As human society evolved over the centuries, their needs and their lifestyle evolved with them. To provide these needs, human and animal power was being used. But it wasn’t much satisfactory or efficient. Because energy consumption was very high, and the whole process cost a lot of money. Step by step, some methods of production of supply chains began to change. Wealthy businesses bought small ones; natural resources were very substantial and perfect for the industrialization process. That entailed both technology and profound social developments. Therefore in the late 18th century, a revolution took its place—a revolution called; Industry 1.0.
With Industry 1.0, steam and water power were combined with mechanical production. It was more optimized and efficient. A new path was taking shape for the manufacturing sector.
Industry 2.0 saw innovations in steel and electricity power. Machines powered by electricity was a facility for factories. They substantially increased their production.
As technology improved over the years, another revolution occurred. Industry 3.0, with more electrical devices, started to develop and started being used in the manufacturing industry. Which again increased efficiency. More and more data was being used. So, eventually, computers developed, and many companies emerged digital data and automation into their business.
Finally, the fourth industrial revolution has appeared. Industry 4.0 is the latest and the most promising one of all. With the Internet of Things (IoT), multiple computers could communicate and share data due to accomplish tasks more effectively and with high speed. With Artificial Intelligence (AI), Autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, 3D printing, every industry have reached the next level.
Industry 4.0 brings physical operations and digital operations together, which improves productivity and safely provides data transformation. Also, it creates flexibility and the market he adaption process to any possible crisis easier. Especially when the current situation that the whole world is facing right now, Industry 4.0 is exactly the kind of work model that every industry should focus on and adapt to their organizations. There are a lot of benefits. Reducing the costs of production is one of the most important benefits of all. With the controlled use of resources, increasing manufacturing processes’ speed leads to an inevitable decrease in overall costs. With the reliable data transition and storage, innovative opportunities can be created. Industry 4.0 creates a collaborative working system between departments. By means of analytical, up-to-date data transformation, every part of the team can easily and effectively manage their task. However, some organizations have barriers that hold them back to adapt the digital transformation in their work. Because not every organization has the same financial conditions and the cost of this transformation requires a large amount of investment. Also, it requires a coherent attitude to a changing, dynamic environment.
Mining activities are very different than it was years ago. Technology integrated organizations and forward-thinking attitude bring innovations to the industry. It’s more efficient, environmentally friendly, and also creates a safer workplace for employees.
Automation has many steps, and at each step, the main goal is the same, to maintain operations and employees’ safety while increasing productivity. The integration of automated technologies allows companies to do their operations with remote control. Therefore the tasks require hard work and continuity, which can be done quickly by machines. Operations, which include machine to machine connectivity, reduce human activity needed. And remove mine workers and operators from the risky, complex underground or surface environment. That also creates an opportunity for mobility for other employees.
With the help of a data storage system that automation offers, huge amounts of data to enhance field operations can be produced. Another feature that automation offers to improve productivity is easy to access for resource exploration in unsafe environments. Basically, automation is the mining industry’s future, and companies who quickly but surely adapt their projects will lead the way.
For instance, the first autonomous mine haulage systems were launched in 2008 by Komatsu. It’s called FrontRunner Autonomous Haulage System. FrontRunner AHS’s benefits to the mining industry have been very important. It provides mine-site safety with protocol designs and reduced operating costs, therefore improved the efficiency of the operations. After a year-long qualification program, comprehensive test studies were performed on Nokia’s Future X infrastructure.
“As the leader in autonomous haulage technology, we are firmly on our way to helping the industry move the next billion tons of material with autonomous technology. We have come together with Nokia to further this vision of delivering increased value to the mining industry,” said Luiz Steinberg, Komatsu Global Officer and President/CEO of Modular Mining Systems.
The systems that have been used so far have continued to improve ever since. Not every big mining operations adapted their work concerning Industry 4.0 measures, but the ones who did succeed.
To manage the mining operations according to the futuristic trends and increase the overall value, companies should boost their workforce in terms of number and potential. Only that way can they implement the new technologies requirements.