Mining practically devours energy to produce ore. Statistics shows, that in the past decade fuel consumption at the top miners more than doubled. The massive haul trucks that transport this ore, burn larger amounts of diesel in this process. Controlling the fuel expenses through efficient fleet operations is a top priority for all mines.
The key specifics of fleet management in mining sector is that the systems are primarily oriented towards fuel consumption optimization. The choice of accurate fuel monitoring equipment is crucial because of tough modes of operation. When such giant in the field of mining as Wenco searched for fuel monitoring solutions which would perfectly integrate within their original system, they had the main criterion – high accuracy of fuel readings.
Working in mining also has requirements for trackers. Omnicomm has had a long lasting direct experience working with mining machinery. Long before 2010 the company developed, manufactured and was installing proprietary offline systems which were in demand at the mines especially in Mongolia until that time. Now with the development of online systems WIFI based solutions are in demand. WIFI is very important for working with mines, as there are lots of places with little or no GSM network coverage.
Another particularity is connected with keeping precise fuel readings while working at high grades. As open-pit mines age, they deepen, which forces the haul trucks to travel longer distances at a higher grade. That increases fuel consumption even more. When the vehicles travel at high grade (more than 15°), fuel is visible only in one part of the tank making it difficult to track real fuel consumption. That is in such cases why we install 2 fuel sensors in different parts of the tank. To ensure the accuracy of results while the machinery is moving we use a special algorithm which evens the fluctuations of fuel.
All the specifics taken into consideration, precise fuel monitoring equipment provides from 15 % up to 50 % costs reduction on fleet operation. With large amounts of fuel consumed by mining machinery the savings can account for millions of dollars a year. For instance, large corporation NorNikel saves 33 mln dollars a month thanks to installed fuel monitoring system.
As mining is developing fast pace in Africa now, we are working with African continent a lot via a growing network of partners. In South Africa we now have a front office, which regularly carries out installations on mining machinery of all types.