Taking the lid off at Dundee Precious Metals

By Alexandre
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The mining industry has some catching up to do, according to Rick Howes, CEO of Dundee Precious Metals. He says that compared to other industries, mining is decades behind in technology adoption. But he thinks mining companies can take control of their operations with a better set of tools and processes.

The days of simply increasing mine production to raise revenues are quickly drawing to a close, said Rick Howes, CEO of Canada-based Dundee Precious Metals. Howes believes mining’s credibility in delivering the business results stakeholders expect is suffering, and technology may be integral to the industry achieving future success.

With costs climbing and the industry hit by a downturn in cyclical metal prices, Howes said mining companies must focus on operational performance and project delivery through attention to detail. “We have to deliver the kind of value our stakeholders – from stockholders to employees to the communities in which we operate – expect,” he said. “Mining has an image and credibility problem that requires new and innovative thinking on how we manage the entire mining asset lifecycle.”

When the 33-year industry veteran became COO and Executive VP at Dundee, one of his first challenges was to revitalize the company’s Chelopech mine in Bulgaria. Under Howes’ direction, Dundee undertook a transformation, called “Taking the Lid Off” to operational performance excellence.

“We coined the phrase ‘Taking the Lid Off’ because an underground mine is a dark hole,” Howes explained. “No one really knows what’s happening in real time because you can’t see it. We need to be able to ‘visualize’ the mine all the time.”

Watch here the Dundee’s story

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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.


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/

Earned Value Management: Reducing Risk and Empowering Program Managers

By Matthew
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product-planning-programs-enovia-540x355It is no secret that we live in a dynamic world, where new technologies are driving us towards achievements that were once thought to be impossible. When developing these disruptive innovations, program managers need to be adaptable to ever-changing circumstances, but due to frequent, unforeseen alterations to the program, deliverables often vary from their original concept. Perhaps the only consistencies of the program development process are the tight budgets and high expectations associated with it. Therefore, program managers who can delegate task responsibility, allocate a budget effectively, and maintain an accurate perspective as to the completion of the project are valuable assets to any company. In fact, we believe program managers are the Super Heroes of the workplace. They keep a watchful eye and apply their skills to make order out of the chaos surrounding them.

But what are Super Heroes without their powers? They are simply individuals with good intentions who lack the proper resources to do amazing work. This is the unfortunate reality for many program management organizations, as their heroes struggle to work around budget constraints to complete high risk, time-sensitive programs. However, the tools to achieve company program goals are within reach, and with them come new methods for analysis and reporting. Earned Value Management (EVM) is a management process that offers individuals strong visibility to program data as well as a means to organize that data so they can present their progress quantifiably to stakeholders. The EVM process enables organizations to be more organized, plan programs more effectively, and create accurate progress reports. To do so, one must simply integrate an EVM System (EVMS), which can be adapted from current systems.

EVM is particularly effective because of the centralization and visibility of information it offers to workers involved with a program. Collecting data from multiple sources and presenting it in a single, intuitive interface not only saves time, but also ensures that no information goes missing or forgotten. To reach this level of organization, a company’s s EVMS must interact easily with legacy systems to access the necessary data. Fortunately, if your organization has already implemented a strong Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) structure, this can hold as the single source of truth needed for optimal organization and visibility.

Planning, Scheduling, and Budgeting
To ensure that program goals are being met it is crucial to first set clear, agreed-upon plans. Doing so will ultimately result in a baseline of the program, which can be referenced often for comparative analysis. This is one of the many fundamentals of EVM, and based on the initial plan, tasks can be disbursed to contributors in a coherent timeline. Planning the program before executing it also improves the accuracy of budget distribution and reduces risk. In order to be successful program planners using EVM processes, there must be a synced relationship with all of the necessary data, as well as a Program Task Management solution in the EVMS.

Analysis and Management Reports
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of integrating an EVM approach to program management is the empowerment it gives our heroic program managers to make objective conclusions about the performance of a project. Key performance indicators can be accessed through their PLM system, and can be compared to the declarations made in the baseline plan. Doing so will allow them to say with factual certainty how far along the team is with the program, how well they are using the budget, and when completion should be expected. Because all information is updated real-time through an EVMS, this analysis can be conducted at any point in time, and the baseline can be adjusted accordingly.

Overall, the integration of an Earned Value Management process for program management will do so much more than organize project data. It will provide program managers with new levels of control and visibility, which enables the team to put forward its best work. Shifting gears to an EVM approach is easier than you think, and can be achieved by leveraging current systems the company already has in place. If you would like to learn more you can register for a free EBook where you will learn Tech-Clarity’s recommendations for EVM, and how you can provide your Super Heroes with the tools for success.

Matthew J. Hall

Matthew J. Hall

Matthew Hall is the ENOVIA User Advocacy & Social EXPERIENCE Specialist.  You can find him on Twitter at @mjhall. Connect with ENOVIA at @3DSENOVIA

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