Digital transformation is high on the agenda of mining companies that seek to improve productivity, cut costs and remain competitive. Data is at the core of a digital mine – and the manner in which it is collected, shared and utilized can have a significant impact on decision-making across the mining value chain. The accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of data can empower mining personnel to make intelligent decisions that improve the overall profitability of the mine.

An essential prerequisite in the move towards a digital mine is the digitization of paper-based forms, still in use for reporting shift data and maintenance activities across mine sites. The move from paper to digital forms in mining can be considered a “low hanging fruit” that can be deployed quickly at a mine site, without a massive investment in resources, and with very little training effort. It also serves as a relatively lower-risk project that you can undertake to assess your team’s readiness to go digital.

By recording shift data on a smartphone or tablet while on the field, miners will realize the following benefits:

1. Data Accuracy and Completeness

The process of manual reporting of shift tasks on paper is prone to human error, and miners run the risk of losing critical information that is not captured during the shift. With digital forms in mining, operators can see workflows associated with them, and record data as and when an event is completed. This data can be seamlessly woven into the rest of the applications, workflows, and systems that are used to generate insights.


2. Simplify Compliance Requirements
Mining is a highly regulated industry, and accurate data is crucial to ensuring compliance with environmental impact regulations, and health and safety standards. As mining operations generate vast amounts of data, having a structured and automated workflow via digital forms on a mobile/tablet will simplify equipment pre-ops and post-ops, management of work orders, worksite inspections and audits to meet compliance requirements.


3. Timeliness of Data
Apart from human errors, paper forms are subject to processing delays as the data handed in post the shift must be aggregated and fed into data processing systems to be shared with relevant personnel. On the other hand, digital data can be aggregated and made available instantly for collaborative decisions that boost productivity.


4. Improved Response Time
Data from digital forms can be aggregated and made available instantly to key mining personnel, to detect deviations from expected operating standards, and take actions to optimize operations and respond to issues in real time.


5. Intelligent Decision-making
By harnessing data that is now available digitally, management gains the intelligence to pursue new goals in a more strategic, data-oriented framework. Data from mobile forms can feed into analytics systems that report on the entirety of operations, and enable savvy leaders to make smarter decisions that boost the bottom line.


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