Sibanye-Stillwater appoints DataProphet, a South African company with offices in Cape Town and the US, to implement an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered plant optimisation system.
Sibanye-Stillwater, an independent mining group with a global portfolio of high-quality gold and platinum group metal (PGM) assets, announced today that it would partner with DataProphet, a proudly South African company, to implement an AI-powered plant optimisation system.
DataProphet, a leading South African AI and Machine Learning specialist company based in Cape Town is using AI in their OMNI solution, to extract value from historical data and optimise manufacturing and mineral processing plants.
“Often in mineral processing and manufacturing plants, an innately human combination of experience and gut-feel guide operators in their decisions when they can't process an understanding of the intricate and complex interdependencies of the process in real-time. OMNI was built from state of the art Machine Learning models to ensure they continuously make the best decisions for the current plant state whilst being mindful of the processes up and downstream of them,” says DataProphet’s MD & co-founder, Frans Cronje.
The DataProphet team begin by unifying disparate sources of data to provide operators and engineers alike with a unified view of production and quality data for the product, often for the first time in the history of the plant.
Upon ingesting the data, the OMNI solution creates a learnt digital twin of the plant and can inductively discover the entire process from hundreds of man-years’ worth of institutional knowledge embedded in the data.
In this practical application of AI and Machine Learning, the optimum operating patterns are identified from the historical data and used to prescribe actions based on the current operating characteristics of the plant. These prescriptions are provided within the context of a systemwide view which is cognizant of upstream and downstream processes.
The result is a reduction in variation and improved plant metrics through optimised and unified operations. “We look forward to providing OMNI to Sibanye-Stillwater, and driving efficiencies within their operations”, concludes Cronje.
“Artificial intelligence in processing facilities has presented itself as an extremely exciting prospect for us through previous research, development and implementation of similar, less technologically advanced initiatives in the past. As the initiative deals with the backend of our value chain, the primary returns are almost wholly reflected in our bottom line and, at the scale at which we operate, are generally several orders of magnitude larger than the investment required to achieve them. We elected to partner with DataProphet based on their globally competitive capabilities in this space as well as their agility and professionalism. ” Says Sibanye-Stillwater’s technology and innovation lead, Alex Fenn.