Increase Your Confidence in Economic Optimization and Mining Execution

By Alexandre
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For every mining company, before the even scratch ground, the most overriding imperative is to be confident that the plans they have made will deliver a desirable rate of return. It can keep CEO’s up at night as they ponder if the company will achieve what was promised to investors. Mine managers and engineers share this concern about delivering to their promises. The key for everyone is – confidence. The more of it you have, the more likely targets will be hit and promises kept.

Software that helps plan, schedule and optimize has been around for decades, but it has been lacking significant new innovation to help boost confidence. It limits the number of analyses, and sophistication of analyses that can realistically be run by engineers. There is now, however, a new capability for the mining industry that has been improving confidence, and increasing economic results in other industries such as manufacturing by allowing for thousands of different options to be reviewed in a very short time frame.

Dassault Systèmes’ Operation Modeling and Simulation  enables you to accurately model your mining operations to simulate mine feasibility from conception through production. It pulls together vast sources of information into a fully integrated and optimized mine plan that can then be turned into executable mine schedules.

With Operation Modeling and Simulation, you gain the ability to create and review many more planning options than you can today, to boost your confidence in the one that is ultimately chosen. In addition, should economic conditions change in the marketplace, or operational objectives change at the mine, you will also have off-the-shelf plans ready to be implemented.

Operation Modeling and Simulation provides you with a suite of visual and flexible tools for creating simulation process flows—consisting of a variety of applications, including commercial software, internally developed programs, and Excel spreadsheets—in order to automate the exploration of planning alternatives and identification of optimal performance parameters.

Solution highlights:

  • Produce plans to a defined level of confidence using simulation and decision support.
  • Understand the driving factors and levers in your mining process.
  • Have Confidence in your Strategic and Tactical plans before execution.

To discover more about Operation Modeling and Simulation, watch the webinar “Increase Your Confidence in Economic Optimization and Mining Execution

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Follow Dassault Systèmes Natural Resources Industry on Twitter: @3DSNR

On the web: 3DS.com/natural-resources/

Thoughts on Improving the Management of Mine Construction Projects

By Alexandre
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Did you know that only 13% of all projects and programs are launched as planned without a major shift in resources?

You don’t need to tell Program Managers at Engineering Procurement and Construction Management (ECMP) companies that their jobs are more challenging than ever. They know it firsthand. Fundamentally, the business environment for mine construction has changed, perhaps irrevocably, in the face of dropping commodity prices and fewer mine construction projects. But that’s not the whole story. Competition over fewer projects mean EPCM companies must bid more aggressively. Yet, there is little room for error in those bids as the smallest of errors can quickly cause constructions programs to run at a loss.

On top of all this, the complexity of constructing a mine is higher than ever. Mine construction sites might be located in harsh environments, driving the need for safety protocols. They also might be located in dangerous locales that mandate new security procedures. Furthermore, the opportunity to control cost and quality is driving movement towards pre-fabricated construction components that are assembled on-site.

All this translates to new and more difficult tasks for Program Managers. They’re now charged with cutting costs, hewing to tighter and tighter budget demands, and working with more globally distributed project stakeholders than ever. They must track deliverables across a multitude of functional organizations, including engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction in an ever-widening supply chain. Despite all of these compounding complexities, the program must be executed on time and on budget within a much slimmer margin for error.

These trends and challenges also threaten one of the Program Manager’s most critical enablers: program visibility. Visibility into program status is critical. It enables Program Managers to identify issues early, before they turn into emergencies. It allows them to define and pursue corrective action. And without corrective action, projects run off the rails. Unfortunately, the reality of mine construction today is that most projects are failing in the face of these conditions. Lifecycle Insights findings from The PLM Study found that only 13% of all projects and programs are launched as planned without a major shift in resources.

There is some hope, however. Technology can provide missing visibility into program status. But common methods to track status, like routing physically printed forms, or emailing digital documents or using desktop project management applications, have major drawbacks. And they share one critical flaw: they must be manually updated to depict the actual, present state of the program.

There is a better answer: the Enterprise Business Platform. The technology platform offers the range of functions the many different program stakeholders need. Program Managers have an always-up-to-date program status picture thanks to the technology, because it connects and draws upon the disparate aspects of the program.

Excerpt from Program Management for Mine Construction: Delivering Programs on Time and On Budget, by Chad Jackson, an analyst, researcher and blogger with Lifecycle Insights.

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Download Mr. Jackson’s free eBook, “Program Management for Mine Construction: Delivering Programs on Time and On Budget” to read the rest of the story.

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Follow Dassault Systèmes Natural Resources Industry on Twitter: @3DSNR

On the web: 3DS.com/natural-resources/

Leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things

By Alexandre
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Mining is not a single process but a sequence of processes managed across the supply chain, from geology studies to commodity shipment. The efficiency of mining production can be improved by enhancing the interaction of its different processes by employing a Business Platform that bridges the gap between Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technologies.  Ultimately, the merging of these worlds will provide management with higher confidence in operational performance as critical decisions are made using real-time data.

The existing methods of creating a holistic view of a mining operation usually result in a view of what happened too far in the past to be of real value in the present. Too often this view is constructed at too infrequent intervals. Often, late updating of this view occurs because of the time involved to gather data, compile it, and the limitations of the systems used to do so (spreadsheets, for example). As an example, blasting at a mine site may continue to occur even after a new survey has concluded that what was thought to be high grade area is not.

Ultimately, the root of the problem is that IT and OT systems do not provide the data required by decision-makers. To do so, an enabling platform must be employed that collects data from across the operation, delivering it where and when it is needed, in the right context for different mining roles.

Industrial Internet technologies have already provided benefits in the manufacturing industry (applied through what is widely called “Industry 4.0”). These systems have delivered automated consolidation of data to enable near real-time management.

Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a “smart factory”. Within the modular structured smart factories, cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralized decisions. Over the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real time; both internal and cross-organizational services are offered and used by participants of the value chain.

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Download the full story in the white paper:

“Leveraging the Industrial Internet and Industry 4.0″

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Follow Dassault Systèmes Natural Resources Industry on Twitter: @3DSNR

On the web: 3DS.com/natural-resources/



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