Internet of Things (IoT) – Smart Devices & The future of Smart Inspections

Mining equipment in the field

 

Last night while watching a very nervous lady pitch her business on Shark Tank, an episode filmed mid COVID19 pandemic, she made a comment that the pandemic has fast forwarded the deployment of technology into industry and our daily lives by up to 3 years, meaning that need is upon us now - the same is true for IOT & Smart Inspection

 

IOT and its role in various industries such as mining and construction

 

In Q4 of 2020 I was called into a meeting to discuss IOT and the role it could play in the mining sector, there was a client who had a specific need for it soon. Much of the world was in a full lockdown and with mining declared as an essential service, the management team of this specific mine were all working from home and needed enhanced & reliable visibility over their live mining operations. 

 

Some questions that smart devices and a smart inspection platform can help answer

  • How many vehicles are in the Pit? 
  • How many vehicles are standing still?
  • How many vehicles have faults? 
  • What condition are the vehicles in, and do they comply with safety requirements? 
  • Are all staff healthy and fit to be at work? 

Many of these questions can be answered by a call to the mine manager, however the responses can be inaccurate, delayed or not possible to obtain as he or she may be late, sick or in quarantine. The risk is simply too high for these mining operations, not having access to information can spell disaster for their operations. 

 

The technology exists, it is affordable, and it is getting better every day. If you or your organization wish to harness the power of IOT and get connected, this is possible, but you will need the correct setup. An effective, fully digital, and smart IOT system which needs to be deployed in an easy to use, interactive and effective manner:

 

Considerations when choosing an IOT solution and smart inspection platform

  • Select the correct IOT device for the Asset it will be monitoring. There are many different types of devices, they monitor different inputs, outputs and have different communication protocols. 
  • Select the correct communication network & monitoring frequency. How often do you wish to know the status of the Asset? Every day? Every hour? Every minute? We store this data to track trends and predict a failure or maintenance event.
  • Event triggered notifications, when there is a set parameter reached, for example a fault on a control panel, the IOT device needs to communicate this event. 
  • The correct platform managing the device communication. Many devices come with a platform which will allow you to see the device, its latest condition and interact with the device. 

 

What we have found is that many of the provided or adopted platforms are often very limited in the way of providing a comprehensive solution for harnessing IOT data and management thereof. Let’s discuss how AssetPool goes the extra mile by way of an example: 

 

How AssetPool’s IOT / Smart Device solution works

 

You, as the Mining Manager, have decided that your mining operation needs to have an IOT connected device on each one of your high value Assets, this is for you to manage your fleet of machinery more effectively, furthermore your mechanics and staff need to attend to any event activated alert digitally. 

  • The IOT device notifies your administrator of a fault event 
  • Your administrator issues a digital Job card to a field technician 
  • Via push notification the field technician is alerted of the Job
  • The field service technician opens the Job and proceeds to the Asset
  • On arrival the service technician scans the unique identifier on the Asset (QR Code, Barcode, NFC Tag)
  • He will select the appropriate checklist to record the findings and repair (consulting the in App digital O&M Manual if needed)
  • Completes the repair & closes the Job

You now have complete live visibility of your operations and comprehensive digital record keeping. The IOT Connected Smart Device / Smart Inspection combination really does translate to peace of mind and efficiency.  


One of the questions I have for many business owners and executives is this, “can you afford to ignore the change knocking on your door”, the biggest risk you face is your competitors opening that door and embracing change as it will give them an edge – ZDNet article What is IOT states that “Increasing workforce productivity or cost savings are two potential aims, but the IoT can also create new revenue streams for businesses; rather than just selling a standalone product – for example, like an engine – manufacturers can also sell predictive maintenance of the engine”.

 

Looking to deploy IOT and a smart inspection platform in your business? Contact AssetPool to find out how easy it is to get started!

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