ABB launches breakthrough digital application for real-time integration in open-pit and underground mines

ABB launches breakthrough digital application for real-time integration in open-pit and underground mines

ABB Ability™ Operations Management System maximizes coordination between weekly production plans and dynamic situations in mining, to improve efficiency, increase productivity, maximize profitability

Developed in collaboration with Boliden AB and ArcelorMittal Mining Canada, ABB Ability™ Operations Management System for mining (OMS) connects and coordinates mine operators, workforce, equipment and all mining activities in real-time, from face preparation to crusher.

Mine planners often have to build a short-term plan with limited visibility of ongoing activities in the mine. While mine operators constantly consider and evaluate a complex set of operational constraints, adjusting to ever-changing, day-to-day and hour-to-hour situations. This can impact operational efficiency and raise costs.

By integrating short interval control and closed loop scheduling into a single digital platform, ABB’s OMS improves responsiveness to unplanned events and reduces production variability through all the mine stages. The ABB Ability™ Operations Management System can present “what-if” scenarios in case of task failure or operational change. This helps mine operators and planners make better decisions faster ensuring ongoing operation of the mine and increased productivity.  Equipment availability is also improved by moving from a reactive to a predictive maintenance model. Through all the stages of the production cycle, the production flow from the mine is maximized.

"Although it may seem simple, the coordination between the tactical plan and the operational plan is one of the top challenges faced in modern mining," said Eduardo Lima, product manager for integrated mine operations at ABB. "By offering advanced short-term planning and increased automation, ABB Ability™ Operations Management System enables the mine to act as an ore factory."

"Ore inventory can be tracked and controlled to allow maximum flow and optimal grade. By integrating operational technology and information technology, operational awareness is increased for all personnel,' he adds. "Staff see the same information at the same time and can jointly decide what actions to take in real time with no need to wait until the end of the shift."

Short interval control application allows mine operators to monitor and review operational plans and performance based on targets, metrics and KPIs. Variances can be analyzed and mitigated in real time during a shift for immediate corrective action.

The shift manager is notified immediately on their dashboard
The shift manager is notified immediately on their dashboard

Closed loop scheduling application combines high-level planning with low-level control through heuristic auto-scheduling algorithm. This allows mine planners to achieve new levels of production scheduling efficiency from bench preparation to crusher, optimizing resource usage in real time and following the production plan more effectively.

Rescheduling can be done in seconds instead of hours
Rescheduling can be done in seconds instead of hours

In developing ABB Ability™ Operations Management System with technology leader ABB, project teams at both ArcelorMittal Mining Canada’s Integrated Remote Operations Center and the Boliden Mine Operation Center provided operation expertise, existing infrastructure and dedicated resources support. The technology was piloted at Boliden's Renstrom underground mine in Sweden and by ArcelorMittal at the Mont-Wright open pit mine in Canada.

ABB AbilityTM Operations Management System is part of the ABB AbilityTM MineOptimize portfolio of digitally connected products, services and solutions that enable modern mines to maximize visibility, reliability, productivity and energy efficiency and optimize performance.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader with a comprehensive offering for digital industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB is today a leader in digital industries with four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by its common ABB Ability™ digital plat-form. ABB’s market leading Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.

ABB AbilityTM is the company’s unified, cross-industry digital offering which includes more than 210 industrial internet solutions and an industrial internet technology platform and cloud infrastructure. Drawing on insights across 20 plus industries and more than 40 years of experience in digital technology, ABB Ability™ helps customers to develop new processes and advance existing ones by providing insights and optimizing planning and controls for real-time operations. The results can then be fed into control systems like ABB Ability™ System 800xA to improve key performance metrics of plants and assets. 

ABB is a trusted partner to the mining industry, delivering electrification, automation and digital solutions, products and services that cover the complete value chain from mine to port. ABB brings equipment, systems and people together to making mining operations more efficient, safer, and more profitable, drawing on worldwide expertise, the best people, technology and domain knowledge gained from over a century of electrification and process control in mines. ABB’s unique expertise is in seamlessly integrating electrical, automation and digital applications into engineered solutions to help mining and mineral processing customers optimize their operations and meet the challenges of future mining.  


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