Management and technology consulting firm Hitachi Consulting, a subsidiary of Japanese engineering group Hitachi, announced this month that it had partnered with provider of fleet management systems for surface mining operations Wenco International Mining Systems to launch a new joint service for pit operations.
Wenco’s international headquarters are in British Columbia, Canada, and the company has regional staff located in the US, Chile, South Africa, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ireland, Russia, India and Australia.
Wenco provides software and hardware to accurately record equipment activity, location, time, production and maintenance information.
The company’s products are supported by an in-house staff of engineers, mining industry experts, software developers and training specialists.
Hitachi Consulting metals and mining VP Gerhard van Niekerk explains that this new service is in response to clients’ requests to better understand how their operations compare and contrast with their peers’, and will provide guidelines on which parts of companies’ operations should be improved.
The service includes a maturity assessment of the overall pit dispatch/fleet management operation against an industry benchmark and an improvement support service to help pit operation teams raise overall performances.
Van Niekerk says the dispatch operations maturity assessment tool provides sites with a prioritised list of activities to improve pit operations.
“The assessment is not limited to any brand of fleet management systems software, or mobile equipment,” he states.
Additionally, the dispatch operations maturity improvement service offers a configurable support service to mine support teams to improve the activities that inhibit overall production performance.
“Companies have the choice of selecting specific services to complement their own internal capabilities,” says Van Niekerk.
The assessment and improvement services provide companies with several aspects of pit operations to ensure “optimal efficiency”, including measurement systems, fleet management software systems, data quality, dispatch function management, shift operations management, pit operations improvements, asset reliability management and integration with downstream processes.
“Pit operations are dynamic environments that are extremely challenging to keep optimally efficient. Therefore, with these complex environments, knowing which parts of the operation are inhibiting the overall pit performance still relies on perceptions.
Holistic operational assessments, such as the one offered through the joint service, make it possible for an operation’s management team to know where to focus efforts to improve shift operations and asset productivity and thereby increase production output,” Van Niekerk concludes.