Interoperability is the key ingredient to accelerating the information exchange between technologies used to manage, coordinate, monitor and control fleets of autonomous and manually operated mining equipment.
As outlined by the Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG), automation, digitalisation and integration initiatives are at the forefront of most mining companies’ technological roadmaps; interoperability is a necessity for the success of these initiatives.
Interoperability cannot be solved in a vacuum, so collaboration and communication are essential for the mining industry to build an interoperable future (GMG Interoperability working group).
METS Ignited is leading such collaboration through its transformative interoperability project, part of the Transformative Automation for METS and Mining initiative (TAMM).
This project has attracted significant collaborative partners including Roy Hill, the Energy and Resources Digital Interoperability (ERDi) Testlab, and Gold Fields Australia, as well as numerous other miners, mining contractors, and leading technology vendors.
METS Ignited’s Transformative Automation Lead, Gareth Dean has said the project sets out to establish, test and trial new standards-based interfaces as the launching pad for interoperable technologies across multiple operations.
“METS Ignited is thrilled to be a conduit between METS and mining companies to provide a delivery framework for innovative projects like interoperability. The backing of multiple industry leaders has been the catalyst for the success of the METS Ignited-sponsored project to date. And we continue to see more getting involved in the next stages of the project,” said Gareth Dean.
Roy Hill Chief Executive Officer, Barry Fitzgerald has said his organisation is proud to be driving this project with METS Ignited, innovation is and has always been core to the Roy Hill business and it is clear interoperability is a key enabler of accelerating the adoption of innovative technology.
“The industry engagement thus far has been encouraging and as we welcome more like-minded mining companies and METS suppliers to the project, we will use our collective knowledge to expand and mature the interoperability standard. The mining industry is leading Australia’s economic recovery and we are proud to be in a position to reinvest back into our industry’s growth and sustainability through various innovation projects,” said Barry Fitzgerald.
Photo caption: Roy Hill’s autonomous haulage project is implementing OEM agnostic technology
Head of ERDi Testlab, John Kirkman said the approach of the project has facilitated a number of mining companies and vendors openly collaborating with ERDi and one another through each stage of the project.
“The goal of stage 1 was to determine an initial focus area and validate the information requirements and information exchange technology requirements to support mining processes. The successful collaboration in stage 1 has determined the foundational components required to develop and test standard message schemas in stage 2,” said John Kirkman.
The interoperability project is a foundation element of METS Ignited Transformative Automation for METS and Mining initiative (TAMM). The initiative is focussed on the emerging jobs, skills and technologies created from the transformative impact automation is having across the resources sector.
The TAMM initiative established a Miners Reference Group, comprising a dynamic group of senior industry thought leaders from innovative mining and mining contractor organisation. The reference group collaborates to define industry-wide needs, and then provides funding and delivery support for projects such as the interoperability project.