Industrial equipment multinational Siemens launched its inaugural Smart Mining Forum as an online event from August 3 to 5.
The event highlighted Siemens’ technical expertise and showcased real examples of its software and technology solutions while current and future trends in sustainable mining were discussed.
The first day, hosted by business host Michael Avery, was opened by Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa CEO Sabine Dall’Omo, who offered the keynote address from South Africa.
She stressed that mining was an essential economic driver for the continent, with more than 25 African countries contributing to the global economy through their mining benefaction.
She pointed out that mines were often the largest contributor to employment in some areas and were the primary mechanism for service delivery.
“Mining plays a substantial role in foreign direct investment for most of these countries as well,” Dall’Omo commented.
Aside from speakers from Siemens the event also hosted industry heavyweights who offered their opinions, foresight and solutions to pressing issues in the sector.
Notably, Minerals Council South Africa modernisation and safety senior executive Sietse van der Woude discussed the concept of ‘reimagining mining for a better future’.
“South Africa needs innovation to compete with the global mining sector, especially in terms of environment, social and corporate governance,” he stressed.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic slowed global production, it accelerated change.
For example, the time it took for a standard shift change at a reputable iron-ore mining operation had been decreased from four hours to just 20 minutes, owing to new innovations, he added.
Other topics discussed included designing the mine of the future, the energy decarbonisation transition and emerging trends in the local mining sector.
Siemens’ electrification, automation and digitalisation portfolio combines a deep understanding of the mining industry – including insights from local and global subject matter experts in the various fields that span the digital mining value chain –with “state-of-the-art” technologies, making it a successful partner to African mines.
The three-day event aligned with Siemens’ motto: On the road to the digital future, demonstrating the company’s end-to-end mining expertise.
It also offered an overview of its “cutting-edge technologies” and upcoming solutions, including the launch of Siemens’ SIDRIVE IQ, the Internet of Things system that can enhance uptime of critical processes.
Siemens also hosted an enterprise and supplier development forum to promote sustainability, as well as an interactive session for students, including a “hackathon” to showcase the power of Siemens’ low-coding platform, Mendix.