Mining/Metals/Minerals

Is it always true…”if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

Last month, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the cell phone.  It was in April 1973 when a Motorola engineer used the famous DynaTAC brick phone to make the historic… Read more »

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The maturity scale of your Industrial Energy Management Program

We see a lot of industrial end users moving beyond facilities-based energy management to process-based energy management—that is, mitigating energy loss on the process floor, since that’s where the majority… Read more »

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Top challenges faced by the mining industry and its implications (Part 2)

In this part of the discussion I’d like to review how “regulations and compliance” along with “grade and quality decline” present additional challenges for the mining industry. Regulations and compliance… Read more »

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Top challenges faced by the mining industry and its implications (Part 1)

Mining by definition is a multifaceted industry with a complex chain of operations, process intensive and strongly influenced by external factors (from weather to commodities prices).  Besides these inherent challenges,… Read more »

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Without information mining stops!

In Australia, I have seen a bumper sticker that states “Without trucks Australia stops”.  This statement is in reference to the important role that trucks play in the process of… Read more »

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Are today’s customers loyal?

I don’t think this question can be answered with a simple yes or no. The market in which we operate today does not lend itself to being able to plainly… Read more »

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The central control room in 5 basic disciplines

A central control room is the dream of any intensive operation: The desire to have in a single location,  several remote operations and the ability to take business decisions. But… Read more »

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Five Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency in your Process

It’s easy to understand why Industrial Energy Management often starts with the building utilities, such as HVAC adjustments, boiler tuning, lighting upgrades, and air compressors: 1. The role of the Energy… Read more »

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How mobility, big data, and social media impact the mining and metals industry

I’ve always liked to write articles about trends and their applications in the heavy / process industries. Most of the time, I’ve focused on trends related to automation, process control,… Read more »

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Sustainability driving competitive advantage for the mining industry

For some time I have been thinking about the realism of society moving towards a sharing culture. What happens when we “borrow” instead of “buy”? I was reminded of this… Read more »

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Mineufacturing: Lessons in Partnerships

Today, we are seeing the transformation of many mining companies to move to a manufacturing way of thinking or what we call “Mineufacturing”.  The level of maturity in managing variability… Read more »

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Ethernet and Automation Controller Marriage Proving to be a Successful One

According to the ARC Advisory Group, about $65 billion in installed process automation systems worldwide are reaching end of life, with most having been in operation for over 20 years…. Read more »

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Who Owns the Risk?

Some time ago, my colleague Joseph Reele wrote of the risk implications of various data centre choices that might be made. In that article Reele identified a (possibly simplistic) trade-off… Read more »

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Filed Away and Forgotten? Keep Power and Utilities Continuous Improvement Strategies Top of Mind

If your manager came to you today and asked you ‘how could we improve profitability ’, what would you say? Would you respond in directives, such as “optimize designs”, “lower… Read more »

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Avoiding the Darkness of Unplanned Downtime With Smart, Highly Available Solutions

Regardless of the process, downtime always means a loss of productivity for a process application. Unplanned downtimes, whether due to component failure or human error, are the most costly ones…. Read more »

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Plant “Asset Performance Management” Is For Everyone

Asset performance management (APM) is a topic of growing importance for plants in asset-intensive industries, which pretty much means all plants. In this series, I’ll take you through the asset… Read more »

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The 4 keys of Operational Excellence in Mining

As stated in my previous blog entitled, “Mining operational excellence…shoot for the stars, but be happy to land on the moon,” Operational Excellence can broadly be defined as a state… Read more »

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Ten Points about the Current Global Coal Market

While I’ve been digging into a bunch of different commodities recently, there have been a number of interesting bits and bobs relating to coal that I’ve been squirreling away. Hence,… Read more »

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People: The Human Side of Mining Operational Excellence

Visit any mine or head office and you’ll notice they are hives of activity where people are busy performing a wide range of tasks, all of which contribute in some… Read more »

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Mining the “Gemba” from Big Data – The Answers are Simpler Than You Think

“People who can’t understand numbers are useless. The gemba* where numbers are not visible is also bad. However, people who only look at the numbers are the worst of all.”… Read more »

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Equipment Flexibility is a Leading Secure Power Need in the Brazilian Market

Secure Power Systems for critical applications is a broad concept that spans many types of power protection technologies and equipment. To meet the requirements of market, the Secure Power provider… Read more »

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It’s the “Moment of Truth” for Automation Providers

No matter which industry you are dealing with, four key trends are impacting on the core of customers’ automation: Connectivity Security Agility Resources efficiency For industrial automation providers, however, these… Read more »

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What Good is the Eiffel Tower in the Middle of Your Refinery?

One of the best ways to make sure the design of your refinery is going to look and perform the way you think it should is to perform front end… Read more »

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With Invensys Acquisition, Energy Meets Automation

When most people think of “the future” they invariably gravitate toward consumer devices: Google Glass, privatized space travel and wristwatches with voice and video. The future once promised on Saturday… Read more »

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Services Oriented Drives host Connectivity from Factory Floor to Boardroom

This is the first in a series of blogs about Services Oriented Drives, the main purpose of which is to run a motor by controlling its speed where the performance… Read more »

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Static or Rotary UPS: Which is Best for Your Application?

As trends such as digitization, Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data have a major impact on the flow of global business, the role of power protection devices such as… Read more »

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Are you doing everything you can to protect your operation from severe weather?

As someone who has worked in the mining and metals industry for many years, I am always looking for new specialty solutions that  could be aligned with this industry.  One of… Read more »

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If You Cannot “Control” it, Try to “Manage” it.

Unfortunately, the language we commonly use is semantically very imprecise. This imprecision reduces effective communication. For example, looking at most English language dictionaries it is difficult to distinguish between the… Read more »

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Controls Pre-commissioning Is Like Checking your Parachute Before Jumping…A Very Wise Decision.

Wouldn’t you want to make sure your parachute rip chords are OK before jumping out of a plane?  Me too.  Safety first, right?  Well, it’s the same idea with performing… Read more »

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Mining Volatility – Bucking the Trends

Mining is a capital-intensive activity in a world marked by high volatility of commodity markets. On top of that, it faces the double whammy of demand slowdown and increasing operational… Read more »

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