Predicting Mining VariablesWed, 10/19/2016 - 14:30
It is almost impossible for operators to predict when issues will arise with machinery, and staff training is crucial to ensuring minimal downtime and lowering costs. To ensure that staff are equipped to deal with the machinery before actually operating it, Immersive Technologies designed a simulation technology that is able to mock mine conditions in order to streamline the learning process for operators. “We cater to the whole market and because mid-tier or small companies always have the biggest gaps in terms of efficiency, productivity, or safety, our services and products are tailor-made to adapt to all budget sizes,” boasts José Luis Durón, the company’s Regional Manager for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. “Large mining operators are technology oriented but there is always room for improvement, especially in expansion projects where they will require more equipment and personnel.”
In terms of popularity in Mexico, Durón shares that the top products are the Pro3 and IM360. The former is specifically designed for surface mining and one interesting feature is its curved screen that offers a greater depth perception, which is very useful for shovels or loaders. The other product, the IM360, has four visual panels from roof to floor that is ideal in training for underground equipment. This simulator also enables the operator to simulate walking around a mine to learn safety procedures in case of fire, fracture, or landslide. “PRO3-B delivers cutting edge technologies that dramatically increase realism to a level not previously seen by the mining industry,” explains Durón. “The PRO3-B provides a robust, industry proven high fidelity platform for driving operator optimization and business improvements.”
The IM360 has the flexibility to train on surface mining environments even though it was designed specifically for underground mining. It delivers cutting edge technologies in a lower cost high fidelity platform. In Mexico he shares that more PRO3B than IM360s have been sold, although Immersive Technologies is projecting considerable growth in the deployment of both platforms.
Immersive Technologies has relationships with OEMs across the board and in cases such as Caterpillar, Komatsu, Hitachi, and Liebherr, these come in the form of exclusive alliances. This provides the company with unique access to engineering information, which allows it to create a trustworthy simulator. “Of course there have been considerable developments in terms of computer based programs and screens, for which we have coped by interacting a lot with our customers and OEMs to update and upgrade our software,” Durón concedes. “Other innovations we have incorporated can change the weather conditions and scenarios of the simulators and as such, trainees have a wide variety of options at their disposal.” The company also provides a training model that ensures high levels of staff readiness and operational improvement while taking advantage of a range of technologies to ensure the most cost effective solution.