Ground-up innovation

The mining data reveals the sector lags behind other industries examined in this report in term of IIoT progress. Our IIoT readiness tool ranks the vast majority of respondents as either laggards or starters, with not a single respondent qualifying or the leader category overall. While this may seem surprising given some of the IIoT projects being developed by some of the major mining companies, our data found skills shortages and approaches to security and connectivity precluded our respondents from classification in this category.

29%

of mining companies are trialling IIoT initiatives

What is the mining sector's overall IIoT readiness? (%)

Laggards
Starters
Progressives
Leaders

What is the mining sector's overall IIoT readiness? (%)

Laggards
Starters
Progressives
Leaders

The route to competitive advantage

Ultimately, with little value to add to the commodities they seek, success in mining depends upon companies’ ability to extract raw materials more efficiently and more cheaply than their competitors can. However, as mineral reserves have depleted, mining companies have been led to evermore remote and difficult-to-access locations to establish their operations and the cost of extraction has increased. It is here that IIoT and other smart technologies can make a tangible difference, automating processes and upping the tempo of operations, making it critical to the future of the industry.

It was notable therefore that the top two drivers for adopting IIoT technologies were improving health and safety across the organisation (68 per cent) and improving the physical security of sites and assets (58 per cent), while the improvement of resource efficiency was third with 48 per cent.

The industry has been relatively slow on the adoption of new technologies, preferring to stick to the well-trodden path of tried and tested techniques. However, as the pressure on margins continues, and the need to extract raw materials in a way that doesn’t cost the earth, harm the environment or endanger personnel, increases, it is becoming abundantly clear that radical new approaches are needed to transform operations.

Encouragingly, there are some very positive signs and most respondents expect to make significant progress over the next few years. Today, just 2 per cent of mining respondents have fully deployed any IIoT-based solutions; a figure that is set to climb to over half within a year. There is near universal recognition among respondents in the promise that IIoT holds for their organisations, and many view the technology as a way to become more profitable and to operate more sustainably and responsibly.

The mine of the future

The level of investment set to be put into IIoT development in the coming years supports the idea that its usage will be accelerated. However, our readiness tool reveals that there are some clear leaders in the packs, with some mining companies’ investment in and progress with IIoT remaining negligible, while others surge ahead.

Naturally, companies with higher turnovers are investing more, while geographically those from North America – are rapidly steaming ahead. For mining companies in the likes of Australia, South Africa and Russia, that appear to be lagging behind, this should serve as a warning sign. Broken down by type, meanwhile, the data suggests that iron ore mines have taken an early lead on IIoT deployment to accelerate the rate of production, reflecting the increasingly pressurised steel market.

16%

reduction in operating
costs predicted through use of IIoT
in five years

Our research indicates that those organisations that are perfecting their IIoT strategies are already starting to reap the benefits, from reduced operating costs to improved environmental sustainability, and the mining sector is already showing some real promise. However, it is clear that many have some catching up to do.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE RESEARCH, DOWNLOAD THE REPORT – INDUSTRIAL IOT ON LAND AND AT SEA: MINING

RESEARCH DEMOGRAPHICS

The mining findings in this research project are based on responses from 125 senior IIoT decision-makers from companies with over 500 employees in the mining sector. To ensure a fully representative sample, we surveyed a broad mix of mining companies, including copper, gold and iron ore mining businesses, as well as support service providers and the mining majors that have multi-commodity operations.

The research surveyed mining businesses from across the globe, though particular focus was given to the mining hubs of Australia, South Africa, Russia and Canada, enabling us to identify key differences in IIoT adoption between these territories.

 

 

 

Press enter or esc to cancel