In an exclusive preview of the 2019 edition, Mexico Mining Review, Felipe Rivera, Industry Business/Process Automation Hub Leader Mexico and Central America at Schneider Electric discusses the new automation trends affecting the mining industry and how energy consumption can be optimized.
Q: How does Schneider Electric help mining companies optimize their energy consumption?
A: For Schneider Electric, the strategy for energy administration must be based on diversification of supply. We strive for the mining industry in Mexico to achieve this to guarantee its energy consumption levels and avoid shortage risks. This allows the creation of a strategy for cost management though different energy generation possibilities. For example, some regions where mines are located are favorable for solar or wind generation, among others. The idea is to build an energy approach based on diversification and power banks, ensuring availability and supply, minimizing costs and optimizing resources.
All big mining companies in the country have their own energy diversification plans. Schneider Electric works with several of these to optimize the ways in which they can generate that energy. The industry remains gas-dependent so our goal is to realize a broader diversification. We are convinced that the available technology, such as IoT, Big Data, artificial intelligence and analytics, gives the industry a tangible opportunity to optimize the use of its assets. First, companies need to strive for energy diversification and then for optimization. That is, to not depend on only one source, but to also consume less and produce more. This is part of the technological development that Schneider Electric proposes through its technology.
Q: How can mining companies start to incorporate IoT and IIoT into their operations for greater efficiency?
A: Our technology offering can be incorporated starting from just one sensor or engine. For example, one installed speed shifter provides real-time readings on engine burnout. Suddenly, the mine is working with mathematical algorithms as it acquires the capacity to measure and process information. This analysis is predictive and reports the state of operational efficiency. As the reality we face today is hard to predict, the industry should remain open to innovation. Our capacity to process information will give us power, so it is key for miners to stay at the forefront. Technological innovation no longer takes years but just days. As commodity prices are so volatile, the industry’s needs are constantly changing. This represents a significant challenge for technology developers, as we must keep up with these changing needs in a collaborative way to meet shifting demand. For example, we work with Microsoft on cloud and Big Data projects to optimize the intelligence required for industrial information.
This is an exclusive preview of the 2019 edition of Mexico Mining Review. If you want to get all the information, plus other relevant insights regarding this industry, pre-order your copy Mexico Mining Review or access our digital copy of the 2018 edition.