IDC Energy Insights’ latest report, Moving to Mining 4.0 in Asia/Pacific: Mining Wealth from Data, highlights the focus areas that mining companies will need across digitize, monitor, diagnose, control, and automate as they shift to increasing industry 4.0 maturity.
According to the IDC Asia/Pacific Industry 4.0 Survey, 2020, 68% of respondents saw that the largest benefit of platform strategies is the increase in innovation capacity. As 67% of miners that currently have a platform strategy begin to utilize it, the industry’s innovation prospects will accelerate.
“Mining companies will fail to drive value from digital transformation (DX) initiatives if they have not significantly invested in the collection and management of operational data. DX initiatives requires digital strategies developed with buy-in and continued support from the C-suite which tackle key challenges while creating the most value,” said Benjamin Kirkwood, senior research manager for Worldwide Mining at IDC Energy Insights.
Figure 1: Top 3 Strategic Priorities Invested in for Mining 4.0 Initiatives
Furthermore, 23.5% of respondents noted integrating operational data sources as the greatest challenge for their organisation when creating value from data. While data integration poses major challenges, this can be negated through the detailed development of digital strategies and strategic investment.
Organisations must ensure their digital investments are aligned with Mining 4.0 enabling technologies and that they have the required talent to integrate and operate their systems to drive the initiative’s value creation.
According to Kirkwood, through Mining 4.0, mining organisations will digitally optimize their operations with the increasing use of intelligent devices and asset & process automation. Incorporating key technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, and mobile, enables operational transformation in mine sites.
“When fully enabled through funding and talent, this transformation results in mining operations being able to drive the most value from a site’s digital investments – creating highly competitive operations,” he added.
Tackling new frictions, enabling the development of new required skills and supporting new ways of doing things will be a critical part of success. These improvements in turn will enable operations to create the expected value from the initial investment of these technologies while further optimising all aspects of the mining value chain. As with all transformations, mining companies must ensure that they are measuring the right things as part of their shift to Mining 4.0 to ensure the business achieves the desired return on investment.