To meet the demand from rising world population, the mining and rock excavation industry is being under pressure to increase the supply of minerals that often requires extracting from greater depths that result in equipment fails or needs to be serviced.

The company said that OptiMine Analytics processes data into the improvements through predictive insights and actionable dashboards embedded into operation management systems.

OptiMine Analytics uses the analytics capabilities from IBM Watson IoT, and facilitates mining companies to combine equipment and application data from disparate sources in real-time, analyzing patterns in the data to help improve availability, utilization and performance.

IBM Global Business Services cognitive process transformation general manager Jay Bellissimo said: “Sensors and tracking systems for asset management is only the beginning when it comes to how artificial intelligence will disrupt the mining industry. Creating a solution that turns the data into actionable insights is a delicate matter.

“It requires an interdisciplinary effort spanning across mining technology, software engineering and data science. IBM and Sandvik are now on course to help transform the mining value chain with the fusion of cognitive capabilities into miners business and operating processes.”

IBM has held a series of IBM Design Thinking workshops, through which IBM and Sandvik both have worked with clients to develop a framework around data driven productivity and predictive maintenance.

IBM said that using the Watson IoT technology, it has created a platform along with Sandvik to comply with the stringent reliability and security requirements of mining operations, including predictive maintenance technology that leverages IoT sensor data.

Sandvik rock drills & technologies president Patrick Murphy said: “Proactively identifying maintenance needs before something breaks is leading to huge cost and time savings. Our award-winning OptiMine® Analytics with IBM Watson IoT solutions offer our customers a more complete view of their operations for smarter, safer and more productive work.”

The common clients of Sandvik and IBM, like Petra Diamonds and Barminco are using IoT to help reduce miner exposure to hostile work environments and increase safety.

Petra Diamonds operations executive Luctor Roode said: “Our top priority is the safety of our employees and if a machine fails underground, we need immediate insight into what is happening in that tunnel. With the solution from Sandvik and IBM, we have real-time data that allows us to immediately identify the root cause of the problem and act accordingly.”

Barminco chief executive officer Paul Muller said: “Leveraging data is become increasingly valuable across the mining sector. Through analytics, machine learning and AI, we are seeing new possibilities for increased operational efficiency. Our partnership with Sandvik’s OptiMine Analytics allows us to fast-track our efforts, leveraging Sandvik’s whole-of-fleet data and innate machine knowledge.”