MineStar Edge has been added to Caterpillar’s MineStar Solutions suite. Rather than having data in individual silos, Edge enables managers to see how activities early in the process impact those further on.
Edge using cloud computing, data fusion, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to enable it to “grow as it collects data, identifies patterns, and learns to make decisions,” according to the company. Mine managers can use the technology to improve operations rather than collecting and interpreting data. Edge automates data collection, which ensures accuracy and enables managers to trust the information they receive, the company says.
“MineStar Edge makes it possible to measure, manage, analyze, and improve the entire mining operation,” said Sean McGinnis, MineStar Solutions product manager, in a prepared statement. “Yet the design makes Edge cost effective even for smaller operations—with the capability to scale up as needed. This platform will grow with Caterpillar and our customers.”
Caterpillar takes care of all office-based deployment, support, updates, and upgrades.
Customers select an offering by role, function, or task—paying only for those functionalities they need, according to the company.
Edge enables supervisors to access information from a computer or tablet from anyplace with an internet connection, whether in the pit or in a distant office. Receiving information in near-real-time allows supervisors to make changes during the shift to achieve performance goals, according to the company.
What are the benefits of MineStar Edge?
“In early deployments of Edge Equipment Tracking and Production Recording, we saw the mines achieve significant gains,” said Ryan Howell, commercial manager, Cat MineStar Solutions, in a statement. “A phosphate mine was able to increase the average tons per load by 15 percent and to reduce the number of underloads by 29 percent. The mine also reduced shift change time by 17 percent.
“A limestone quarry increased production by 20 percent by using the information to reduce underloads, and tracking data helped them improve blend compliance,” Howell said. “We estimate that sites currently using paper reporting systems will be able to increase production by 20 percent to 30 percent. For mines using production recording technology, Edge will increase accuracy, and, through the use of cloud technology, Edge will reduce system support tasks for the customer.”
Equipment Tracking provides consistent information on each asset, including data on location and movement, velocity, payload, cycle times and fuel level as well as hour meter reading and time utilization. Supervisors can view scheduled and unscheduled downtime along with scheduled and unscheduled operational stoppages. This information drives operational changes to maintain productivity.
Production Recording pairs with Equipment Tracking to deliver an accurate and automated near-real-time solution that measures and reports on every aspect of the load-haul-dump cycle. It provides accurate, reliable and actionable data with no operator input required, eliminating the risk of incorrect data entry. Production Recording helps mines of all types and sizes improve the efficiency of their operations and increase their overall tons produced.
Edge also includes availability of in-cab displays to empower operators. With accurate information, loading tool operators can improve payload compliance and material selection.