Poland’s copper and silver mining major KGHM Polska Miedź SA has a major digitalisation and mining vehicle monitoring program called SYNAPSA that was first launched in 2013, with start-up in mid-2016. The strategic management project has now started to ramp up significantly with functionality of the reporting of monitoring-generated data on mobile equipment now being widely tested. In 2019, some 55 new machines equipped with this monitoring technology were put into service, with the system used to analyse the efficiency of the processes of ore loading, hauling, drilling and bolting. More than 200 LHDs, trucks, drills and bolters across three mines are now connected.
The analytics are used to improve operational management in the mines with data logging from machines and conversion of data into near real time reports which are transmitted and saved in a database. Project drivers include a need in the mines for new diagnostic methods to assess the condition of equipment, a sharp decrease in the cost of data storage tied with intensive development of the fibre optic and Wi-Fi underground transmission networks within KGHM operations. A lot of progress has also been made in the development of technology to meaningfully analyse and interpret large datasets, producing actionable intelligence from Big Data.
The SYNAPSA system includes ongoing diagnostics of the technical condition of machines, identification of significant breaches of nominal parameters, reporting of errors recorded by the engine and gearbox digital controls; predictive maintenance, including optimisation of machine systems controlling software (engine, gearbox, working system); analysis of machine utilisation indicators and optimisation of the operational organisation of the machines.
The technical components include the sensors recording the operating parameters of the basic machine systems (engine, gearbox, working system hydraulics, tyres), the access point Wi-Fi network for data transmission from machines, algorithms for processing the raw data into technical and business indicators and a reporting system – SAP Business Intelligence. The system generates over 300 reports daily, which are available to over 500 users.