposes. The trick is to optimise the use of that data, hence the importance of this solution. Important too to note that the solution is 100% cloud-based, using the same encryption standards as modern banking systems.
And, as a massive confidence booster for the type of business individuals for whom – as we’ve noted – the hype terminology of IT is often largely meaningless, the system has an insurance-backed guarantee ensuring ROI for customers, meaning effectively zero risk. Yes, IT budget holders across the universe, you did read that correctly! And, as a Yorkshireman, that’s the kind of tech offering I would want to work with. And it’s scalable – so that covers just about every IT hype curve cited over the past five years.
Who knew mining mining could be so bang on trend, pure dynamite… 😊
[note from editor: 42 bad mining puns were removed from this post]