Shell and IBM launch Oren platform for mining sector

Shell and IBM launch Oren digital platform for mining companies.

Shell and IBM have launched a new, global B2B Digital mining services marketplace platform aimed at helping mining companies find solutions related to safety, sustainability, mine planning and operational efficiency.

By hosting new technology and digital solutions in one place, Oren aims to accelerate the digitization of the mining industry, speed up the transformation of mining workflows and build in more operational resiliency.

The platform is not limited to Shell and IBM technologies, and the companies say the Oren marketplace platform allows solution developers – both established enterprise companies as well as start-ups – to get their market innovations to mining clients quickly.

As current world events disrupt regular business operations, mining companies are looking to become more agile and resilient by embedding more automated mine solutions such as self-driving haul trucks and remote operations centres in their operations.

By hosting new technology and digital solutions in one place, Oren aims to accelerate the digitization of the mining industry, speed up the transformation of mining workflows and build in more operational resiliency

To do this, mining operations need to quickly become more digital and intelligent at every step, both within the mines and throughout the wider value chains.

Shell, a major supplier of lubricants to the mining industry, engaged with more than 350 mining businesses and identified that 80% of those surveyed are wrestling with similar challenges in their operations.

These include: difficulty aggregating data to make actionable insights; lack of intelligent workflows due to siloed organizational working; improving sustainability; along with keeping employees safe while deploying autonomous technology.

“Mining customers can benefit from many of the digital solutions used in the energy industry, for example, those that help manage operations safely and efficiently in remote locations,” said Carol Chen, Shell’s VP, Global Marketing Lubricants.

“We envision Oren being the one-stop digital destination for the mining sector to access the best digital solutions and technologies, not just from Shell and IBM, but also from leading and emerging companies. Being able to find and access a wide range of solutions digitally is even more important given the movement constraints faced as countries respond to covid-19.”

Matt Candy, Global Managing Partner IBM iX, added: “The next push in mining requires a new approach towards industry-wide technology platforms which requires new levels of openness, innovation and collaboration.

Oren accelerates the adoption of digital services in the mining industry by facilitating technology transfer, innovation and integration from solution providers across the ecosystem.”

In addition to connecting miners with ready-made, proven solutions, Oren also aims to enable mining operations to develop a roadmap designed to deliver the interconnected mine of the future by creating connected solutions that integrate and leverage data, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, automation and analytics.

This can give miners not only access to digital mining services but also bring solutions and services that can enable miners to imagine and build up intelligent workflows that integrate all services across the mining ecosystem.

The Oren team will bring expert support to mining companies to help build their specific digital journey roadmap while the B2B marketplace provides solutions to get things done.

Features include:

  • Tailored search allowing users to identify the most appropriate solutions by customizing their search parameters in relation to their responsibilities, the business challenge they are tackling or the nature of the technical solution they are seeking.
  • Access to field-proven mining solutions such as; MachineMax, a cloud-based digital service for off-highway vehicles and industrials fleet optimization; Shell Remote Sense, a smart lubricant condition monitoring service; and IBM’s Maintenance, Repair and Operations Inventory Optimization Services which helps manage spare parts inventory optimally for both critical and non-critical spares.
  • Dedicated environmental management and compliance software that can provide detailed analysis and reporting on pollutant inventories, greenhouse gas emission, energy consumption, environmental impact assessment, mine rehabilitation and mine life cycle assessment. It is anticipated that one third of the solutions available on the marketplace will be related to sustainability with solutions available from established companies and start-ups such as Hydrox Holdings, which developed a technology to unlock inexpensive hydrogen production as a renewable energy source.
  • Early adopter access for pioneering technologies that help transform mining operations. Oren will facilitate mining companies to try new solutions in their daily work and integrate them into their current systems — for example, BGC Engineering‘s Ada platform, which allows holographic visualization of mine site through a realistic 3-D interactive and immersive experience.
  • A searchable repository of best practice mining use cases to show the solutions in action in other mine sites.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

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