The mining industry is relying more and more on technology to operate safe and effective mine sites. Traditional mines are quickly transforming into Smart Mines that use information, autonomy, and technology to enhance safety, reduce operational costs, keep better track of employees and equipment, improve maintenance and boost productivity.
It's easy to see the benefits of adopting new technologies to run efficient mine sites; however, innovation also means new challenges.
Smart Mines produce a lot of data 24/7:
IIoT - The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connects all the heavy machines, vehicles, equipment and devices.
Drones - Drones provide real-time aerial footage of mine sites for maintenance, monitoring, mapping, safety etc.
Autonomous vehicles - Autonomous vehicles connect to managing software in real-time.
3D imaging - 3D imaging of ore deposits helps understand the geology for more efficient and wasteless mining.
Machine learning - Data optimisation and machine learning are valuable to optimise operations and save time and money.
Monitoring devices - Workers have monitoring devices with access to critical real-time information regarding operations.
3D printing - 3D printing increases flexibility and efficiency by producing on-demand parts for replacements and repairs.
Audit trail and tracking - All activities and incidents need to be recorded in real-time for safety reasons and auditing purposes.
All this data has to be stored and processed locally, so we see an increase in Edge computing. Edge computing allows for fast and secure processing with no latency - this is a crucial requirement for the smooth running of Smart Mines, particularly for autonomous vehicles, as any delay in data processing will most likely cause accidents.
If you can't afford to lose even a millisecond, the only solution is on-site data processing. But traditional on-premise server rooms are time-consuming to plan and build and expensive to run and maintain, especially in remote locations with limited infrastructure and specialised personnel. They are definitely not a practical solution for mine sites as they are:
Expensive. The more data you produce, the more data storage you need. The more storage you need, the more money you spend. Server rooms require a lot of energy to keep them up and running 24/7, especially in hot environments where temperature control is paramount.
Environmentally unfriendly. The more data you produce, the more carbon you release into the environment. Sustainability nowadays is becoming a core business strategy for companies of all sizes, so keeping your carbon footprint low is a priority.
Smart Mines need a data storage solution that is good for the environment and the bottom line.
Zella DC Micro data centres are the next generation server room, a sustainable solution for every organisation, from large enterprises to small businesses in any industry. Whether you are in a skyscraper or a remote location, you can reap the full benefits and savings.