You may have heard of smart farming and agriculture drones, but have you heard about smart mining? As the latest smart emerging industry, it provides a shining example of how technology and automation can innovate existing businesses to increase productivity and profitability.
What is smart mining?
As mining industries are often known for their harsh environments and challenging terrain, some businesses have begun integrating smart technology into their processes to improve profitability and employee health.
These techniques include industrial automation and health monitoring technology to reduce operational costs.
On a global scale, the market will reach $24,047.6 million in 2027, with regions such as North America and Asia already seeing substantial growth. According to some, we can expect a mining renaissance in the UK, making it a developing industry.
Integrating smart technology
The type of smart technology used depends on the mining techniques in operation. Typically, underground mines are more concerned with minimising health risks to employees due to restricted areas.
So, they might introduce wearable technology to monitor their employees’ health. Equally, embedded sensors can gather data on noise and dust levels to minimise risks. All of this infrastructure monitoring culminates in a safer working environment.
Meanwhile, surface or above-ground mines that use open pits or casts need to move heavy machinery. As a result, they can use autonomous drones to survey an area from above, and remote-controlled autonomous transport to move materials with ease.
All of these pieces fit together in an innovative IoT system. Using IoT cloud services, the various technology components integrate into one WiFi connection.
As such, the mine operators can gather the necessary data in one place. A further benefit of IoT systems, aside from sensor analytics and industrial automation, includes radio-frequency identification or RFID tags, which identify the location of equipment to improve security.
By orchestrating automation and sensor monitoring from one place, they can reduce costs and minimise labour time on repetitive tasks. As an emerging industry, smart mining is using technology to its every advantage.
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