Hailing from Queensland, Australia, MineWare is an independent, 100% Komatsu-owned company that develops real-time monitoring technology for ground engaging equipment.
MineWare has experienced rapid growth since its inception in 2006 and has continued to expand its global presence since joining the Komatsu family in April 2017.
Today, more than 280 MineWare systems support over 130 surface mining operations throughout South Africa, North and South America and Australasia.
Mark Stevens, regional vice-president of MineWare South Africa, is passionate about the benefits MineWare’s products can deliver current and future Komatsu customers.
“We develop world-leading monitoring solutions that sustainably improve productivity and efficiency, reduce maintenance and ultimately, lower miners’ cost per tonne. Our independent, interoperable systems improve the performance of draglines, rope shovels, excavators and dozers – but what really sets them apart is their accuracy, reliability and ease of use,” he said.
“Through our recent growth, we have been able to increase our presence globally and establish a full, local team based here in South Africa. This means we can now be on the ground in the market, supporting our regional partners and distribution network while delivering exceptional service for our customers locally.”
Argus improves truck and shovel performance, lowers cost per tonne
MineWare’s Argus system improves the performance of electric and hydraulic shovels. Argus is specifically designed to manage shovel payloads and operator performance to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.
The shovel monitoring system increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the load and haul process, which is critical to whole-of-mine performance. Mark details a recent case study in which Argus made a profound improvement to a local mining operation.
“One of our coal producing customers in South Africa implemented the Argus monitoring system on its Komatsu PC 8000 shovel. Using the system, it was able to significantly improve the mine’s truck and shovel performance and gain a 32% improvement in digging rates,” he said.
“Argus had an outstanding impact on productivity. Prior to installation, data revealed that 60% of all haul trucks were either over or underloaded, resulting in extra wear on overburdened machines and major inefficiencies on underutilised trucks.
“Following the introduction of the Argus system, there was a complete reversal of the situation with no less than 82.5% of loads falling within OEM-specified tonnages.
“This demonstrates the power of using a system like Argus as the benefits of even a 3% net gain in productivity are paid back within a five-month period without the use of additional trucks, truck cycles and additional production costs,” he says.
Following these results, the group has designated Argus as the preferred monitoring system across its several operations.
Productivity soars with Pegasys
MineWare’s systems have been positively received by markets around the world. Mark explains that the Pegasys dragline monitoring system is now universally regarded as the best-in-class payload and mine compliance package available globally.
“First adopted by BHP Billiton in 2005, Pegasys involves the management of dragline payloads and the establishment of best operator practice related to product type and working conditions,” he said.
“Pegasys rewards customers with an increase in dragline efficiency of up to 12%, while also reducing mechanical stress by up to 20%. In the context of opencast mining, the scale of these improvements is undeniably massive.”
Mark makes the point that with advances in techniques like terrain mapping, Pegasys provides its users with gains in some other unexpected areas—such as underwater digging.
For example, with Pegasys’ digital terrain mapping module, a dragline can access real-time information that enables it to operate under safe and manageable conditions where there is standing water. Another benefit is that if the bucket is replaced with another of a different size, the end-user simply loads the appropriate configuration and the monitoring process continues uninterrupted.
Revolutionising with mRoc Desktop
MineWare’s mRoc desktop technology is revolutionary in its ability to give mining operations access to greater visibility of their shovel and dragline operations, anywhere, at any time. Real-time dashboards provide instant information on production, operator and machine conditions and direct access to the condition of machines on site.
“mRoc Desktop combines a suite of solutions that improve mine compliance, including digging with greater accuracy, payload optimisation across an entire fleet, and machine health monitoring to minimise machine stress and achieve significant maintenance savings.”
MineWare’s regional office based in Germiston is open and building up a marketing and support base to provide gains in efficiencies to operators of all brands of heavy surface mining equipment across southern Africa and beyond.