The Concept of the Digital Mine - as a Basic Concept for PSI-SCADA Applications in the Mining Environment

The combination of SCADA and workforce management components to create a digital mine results in a unique range of functions that optimize overall management.

The following benefits can be realized, for example:

  • The total capacity of the operated mine will be improved.
  • The availability of machines and plants is increased (OEE)
  • The more economical use of finite resources is made possible: Energy for the operation of  individual components is only provided precisely when they are needed.
  • Unplanned downtime is reduced
  • The reaction times to incoming events in the daily events are shortened, since decision bottlenecks are eliminated.
  • The safety level in the mine rises
  • Coordination of work processes is improved
  • Personnel requirements, especially in hazardous areas, can be significantly reduced
  • The newly created information platform increases the know-how of mine operators and allows the planning of more effective processes.
  • By combining individual components, the mine is transformed into a transparent and effective overall system for complete management.

The concept of the digital mine not only reflects the mining process (longwall mining, tunnelling or blasting) together with the operating equipment, but also all other elements necessary for the operation of a mine. These elements include material transport, the various infrastructure networks (power supply network, pipeline network for various purposes), transport systems (railway or rolling stock) and communication infrastructure (video/telephone).

The benefits of all modules are measured by the provided function. In the event of an alarm, the maintenance component supports the operator in creating work orders. These are combined and arranged by the resource planning component in order to take into account the different dependencies of personnel, time, resources and the mining process itself. In addition, the logistics component provides tracking of material from source during transportation to destination and tracking of personnel including monitoring of presence or access to restricted areas. The process data is made available to the PSImining platform via the standard interfaces SNMP, OPC, IEC and Modbus-TCP. If required, special proprietary interfaces can also be adapted and integrated into the framework of the PSImining platform, e.g. DLL-like interfaces.