Srinivasa Raghavan explains how Telematics and Fleet Management System (FMS) can make mining operation more productive and efficient.
At a time when competition is intense, technology disruption and customer demands greater than ever before, the manufacturing sector is focusing on overhauling their processes to step up productivity. The question now is, if the manufacturing sector could transform itself with the right strategic approach, can the mining sector do the same? A report by EY certainly suggests so. It says that the mining sector could address their productivity challenges by studying how other sectors like manufacturing have addressed similar issues.
Like most other sectors, the mining sector is not without its challenges. A recent McKinsey report indicates that mining operations across the world are as much as 28 per cent less productive than they were a decade ago. Coupled with the fall in mining profitability across the world, low productivity is a serious cause for concern. Can this sector really improve operational efficiencies and productivity with the right strategies? We believe it can. Focus on the elimination of loss throughout the value chain, minimising downtime, improving production output, with a comprehensive focus on assets, processes and people and technology are some of the strategies the manufacturing sector successfully adopted. The same approach can work for the mining sector as well. As a leading producer of commercial vehicles designed specifically for the mining sector, we understand the optimum performance of mining trucks and tippers have a significant contribution towards the site's productivity. Our Site Optimization Framework, based on our Lean Production best practices, is designed to improve mining transport operations. In this, we view the mine as a factory and use the lean methodology, principle and tools just as we would in one of our own factories. We consider three key areas: time, road and load, that we believe are intrinsically tied to safety and sustainability. Technology of course lies at the core of our implementation strategies that aim to increase revenue, manage risks, and reduce cost.
We recently partnered with a leading mining and infrastructure company in India who had an open-minded approach to evaluate the current operations and improve productivity by optimising the operating costs. They willingly adopted our Site Optimization Tools for reviewing their operations and explore the possibility of more efficient solutions. We jointly concluded that there was a tremendous opportunity to reduce idling time, breakdown and delay time.
Scania Site Optimization Fleet Management System (FMS) was deployed to assess more than 400 drivers' performance. The same system was used to collect vital data on idling, braking and overall productivity of each individual truck. Our Site Optimization FMS solution deployed onsite helped us identify under-performing drivers and provide them with the requisite training to improve their performance. We were able to reduce idling time during queuing and waiting, and bring about significant reduction in fuel consumption as well. We also helped streamline the flow of vehicles and rationalise the queuing and waiting time. Our digital technology-enabled approach helped bring about a 30 per cent increase in productivity per truck. Additionally, we will use our FMS solution to focus on vehicle maintenance, dynamic scheduling pit stop maintenance and hot seat driver change.
Telematics and FMS are rapidly gaining market and mind share within the commercial vehicles segment because of the technology's ability to capture and analyse vehicular data to improve efficiency, reduce fuel wastage and enhance driver performance. The segment is expected to reach $28.66 billion by 2022.
The mining sector is faced with new challenges today. Macro-economic conditions, environmental concerns, capital and cash flow and even human resources continue to exert their influence on this sector. New emerging technology and digital disruption also add to the mix. Under these circumstances, mining operators must leverage technology to digitally transform themselves into lean, efficient and productive businesses. Through its Site Optimization solutions, Scania is at forefront for further enhancing its customer profitability.
The author is Director Sales (Trucks), Scania Commercial Vehicles India Pvt Ltd.