How Real-Time Planning Software Can Help Mining Companies Maximize Network Capacity

As global consumption continues to increase, mining companies are faced with the challenge of maximizing their network capacity to meet a rising demand for raw goods. Achieving this overarching goal, however, is made even more difficult by a number of specific challenges and constraints unique to the mining industry.

First, mining operations require a dynamic balance of operations between three main network components: mine, rail and port. Coordinating these operations requires a great deal of precision and planning as well as clear visibility of the multitude of factors that can affect mining.

Second, companies must run their operations on a 24/7 basis in order to meet demand. And in order to ensure that assets are delivering a maximum return on investment every minute of the day, companies are searching for ways to optimize the movement of trains to avoid delays, accommodate maintenance needs and account for potential disruptions in the network.

“Mining networks are extremely complex and needs are in a constant state of fluctuation,” said Amit Agarwal, Director of Research and Development at Optym, a global technology company that builds software solutions for the transportation and logistics industry. “As a result, companies are looking for a system that is responsive enough to handle all of these challenges. Our focus is on creating highly responsive applications that maximize network capacity and asset value in the most economical way.”

With the advent of advanced planning and scheduling systems, mining companies are beginning to improve the efficiency of their operations and maximize capacity and production. Systems like these provide companies with more detailed visibility, allowing them to make plans that are thorough enough to truly maximize capacity and savings. Companies can also evaluate the impact of their changes so that they can make more informed strategic and capital expansion decisions.

One such planning application is Optym’s GeoWIZ, a real-time train movement planning system that enables companies to create optimal train schedules based on a variety of constraints and factors. These schedules are made available throughout the network and can be revised dynamically if disruptions or unplanned events occur.

“Planning systems like GeoWIZ are the hottest weapon in the mining industry and are a must-have for companies looking to remain competitive in a growing world,” said Agarwal.

These highly interactive systems allow for better collaboration within networks and, combined with other advanced optimization, simulation and data analytics applications, can provide companies with the visibility they need to make smart, sustainable decisions going forward.

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