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Disruptive technologies and new-age thinking

25 May 2018

The ability to offer value creative propositions has become essential to the lifeblood of mining operations which are heavily influenced by a world that where technology is constantly evolving.

Traditional service offerings and thought processes are no longer sufficient and those companies who choose to embrace change, new technologies and dynamic thinking will enter a new era, more successful and profitable than ever before.

The ability to deliver value creation and best return on capital through innovation, cost efficient designs and the application of the world’s best technologies for optimal yields while minimising water, power and consumables has over recent years become routine and widely used amongst suppliers and service providers.

“Differentiating your business in this environment has become essential once again. To achieve this, ELB is embracing disruptive technologies that will change the entire way the industry operates,” reveals ELB Engineering Services CEO Dr Stephen Meijers.

He is referring to the incorporation of internet of things (IOT) technologies for digitalisation, analytics and from there artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing and full system control.

“Our plan is to introduce each technology in stages and then ultimately bolt them all together”.

This will be close to a South African first in the minerals processing sector and a service capability that ELB Engineering Services will apply to all its projects moving forward.

This includes its “alpha” site – a new 200 tph fines and coarse iron ore DMS plant in Postmasburg for Tata Steel’s new Sedibeng project.

“We were awarded the project at the end of 2017 and are equipped to provide a one-stop solution for the plant through our minerals processing/materials handling skills suite and our new technologies offering.”

The project is already underway and due to be commissioned in September 2018.

Discussing some of the disruptive technologies in further detail, Meijers notes that coupled with the analytics elements is full facial recognition and camera recognition technology of man, machine and material movement.

Mining equipment will be optimised in terms of movement to get the correct ore at right time, monitor transportation distances, minimise diesel utilisation and analyse road conditions in order to limit breakage and wear of trucks, etc.

Recognition of people using cameras will monitor all man movement around the plant to determine if they are functioning optimally.

ELB Engineering Services is also working to introduce analytics tools which will monitor the condition of individuals which in turn will elevate on-site safety and determine if employees are focussing on the correct areas of the process.

“Employing these technologies is only the first step – the real value lies in using this information to enhance overall process performance from every avenue.”

To prove these aspirations are well beyond conceptual stage, ELB Engineering Services has formalised a partnership with South Africa based technology diagnostic and digital expert IoT.nxt – who is essentially the technology provider and brain trust behind this technology which will be established specifically for the minerals processing sector.

IoT.nxt mining director Eric Croeser is confident that the two companies can together revolutionise the minerals processing sector through “deep technology” knowledge.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2kxYCFA


ELB pulls South Africa into Fourth Industrial Revolution with IoT.nxt

By Simone Liedtke 13 March 2018

Johannesburg – JSE-listed ELB Engineering Services believes it can “leapfrog” South Africa into the Fourth Industrial Revolution by implementing Internet of Things (IoT) platforms at mineral processing plants.

The company aims to achieve this through an exclusive technology partnership with software developer IoT.nxt, which was signed at a media conference on Tuesday.

The starting point will be iron-ore miner Sedibeng’s dense media separation plant, which ELB is currently building.
This plant will be 100% overlayed with an IoT platform and will be the first of its kind in South Africa, ELB CE Stephen Meijers said, adding that recognition technology, including facial, vehicle and particle recognition technology, will be implemented and installed at the plant by about September this year.

Once this has been completed, ELB aims to roll out the IoT solution to the rest of the South African mining industry, which is looking for ways to mine more economically in response to the urgent need to create leaner operating environments and unlock efficiencies and cost savings. Owing to rising costs, mines have to do more with less.
IoT, Meijers enthused, has a significant role to play in achieving more cost-effective mining production and will positively impact plant efficiency and the bottom line.

Supporting this sentiment is IoT.nxt mining director of partnerships Eric Croeser, who believes that this platform can bring “deep technology knowledge to the mining industry”.

“We believe the partnership with ELB, from its deep industry knowledge and deep industry experience, and its business philosophies, is an absolute perfect match,” Croeser said at the media conference.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2tOQAQd


Internet of Africa

Africa is in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution, and IoT is key to this process.

Tom Jackson 27 September 2017

“Africa is perfectly poised for the disruption that IoT offers. Just as Africa skipped the `copper era’ in telecoms, we believe it will embrace the IoT revolution.” That’s according to Eric Croeser, and he should know. He is director of partnerships for mining at Pretoria-based company IoT.nxt. The company has developed a framework that moves various types of businesses beyond islands of automation and towards a seamless horizontally and vertically integrated digital enterprise. In February, IoT.nxt raised $7.7 million in funding, and has already expanded to the UK and the Netherlands.

It is back home in Africa, however, where major firms like Huawei, China Telecom and ZTE are working in the IoT space, and where Croeser sees the biggest opportunities.

“We at IoT.nxt see Africa, and South Africa specifically, as the fundamental cornerstone of our business. Africa is especially well suited for IoT solutions as the cost of entry barrier is relatively low, when the correct platform is chosen,” he says.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2wUEzK0




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