Multi-Touch Displays Puts Info at Miners’ FingertipsWed, 10/21/2015 - 14:10
Although Mexico is not hailed internationally as a model for research and innovation, certain examples of Mexicandeveloped technology are becoming as attractive outliers in industries like mining. Margot Molina Elías, CEO of Teknol, speaks of her experience as an assessor at ITESM’s business incubator. “The first thing these young people recognized was the necessity an idea that would bring added value to the mining sector. This idea then needed to be backed up by market research to determine whether the industry was truly interested in what they were offering,” she explains. It was this time at the business incubator on ITESM’s Sonora campus that led Molina Elías to understand the benefits that multi-touch displays could present for the mining sector. While these displays could potentially prove lucrative in a number of industries, her location in Sonora with its easy access to mining projects pushed her in this direction.
Today, Teknol’s most popular technology is GeoMining Touch, which displays information specifically designed for mining operations. Through the GeoInfoMex subscription, companies can have access to a digital library that contains over 60 years of SGM research. Another of its star applications is the QuickMining Library that provides regularly updated information on released mining concessions, mining applications, NI-43101 reports, copies of the Journal of Geological Sciences, and other relevant information. Teknol designed the GeoMining Touch to be didactic even for those unfamiliar with computers, with a finger-traced geographical search to zoom in on a specific area of Mexico and for all information to be easily accesed from there. Teknol has also expanded its products by offering Edge Wall displays for wallmounted applications and the DisplayStation Pro which can be rotated to be used as a work table for a whole team. “These products are 100% designed, produced and assembled in Mexico. Our engineers are in charge of designing all hardware components. These designs are sent to local suppliers that produce them and the final assembly takes place in our facilities,” says Molina Elías. Teknol’s latest development involves a line of multi-touch display kiosks, which can be installed within mines as they can resist temperature changes, water, vibrations, and various forms of physical damage. Teknol’s push in the industry came in 2009 when, during a mining convention in Veracruz, the company organized demonstrations on a prototype multi-touch display and software. Experts from the SGM were in attendance, seemed impressed, and soon placed orders for displays. As often happens, this first order from a public entity triggered a rise in demand for Teknol products from the private sector. “The information we display through our products is of great value for companies interested in making mining investments in Mexico,” explains Molina Elías. “These companies want to have access to information relating to the concessions which comes from the General Directorate for Mining Regulation (DGRM). This information is available freely on the DGRM website, but by using Teknol’s software, it can be accessed in a far easier and more user-friendly manner. Any mining company, engineer, or geologist that needs geological or mining information can access it easily through our software.” Teknol has also kept its products affordable as many of its customers are smaller companies who do not want to shell out on huge expenses but simply seek to access and use crucial information in a better way. “Since the information that we gather in our software can be accessed for free, many smaller companies prefer to go that route. Our value proposition is offering that information in a simpler and more user-friendly way,” says Molina Elías.
As the mining industry is facing challenges in attracting new mining investment, a major priority for Mexico is to find ways to optimize its attractiveness as a mining investment destination. According to Molina Elías, having access to the right information in an approachable manner can make a big difference in the investment decisions of mining companies. “The objective of the government is to bring mining investment to Mexico, so foreign companies need as much information as they can before making a decision that favors the country. Having information about specific regions, concessions, and studies are all major positives for executives making decisions within the mining companies. The more information these companies have, the more the investment process is streamlined,” says Molina Elías. This is an area where Teknol knows it can play a major role.