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Mining Industry Sees Progress in Field Technology

If the oil and gas industry is considered slow in its adoption of digital technology, there is one section of industry that typifies this: mining.

With a traditional structure and slow adaptability, hindered further by a steady decline in western coal consumption, the mining industry has continuously demonstrated a reluctance to change. While this is arguably expected given the glory-days of the mining industry are undoubtedly behind us, the broader landscape of the energy industry is anticipated to be one of the most significant beneficiaries of innovation and digital technology.

While this might not prevent the decline of the mining industry in the west, it is far too soon to suggest that innovation within this sector is no longer worthy of pursuit.

Despite the mining industry’s hesitance to adapt, some areas of development remain a constant and understandably high priority, such as regulatory demands and intercompany concerns- particularly in regard to safety and productivity/efficiency in existing operations. It is therefore exciting to read of a British multinational company developing “packages” in order to effectively meet these requirements- combining scanners and software to help mining companies integrate enhancing technology smoothly into their operations. The solution is suitable for both underground and open pit operation mining sites and goes a long way towards developing an efficient real-time solution for the industry.

The packages provide management with direct data and automated reports of the site, giving them a higher level of monitoring and shortening the response time when needed. At the same time, they provide an advanced solution for field workers: the scanners automate an otherwise lengthy, manually performed process of managing stockpiles and measurements of important surfaces which can be harmful to health.

The evidence that suggests a tsunami of innovation is looming on the O&G industry is overwhelming, and industry experts appear to unanimously agree that the manner in which new technology is assessed, implemented and adopted will be the deciding factor on who sinks, and who swims. Dashboard welcomes any news pertaining to industrial technology receiving appropriate consideration, however in the wider scope of the digital innovation this technology might even be considered primitive, additionally so when positioned in the broader landscape of industry 4.0.

However, with one of the primary causes for delayed leveraging of IoT technology being the lengthy time-period required to assess its capabilities, and by extension, how it fits the needs of the company, we consider it very positive that conversions surrounding adopting new technology are still being had. This may not be reflective of the mining sector enthusiastically making the leap towards digitisation, but its certainly an indicator that even the most reluctant industries are beginning to recognise and embrace unavoidable change.