Industrial IoT: A Pillar of Success for Predictive Maintenance in Mining

As one of the most challenging and dangerous industries in the world, mining companies have an extraordinary need to operate efficiently with improved productivity and operational safety. Mining companies are moving quickly to explore technology initiatives and discovering that a digital mine transformation is critical to the success of mining operations. However, implementing customized communications infrastructure solutions to meet the unique requirements of a digital mine can be very challenging.

Mining companies use massive equipment and huge vehicles in high-cost operations that can lose profitability if these machines break down. Maintaining these capital-intensive assets in optimal condition is critical to safe and profitable operation of the mine. The opportunity most spoken of nowadays as part of this drive to improve productivity and efficiency of the mining industry is that of predictive maintenance. When properly executed, predictive maintenance maximizes profits and minimizes risk of losses due to system failure, in addition to reducing the overall maintenance cost of capital-intensive mining equipment and machinery.

Under a predictive maintenance approach, failures are predicted before they happen by analyzing the equipment data, typically collected via wirelessly connected sensors. Predictive maintenance not only minimizes total system downtime via the use of predictive analytics based on machine learning algorithms, but also optimizes maintenance costs by avoiding unnecessary maintenance actions typically executed under a fixed schedule preventive maintenance plan.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), enabled via wireless connectivity, is the main pillar of adopting a predictive maintenance strategy. It transforms physical actions from machines and real-time information on the surrounding environment into digital signals used by machine learning algorithms.

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