Mining 4.0 will transform the technological landscape of the industry.
Fremont, CA: Mining 4.0 creates an image from a worker’s perspective, keeping in mind the future of the industry and suggests different ways in which companies should navigate their way into the future. Technology helps mining companies to overcome challenges in the industry; however, it cannot do this independently. Having a competent workforce is an essential way that can help in overcoming significant challenges. The emerging digitalization in the mining industry addresses the two requirements — technical production process and competent workforce. It offers new possibilities for increased productivity as well as creates stimulating workplaces in a favorable work environment.
When appropriately utilized, Mining 4.0 can create attractive jobs in safe work environments, which can further provide space for the employee’s expertise and creativity. In many countries, there are no skilled miners and mining engineers to work in the advancing industry. Also, the present workforce is aging, for which the companies are finding it difficult to hire young talented people, who carry some amount of interest to work in the mining industry. This is where Mining 4.0 comes into the picture, which takes care of the workers’ risks, such as increased stress, privacy problems, and work-life boundaries, and attracts young people toward the future mining industry.
In the concept of Mining 4.0, a miner is an expert in the mining operation who ensures that the production runs smoothly. A Mining 4.0 operator is not only confined to a control room but also has control over the real-time process data and equipment status as the miner moves around the mine. In short, the miner solves problems directly at the source by remotely interacting with other experts and operators on the job site. Here is how technology assists miners to be classified in different ways:
• An augmented miner uses augmented reality to integrate information from a digital to a physical world.
• A virtual miner uses virtual reality for simulation, as well as training of risky real-life situations.
• A super-strength miner utilizes biomechanical support for increased limb movement, strength, and endurance.
• A healthy miner uses wearable sensors and health-related metrics.
• The smarter miner utilizes intelligent, personal assistants for interfacing with computers, databases, machines, and other information systems.
• The collaborative miner makes use of collaborative robots for performing repetitive and taxing tasks.
• The social miner takes advantage of enterprise social networking services for communication between operators and also between operators and the IoT.
• The analytical miner derives benefits from big data analytics to discover useful information and predict relevant events.
Looking ahead, the impact of technology can bring changes in the mining industry as well as in individual mining companies, which will have a significant bearing on the society as well.