MTS Can Help You Optimise Your Haulage Routes
Updated: Oct 30
If your site is running any new mining technology that generates GPS, such as a mining fleet management system or a condition monitoring solution, then you are potentially sitting upon hundreds of thousands of geospatial records, ripe for extraction and integration with other data sources. Making the most of this data is a key part of digital transformation in mining and can unlock valuable insight into your mine.
What steps are required to extract this information?
Digital Mining Technology Often Uses Coordinate Systems
You need to find out what coordinate system is used by mining technology systems at your site. Understanding this now could save you pain further down the line when you are ready to plot the data for business intelligence.
Note: When intending to use any GPS data from your existing mining technology, if you fail to carry out some initial due-diligence at this stage, then you may find that your data is completely unusable later - this step is crucial!
In order to combine geospatial data from different mining technology, you may be required to carry out a coordinate transformation.
Flattening a sphere (the Earth) into a two-dimensional planar surface (a map) creates distortion in the spatial relationships between objects. A spatial reference, including a coordinate system, provides the ‘key’ to the parameters used to define and minimise this distortion, enabling data from one system to be transformed or reprojected for use in another.
A good place to start is by talking to the surveyors on site. Ask what local coordinate system is used by the mining technology at your site, and if any truncations are in use. The truncations are important, because "knocking off" the first couple of digits of any coordinate results in the loss of several orders of magnitude, and without understanding the truncation, any subsequent transformation may fail.
Speak to your fleet management system administrator for help locating the GPS records and extracting them.
Extracting Stored Geospatial Records from Mining Technology
Depending upon your needs, the extraction process can be carried out manually using SQL queries, although in our experience automation is the most reliable method of dealing with large volumes of data whilst removing the risk of human error.
We recommend the implementation of a scheduled export of raw GPS data from your fleet management system or asset health monitoring system into a separate database for transformation, followed by a scheduled import directly into your preferred mining data analytics or business intelligence tool.
Logging Current Geospatial Records
Due to the volume of records, raw GPS data for mobile equipment is routinely overwritten, with lookups providing only the ‘last known’ position. Creating a history of GPS requires this data to be consistently monitored, stored, and processed.
MTS have a variety of tools to do this and can also configure a system to work with 3rd Party attached GPS modems.
Mining Industry Trends: Using and Presenting Geospatial Data
We are fond of open-source software that provides us the freedom to configure, combine and layer our data. Off-the shelf products are available, but we think the ability to batch upload CSV files in Google Earth is a great place for beginners to start thinking about how they can explore current mining trends.
Perhaps you could plot truck fleet management system GPS data and begin to think about how you could use this to data perform haul road analysis and optimise your haulage routes.
We hope this gives you some ideas on where to start, but if you have any further questions, or would like to know more about how MTS Mining Operations Solutions & Projects can help your mine, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.