15 Jan Covid-19 forces innovation via digitalization in the mining industry
It has been nearly a year since the pandemic has begun, and crisis has forced the Mining Sector to make dramatic technology changes. While most businesses choose home based work as a solution to the pandemic, the mining industry cannot comply; mine workers cannot simply work from home. Prioritizing the adoption of digital tools and processes therefore became a priority for the mining industry to maintain safety and decrease the spread of the virus.
Why is digital transformation necessary?
According to the World Economic Forum’s latest “Future of Jobs Report”, 79% of mining companies are accelerating the digitalization of their work processes, seeing the crisis as an opportunity to leap forward toward innovation.
Digital technologies can capture data in digital format and process it into relevant information for decision making. Remote monitoring and diagnosis, data analytics, automation technology and logistics are central areas where digitalization can bring strong benefits.
These benefits include a major productivity increase with automation, cost-savings thanks to less human errors and specific insights from data analysis that can help make well-informed decisions. All those benefits allow companies to boost competitiveness and create new business opportunities.
A clearer view of the safety situation is also possible through digital tools; robust mustering functionalities can locate workers in case of emergency, and thanks to the automation of workforce logistics, companies can keep track of who is onsite or travelling, at any given time. Furthermore, this allows to easily track down who has potentially been in contact with whom and be able to promptly act in case of a COVID-19 infected employee.
Why are partners important in the mining digital transformation?
Since the pandemic started, many new technical and operational processes had to be introduced in the mining sector. New hardware, new software, adjustments, and a new learning process to operational aspects are needed.
The main challenge of mining companies is the time needed to find the best suitable solution, to integrate these new digital systems and to understand them in this fast-paced constantly evolving technological environment.
Information Technology companies are key actors in the digital transition for mining companies: thanks to their expertise, they will ensure that skills and learning methods necessary to boost productivity are transmitted. Choosing partners that have expertise in the mining industry, while being specialized in a defined technological niche, will be an advantage for mining companies to accelerate their digital transition and optimization of new technologies in place.