As the mining sector faces increasing ESG pressures and other challenges, advanced digitally-enabled solutions have become an essential part of solving energy, resource and environmental challenges, while enhancing productivity and safety. “COVID-19 disrupted operations across the globe. The mining sector is using the opportunity not just to recover, but to transform the way it operates,” says Gert Roselt, CEO of the Probe Mining Group. “Accurate data and an integrated view of operations is a critical part of this process.”
In particular, Probe IMT, which is showcasing its integrated solutions for productivity and safety at Electra Mining Africa at the Johannesburg Expo Centre this week, says has seen a strong uptake of digital solutions incorporating real-time monitoring. Roselt says sensor-based asset management systems have become the integrated mining solution provider’s most popular product, including a suite of real-time monitoring products and solutions from local brand M3SH and leading global brand Wabtec.
Probe IMT installs and maintains the sensor systems to produce the right data for IT systems, ensuring system availability is 98% and above, so that the real-time information is accurate to facilitate decision-making. “The right information translates into huge cost savings in a mine environment. For example, a M3SH sensor on a machine picks up air quality, and decisions can be made to increase or reduce fan speed, saving power and securing carbon tax rebates. Sensors monitor where people are, so that lights can be on only when needed. Diesel generators can be run only when necessary.”
Intelligent systems combine technology, people, and processes to enable feedback loops that inform decisionmaking, explains Roselt. “Our products and solutions are enablers of smart mobility, advanced power and energy management across all types of systems. They are at the heart of next-generation devices and communication infrastructures that play a key role in helping our customers grasp opportunities and solve resource and environmental challenges.”
Roselt says new technologies deliver secure and out-of-the-box solutions, including uptime and remote monitoring right through to drill guidance solutions for a more efficient and accurate exploration of operations. Mining is moving more towards efficient underground mining, with a focus on extracting a specific ore while limiting environmental damage. Drill guidance solutions enable mines to get to the core product faster. “Essentially, we are making traditional equipment smarter with technology. You can have sensors on every type of asset in a mine, including people.”
Probe IMT’s sensor-based offerings further include Operation Level 9 collision avoidance systems (CAS) from Wabtec. The Wabtec CAS suite Probe IMT offers is a sophisticated and adaptable system that provides 360-degree situational awareness of objects in proximity to a heavy vehicle during stationary, slow speed and high-speed operations in order to reduce the risk of vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure, vehicle to personnel and vehicle to environment interactions. “Collision avoidance technology is now very focused on Level 9 technology, where the vehicle automatically takes evasive action where needed. Our systems are fully enabled for Level 9.”
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The design and manufacture of safety solutions, renewable energy, industrial solutions, auto electrical field services, air, power and other specialised solutions also form part of the company’s wide-ranging offering for the mining industry. “With access to the full suite of Probenergy products through the Probe Group, Probe IMT is also focused on making world-class renewable energy solutions accessible in Southern Africa, helping mining and industrial users need to revolutionise their energy sources.”
As a solution provider in a rapidly evolving space, Probe IMT says it is known for becoming an integral part of client businesses. “We are selling a full solution, not just a product, and this requires constant maintenance and onsite support from expert teams as a fully integrated management solution,” says Roselt. “Our best feature is our knowledgeable team, who used these uncertain times as a catalyst for change and delivering solutions at the intersection of multiple megatrends. As early adopters of technology, we continue to drive and enable digital transformation efforts in the industry, ensuring our clients have the tools and data to tackle future challenges.”