Alfonso Bonillas
Alio IT Solutions, Partner Centric Mining Systems Mexico
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Centralized Data Provides Efficient Mine Performance

By Peter Appleby | Tue, 01/05/2021 - 11:26

Q: What is Centric Mining Systems’ solution and what problem does it solve for miners?

A: Centric Mining Systems aims to centralize mining data points so that key metrics can be easily accessed and exploited. Mines have a variety of disparate areas that can influence one another. Mine planning data, fleet management data and information from geological and lab databases can all be drawn together into one single place so that the userbase can easily consult that data. Centric Mining Systems offers a variety of solutions, including the ability to create a personalized dashboard that can help decision-making from numerous perspectives. The streamlining and centralization of data provides information end users can use to their benefit.

Q: How does Centric Mining Systems explain the value of its services as an investment rather than a cost?

A: Mining is a traditional industry. It is the business of digging a rock out of the ground and extracting the minerals. Everyone who works in a mine is focused on that primary goal, often not realizing that via the work they do, they produce a mountain of data points that can be leveraged. To create one report, most mining managers must visit 10 different areas of the mine. 

This is where Centric comes in. By analyzing and reviewing the data a mine generates, we can demonstrate to clients that the creation of value-adding reports can be made simpler with the application of technology. Rather than going to 10 areas and wasting time, the Centric solution can bring the data to them.  We can also digitize the process to make it more efficient so that mines no longer depend on paper or spreadsheets. Removing data duplication and spreadsheet errors is a huge cost-saver for a client, not to mention the increases in productivity that can be realized by eliminating these inefficient processes that tie-up highly skilled resources.

Q: Where along the life cycle of a mine do the company’s services add most value?

A: One of the modules in the Centric solution is called Ore Accounting. As the name suggests, it helps clients track all their working inventory and mineral processes. This is where many, many clients find the greatest use for the product. It has the consequential benefit of supporting other processes down the road, such as reconciliation, a process that usually takes days or even weeks depending on how organized a client is or the size of the operation. With Centric, this potentially weeks-long job can be done in just one hour. Because all the data has already been collated by Ore Accounting, the reconciliation is performed extremely quickly with the assistance of Centric’s Reconciliation tool.

The type of mine does not change the implementation of Centric’s Ore Accounting solution. . Whether an open pit or underground mine, each type has data points to be used, though these points may be situated differently. The mineral is still transported from Point A to B to C, until it reaches the plant. With Excel or another nonspecialized program, it can become very cumbersome to keep track of these movements. If a client has a project and wants to use IoT and put sensors in machines to gather information from them, that information would easily flow into Centric. Clients can be really creative in how data collection is done. The more data that can be collected, the better. 

Q: How does a client start a relationship with Centric Mining Systems?

A: Usually, we begin by carrying out a review of the client’s operation to determine how they gather data and the data manipulations that take place. We can then present a proposal on how we can enhance their output. Centric has been in business for over 20 years and has many important clients in Australia, Canada, parts of Africa, as well as here in Mexico. Now we have two implementations in Mexico and we hope to be closing two more contracts very soon. We can demonstrate to the client that we have the experience and expertise to produce results.

Q: How does Centric Mining Systems improve the client’s environmental and safety management procedures?

A:  We consider all HSE-related data as highly significant and help mining companies improve the quality around these issues. In countries like Canada and the US, companies are obligated to keep track of specific metrics. Centric supports this process and automates the calculations required to deliver these all-important metrics. If companies do not deliver HSE information on time, there are consequences. Outside HSE, Centric has modules for virtually every area of the mine. These include mine metrics, drill and blast, haulage management, and processing operations to name a few. We can work with almost any data point, covering virtually any area of the mine.

Q: What other areas of data analytics is Centric Mining Systems approaching?

A: We are embarking on a variety of new adventures, one of which include predictive and prescriptive analytics. This will allow clients to visualize the impact of decisions they are mulling. What would be the potential impact of adding another truck to the fleet, for example? Would it make a real positive impact, or would it be negligible? How would changing certain parameters of the truck’s movement alter this impact? 

We have an interesting case study focused on maintenance with an Australian mining company client. Our client found that by changing certain conditions in its maintenance process it could create savings because the change allowed them to buy fewer parts. This allows companies to be more accurate in their budgeting. 

Q: What steps must a company go through before it can meet the requirements that Centric Mining Systems needs to work?

A:  They need to call us and let us work with them to determine the key challenges they face in their business and how proper data management, a single source of truth and access to decision support tools will help them! We will work through a discovery process with them followed by an implementation of Centric. The end goal is often the company receiving real-time metrics and enjoying the insights derived from predictive analytics.

Q: How does Centric Mining Systems guarantee that clients gain maximum value from these solutions?

A: A typical implementation would begin by creating a team for each client. Within the team, there would be a Client Success Manager and experienced Principal Consultant who will engage the mine’s main stakeholders and point our solution toward their goals. We offer post-sales support via the Client Care Agreement we sign with each client. 
We provide a great deal of training to clients, as we aim to ensure that clients are confident using Centric independently and can produce their own reports via Centric’s analytical tools.

Q: What is the company’s most recent success story in Mexico?

A: In April this year, we completed an installation for one of our clients in Guanajuato. The client is now producing real-time KPIs, which general managers and corporate stakeholders including the C-suite are using for daily reporting as well as decision-support. We worked on building sustainable data acquisition workflows to eliminate the existing inefficient data collection and management processes (based in Excel), and brought key metrics together into a ‘single source of truth’. They have been delighted with the performance of our solutions. 

Centric Mining Systems develops smart systems for the mining industry. It develops software that turns mining data into transformative knowledge; useful information needed to make informed decisions, get measurable results and sharpen its clients’ competitive edge.

Peter Appleby Peter Appleby Journalist and Industry Analyst