All “things” in the manufacturing process (think loader scales, weighbridges, belt weighers, trucks, etc.) have sensors or load cells offering the capability to stream data and in a perfect world are connected to the internet. Data is streamed from scale systems to operations management software to be utilised to populate, analyse, and interpret big data. This data can be actioned in real-time or reviewed periodically so to identify bottlenecks offering means for improvement and business efficiency.
Capital investment in quarry production technology is less expensive in today’s world with increased competition and high demand for the “….full 360-degree overview…” it’s also becoming easier to use as we integrate and connect what typically was disparate or independent machinery.
Industry 4.0 gives managers and business owners a bird’s eye view of operations. When everything is interconnected, you get the full picture. But, decision-makers have to be realistic about the actuality of Industry 4.0’s ecosystem as not all quarries are equal. Although words like cloud and connectivity roll off the tongue easily the reality can be entirely different, i.e. assuming a quarry has internet access, within New Zealand, its likely to be via ADSL and not VSDL or Fibre and then with this connection one’s choice is in, creating interconnectivity within the manufacturing process. Will it be the wireless quarry (wifi) and/or a combination of 3G or DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) communication? Let’s also not forget very remote locations without the luxury of any such communication choice which can be typical of mobile crushing plants.
While we, as technology providers have embraced the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) we have done it in a way that sees Local Connectivity as Primary and the Internet of Things (IoT) as Secondary. You might recall the Auckland Fuel Pipeline Bursting and the chaos this caused customers not to mention the lost revenue; reinforcing the adage of don’t place all your eggs in one basket.
At the quarry you have heavy machinery which can accidentally (of course) rip up such connection cables or trucks that can hit telephone poles or weighbridges that can be struck by lightning and in all scenario’s having the redundancy or auto failover protection is worth its weight in gold. How many days of production could you afford to lose because of an accident or circumstance out of your control? Knowing technology could have mitigated any such losses.
On a macro level, consider how much petrol, oil, and time your business could save if Loader Drivers didn’t have to:
- Talk to Truck Drivers
- Continue to concentrate, listen, and respond to radio chatter
- Constantly travel between the crushers and adding rock to numerous stockpiles and, loading trucks.
In the restaurant industry, a server is allocated a number of tables to service, ensuring that they know which tables they are designated and that they don’t have more tables than they can handle. This same philosophy should be true for our quarry loaders servicing a particular aspect of the manufacturing process which reduces the consumption of consumables, drives down overhead and increases profitability.
Record demand by Customer Job/Order and by aggregate type or product with expected start and finish dates comparing this to historical information so to ensure relevance. Then whether it’s a Dumper or a Loader using a tablet and our software, track stockpile positive adjustments, recording an average cost to manufacture per addition, or load, ensuring you have the necessary quantities to meet demand forecasts.
The measured detail on throughput from crushing and screening through to the final payload gives quarry operators weight versus time or tonnes per hour analysis.
With connected measuring devices writing data to a central database repository, issues such as weaker links, limitations, complete dependencies, or bottlenecks in the processing chain can be identified quickly and, solved easily.
On-screen, a global view of every scale from the weighbridge to the loader acknowledging In Progress and Stationery machinery in addition to the transport vehicle, wait and load times.
Compare weights between scales for accuracy ensuring production figures and payload data are a match and, on a growth curve.
Inventory is carefully tracked and updated in the system, i.e. WrightZone Weighbridge with its tablet technology can see Loaders adding positive adjustments to the stockpile with vehicles exiting the quarry creating negative ones, concluding in real time Stock On Hand (SOH) monitoring.
Industry 4.0 can eliminate either the eye-ball approach and/or monthly, drone surveying.
As a quarry operator, you need logistics planning and scheduling capability of not just your own fleet but all vehicles. You need to know which vehicles are due on the site any hour, of any day, for complete demand forecasting and to report on capacity constraints. For example, one loader trying to service twenty vehicles within an hour means a longer wait time before the load time is initiated (which doesn’t support customer retention through customer satisfaction).
Adopting Industry 4.0 when IIoT is Not Connected. There’s still so much you can do, for example:
Your weighbridge is hit by lightning?
Continue production in creating the docket/invoice directly from your certified Loader Scales and our Loader Scale Tablet Software.
Your truck hits the telephone pole or, for whatever reason the internet is down, or maybe you never had internet capabilities?
- Firstly, you have a local database that stores your own data which is not internet reliant, so production continues unimpeded.
- Secondly, our Loader Scales Software works online and offline employing a local database that is synced automatically to the main Multi-Master database on communication restoration.
Our Quarry Management Software makes your operations more efficient and productive.