Hitachi Predicts a Major Evolution in Mining and Quarrying Through Autonomous Technologies
Aggregates and Mining Today posted an article highlighting the Hitachi Innovation Conference that was held in Brisbane in late November. This conference sparked a great deal of conversation about the digital transformation in the industry.
In a media release issued by the company, the prediction was made that innovations such as autonomous vehicles, remote and integrated operation centers, and analytics will be prevalent across the industry in less than 15 years.
Safety and operating costs are the principle factors that have increased adoption of these new technologies. They keep workers safe by keeping them out of the pit, and miners have also recorded operating cost reductions by up to 20 percent. Because of this, Hitachi Australia principal mining engineer, Anthony Finch, anticipates that in the next 10-15 years, “most quarries will own a fleet of half a dozen autonomous trucks.”
These technologies can be unpredictable, and a lot of money and effort is going in to making sure the system can be recovered quickly if it were to go down. Quarrying and mining professionals will notice a transition into technical and maintenance roles in order to keep the infrastructure in working order.
The Heavy Work space is slow to adapt to change, but having these types of conversations is a great way to shed light on industry issues and how they can be resolved by optimizing operations through technology.