|A project involving Hitachi’s Internet-based cloud data service and Wenco’s Fleet Management System is under way to assess how improvements in operational efficiency can be achieved using these systems.
Heavy equipment manufacturer Hitachi and Wenco International Mining Systems, a Canadian subsidiary of Hitachi Construction Machinery, are involved in a joint Proof of Concept (PoC) project with the Canadian diversified mining company Teck that combines Hitachi’s cloud service and Wenco’s Fleet Management System (FMS) with Teck’s mining operation team to demonstrate how much the efficiency of the system will be improved through these services. The results of the project were due to be evaluated approximately 40 days after its launch on January 20.
The project called for Wenco’s FMS to be installed at Hitachi’s data center in North America and provide cloud-based FMS service to Teck via the Internet. Teck’s role was to support the project and provide feedback on the performance and efficiency of the system within one of its facilities located in British Columbia, Canada.
“Wenco is very excited about the associated benefits our industry partners can leverage with the combination of fleet management and cloud computing,” said Phil Walshe, president and CEO of Wenco. “Minimizing learning curves on hardware and software, expanding accessibility, and reducing capital costs will increase system longevity and effectiveness for our clients.”
Wenco’s FMS is installed on haul trucks, excavators and additional equipment. It displays mine-specific instructions for the operators that help increase efficiencies at a mine site. Wenco said that currently its FMS is individually maintained and operated at each mine site, but the cloud-based FMS service utilized in the PoC project will demonstrate the ability for mines with multiple sites to manage those sites from one facility. The goal of the project is to reduce the initial start-up and operating costs of the FMS in small-scale mining.
Hitachi and Wenco said they would work together to complete this PoC project and advance its future full-scale application in other mines. Hitachi said it has positioned the mining sector as one of the core focus areas of its Social Innovation Business, and will accelerate the global rollout of these business activities. Hitachi also said it has organized its smart-information-related products and services into “Intelligent Operations.” After analyzing and evaluating the results of the project, Hitachi will advance the development of an “Intelligent Operations for Mining” solution.
In a recent blog post, Glen Trainor, Wenco’s vice president of sales and marketing, said, “We are also fortunate enough to be associated through common ownership by Hitachi with Business Intelligence companies such as Ideaca and Celerant that work with management at the mine sites and at the C-level to achieve sustainability through operational strategies.
“At the managerial level it is about leveraging even more value from systems, whether from proper and planned integration of systems into SAP, or through identifying benefits and using those benefits to lead the implementation of new methodology. At the C-level it’s about being responsible to the shareholders by delivering true operational value through the implementation of best practices across a global footprint.”