In the mining industry, two top priorities are worker safety and reducing costs. With the large number of employees and assets involved, it can be difficult to manage such large-scale projects safely and efficiently.
Without proper processes, supervision, or data analysis, assets such as vehicles could get damaged or, even worse, employees could get hurt. This would obviously be detrimental to production. Automation is needed to keep all processes running efficiently and safely. How can companies prevent damaged assets and injured employees through automation?
GPS solves the problem of locating vehicles in a fleet but cannot notify mechanics when the vehicle needs maintenance. In the future, autonomous vehicles could help eliminate human error and employee risk. They could even be outfitted with GPS and maintenance sensors. This is a great idea but navigating the roads that the light trucks drive on is quite complicated. The future points to autonomous vehicles and some innovative companies are leading the way – but more can be done.
How SAP Leonardo for Mining Can Help
What can be done today to safely manage a fleet of mining vehicles? Industry innovation kit SAP Leonardo for Mining, fleet operations option, can help. Safety is improved through:
- Real-time, accurate location tracking of fleet vehicles
- Improved KPI analysis for each vehicle, like speeding violations and harsh braking
- Reduced maintenance costs
With real-time tracking of fleet vehicles, managers will know exactly where to find light trucks. It is often difficult to locate these assets, especially when they are needed back onsite. Real-time tracking can help managers relocate their vehicles to safer and more efficient routes between mining sites. This can reduce the chances of accidents and reduce travel time as well as aid in the process of resource scheduling. With the additional real-time knowledge, managers and supervisors can make educated predictions and plans to maximize the usage of their limited resources.
Additional analytics can help managers understand each driver’s driving behavior. Are they driving recklessly or safely? When driving safely, no accidents should occur. They should not be breaking hard or speeding. By looking at this data, the manager can infer if the driver is well rested. On the other hand, if the driver is driving recklessly, perhaps they could use a break. With real-time data, managers could assess if drivers need a break and then determine and execute the next course of action, either suggesting a rest or bringing in another driver.
What if it isn’t the driver? What if the vehicle risks losing its brakes or has something happen on the road? The kit applies sensors to the assets and sends the data back to headquarters. When managers or supervisors see an alert for a problem on the fleet asset, they can make the arrangements to repair it. This helps keep drivers safe. It could also help reduce maintenance costs, because now managers can see when their assets need to be repaired. Real-time visibility is less costly and less tedious than relying on performing maintenance checks against a fixed schedule.
Beyond Safety: Other Use Cases for Fleet Services
Minimizing the impact of road taxes and tolls: In Australia, businesses must pay a tax for using private roads. Real-time tracking can help the driver and the manager know exactly where to go and where not to go, which can help save the company money when using the roads and minimize costly gas consumption.
Fraud detection: The kit can also analyze gas consumed within the fleet, which helps fleet operations managers know where they can cut down unnecessary costs. It could also serve as a security measure. By observing the data, managers could verify that their workers are going where they are supposed to. If fuel consumption is too high for a certain vehicle, then the manager could investigate that the vehicle is traveling to and from the proper dig sight or factory. If potential fraud is suspected, then managers could stop the issue right away before it grows to something bigger. More importantly, managers could stop the flow of unnecessary costs.
Intuitive access from anywhere: Kai Aldinger, solution manager in the SAP Mill and Mining business unit, shared another benefit the kit offers: “You can directly run the solution out of the cloud, through SAP Cloud Platform and SAP services.” This means that it is accessible to managers and can be accessed anywhere — on site, in the office, or at home. The cloud makes it easy to keep everyone informed. Typically, cloud-based implementations are easier than on-premise ones. And because of the focus on intuitive experiences within cloud deployments, these solutions tend to be easier to use. This kit also leverages benefits from adjacent industries. Aldinger shared, “We also use inferences, cross industry from automotive as well, to combine benefits from both industries.” Automotive and mining have similar use cases for this kit — both must manage a fleet of vehicles in a safe and efficient manner.
Automation of fleet services is an important concern in the mining industry. Better fleet services can help keep employees safe and can cut down the cost incurred from road taxes and tolls. Fleet services can prevent harm to the employees while also helping cut down maintenance cost. Lastly, the best fleet services can be accessed from anywhere. Through automation of a large process like fleet services, companies can now keep assets running at full capacity, mitigate employee injury, and mitigate maintenance costs.