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Digitizing mining through automated scheduling

ABB collaborates on Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems project to enable an automatic mine production scheduling system that reacts to disturbances in seconds, connecting the workforce, activities and equipment in real time.

ABB and Boliden have installed, trained operators for, and tested a new Operations Management System and automation tablet integrated with process control.

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The challenge
  • Reporting done on paper, using radio or face-to-face shift meetings
  • Not possible to react timely and accurately to deviations without real-time information about the status of mobile equipment or tasks

ABB Ability™ Operations Management System

  • Integration of the new auto scheduling product with the existing customer manual planning tool without causing any production disturbances or loss of valuable production data
  • Mine operators monitor and review mining activities based on targets, metrics and KPIs, variances are highlighted for taking appropriate actions
  • Mine planner can optimize resource usage in real time,  react to disturbance in seconds and follow production plan more effectively
Anna Aber, Production Control Manager at Boliden
”We have very high expectations. It will be easier for both mine operations and the operators underground"
Jakob Ohrman, Project engineer ABB
"Mine operators were able to look ahead and see many use cases and practical applications"
Eduardo Lima, Product Manager at ABB
"The combination of high-level planning with low-level control will improve responsiveness to unplanned events and reduce production variability"

Integrating short interval control and the closed loop scheduling into the same digital platform

One of the top challenges in modern mines is the manual coordination of the vast number of possible interdependent activities. Manual scheduling is a hard and arduous task, performed as in a continuously changing and unpredictable environment. Today, work order distribution and reporting are done using radio or face to face meetings between the shifts. Without real-time information about the status of mobile equipment or tasks, mines struggle are inadequate unable to react timely and accurately to deviations. This reduces operational efficiency and increases costs.

Part of the Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems project, ABB is working on a pilot at the Boliden mine to integrate a new auto scheduling product - ABB Ability™ Operations Management System - with the existing customer manual planning tool without causing any production disturbances or loss of valuable production data.

ABB tasks include:

1. Application Scenarios and Benchmark Specification definition.
2. Collaborative Real Time Process Control.
3. The Digital Twin (former Virtual Mine)
4. Automated collaborative Real Time Process Control.
5. Maintenance reporting from mobile machines.
6. Performance Assessment.
7. Field Trials Evaluation and Exploitation.

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