Metal And Mining
Trends And Drivers
During super cycle, people imagined commodity prices will go up forever, people now think that market will never recover. Neither hypothesis is correct. We know that the cycle is lengthening, which means it could take a few additional years for the industry to adjust to market forces. In our opinion, below are top 4 trends we will see in the Mining & Mining industry in 2016 and beyond.
Operational Excellence Tops Corporate Priorities
Metals & mining companies have spent several years cutting costs, improving operational efficiency, and reducing discretionary spend. Depressed commodity prices continued to threaten profits, generate lower return on capital invested and undermine capital budget. These factors are challenging companies to revisit their core competencies, partner with experts and drive ongoing operational improvements. Among several strategies, most visible are process automation, advanced machinery, big data analytics and cloud technologies.
1) Rethinking supply chain: Greatest supply chain challenges stem from lack of confidence on suppliers’ performance (measured in terms of risk, reliability and quality) and supplier capacity. Improved visibility on end to end supply chain is essential for better alignment with customer needs in this ultra-competitive environment. Rethinking existing supply chain structure, companies can drive productivity gain and efficiency through co-opting suppliers into cost equation, setting shared productivity targets, and reforming industrial/labor/supplier relations.
2) Refocusing Capital Allocation: Due to fragmented capital allocation in most of the traditional organizations, it is difficult to connect capital spend to financial and operational returns. Centralized purchasing, improved asset tracking, computerized maintenance management help improve corporate visibility into spare parts, replacement & repair evaluation, cost & equipment performance and improve budgeting & forecasting.
3) Optimizing Working Capital: “Cash is king” is a cliché that holds good today and in future. Predictive analytics and ERP consolidation helps strengthen focus on working capital lever to better match inventory/stockpile with market demand. The ultimate goal is to free up capital for more productive use.
Game Changing Technologies Inject Innovation & Efficiency
Below are key technology trends the industry will experience in coming years:
- Internet of everything: We are truly in an unprecedented age of technology disruption. Phone, PC, car, server, sensor, security systems now connect to internet and connect to each other. Companies tend to integrate their operational systems such as PLC, DPC, and SCADA with their enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms. Better connected and better networked enterprises aim to enable superior decision making by adopting a common platform for information sharing across the enterprise.
- Machine Learning: As machines become more intelligent, complex tasks will be performed by machine reducing labor costs. Integrating physical world with digital world leads to improved cost efficiency, productivity and revenue. Hardware technologies, such as sensors, provide wisdom for intelligent operations planning, while robotics helps overcome hazardous working conditions. Integrated diagnostics technology along with big data analytics generates useful insights from machines that can be analyzed for effective decision making on production planning, energy usage, capacity utilization and continuous improvements.
- Wearables: Wearables, which continue to storm consumer market, can be extended to benefit business by attaching those to employee clothing and accessories to detect employee fatigue, cut down on accidents, and enable rapid response in case of injuries.
- 3D Printing: It enables companies to manufacture parts in remote locations reducing delays associated with unplanned maintenance and the need to hold inventories.
- Smarter Enterprise: Increased use of automation & data analytics, remote operations centers and other intelligent software applications, augmented by cloud computing power and data storage facilities, is enabling companies to solve critical business issues quickly and intelligently. Drone technology (UAV) is making headway into the industry enabling accurate inventory tracking and reconciliation.
Typical Challenges And Priorities
- Commodity prices at record low globally
- Organizations engaged in Mining and Metals sector need to:
- Become more agile and efficient to meet depressed commodity prices
- Prepare for growth
Dalisoft Solution Overview
- Yard management system
- Remote command center
- Material trace and track solution
- MES (Manufacturing Execution System)
- Quality management solution
- Energy management solution
- Environment management solution