Chile’s Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, became this week the first mining company to join the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), organization dedicated to developing standards for online solutions that can drive innovation.
The miner said in a statement (in Spanish) it would begin looking at some of the processes into which it can incorporate industrial Internet principles to help improve productivity. Among other applications, Codelco is interested in implementing worker location services and remote equipment assessments.
Richard Soley, Executive Director of IIC, says the possibilities of bringing real-time data analytics and control into the mining world are endless.
Founded in 2014, IIC is a group of more than 500 companies from various industries including manufacturing, technology, as well as academia and the government working together to speed the integration of the physical and digital worlds for transformational change.
Codelco began an operational make over about two years ago, with the goal of moving from a physical model to one powered by data and digital processes. The plan, dubbed “Codelco Digital,” aims to drive radical improvements in mining automation and to support executives in developing, communicating, and evolving a long-term digital vision.
The company used real-time dashboards, autonomous trucks that reduced accidents, and mobile and analytics applications to enhance the efficiency of its entire operation. But now, Codelco said it is slowly transitioning to a scenario where no miner may ever again need to work in dangerous underground environments. “We are reinventing mining as we know it,” it said.