Maintenance Products

A ‘game-changing’ approach to machine data analytics

Komatsu Smart Solutions is an industry-leading approach to harnessing machine data for analytics and analysis, using data that is continuously streamed from machines on jobsites. It will be progressively rolled out to all Komatsu customers across all industry sectors.

“Our ability to transmit and receive this very detailed data on a continuous basis is allowing us to apply advanced analytics and trends analysis to Komatsu mining equipment,” said Mick Hewitt, technology development manager at Komatsu’s Rutherford facility in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

“Smart Solutions has been available on [Komatsu’s] Joy and P&H mining equipment for some years, and our team is now working on integrating Komatsu’s ‘traditional’ mining equipment product line – dump trucks, excavators and shovels, mining loaders, dozers, etc – into this offering.”

The data derives from a wide range of sources: the Modular Mining and MineWare product suites, KOMTRAX Plus remote monitoring, and other on-board remote monitoring systems.

“Through Smart Solutions, we can now take mining equipment and mine site performance, productivity and safety to the next level,” Hewitt said. “Our ability to receive a constant data flow off our machines greatly enhances the insights we receive from equipment on-site.

“This powers our advanced data-based decision-making processes, which are essential to today’s modern mining operation. Then, by using our ‘big data’ capabilities, we can apply trends knowledge to the data we are capturing.

“This means that, rather than receiving alarms and alerts as an issue arises, we are getting predictive information – ensuring that we know about a potential failure or machine issue well in advance of it happening.”

Komatsu’s Smart Solutions teams collaborate with mine management and on-site personnel to determine the best mix of equipment, services, training, technology, monitoring and data analytics options to create value for customers.

Each Smart Solutions offering is customised to an individual customer’s specific needs and is designed to deliver the lowest cost per tonne in alignment with a customer’s financial and operating goals.

Smart Solutions was developed as an overarching philosophy for applying machine data for analytics and analysis. In Australia it is widely used with Komatsu’s P&H electric rope shovels and P&H wheel loaders. It is also being used for Komatsu’s Joy underground mining equipment, both on hard rock and soft rock.

As Komatsu’s product lines become increasingly integrated, Hewitt predicted the KOMTRAX Plus offering for Komatsu mining equipment would form a subset of Smart Solutions, with the two ultimately becoming part of a single offering.

“Once this occurs, KOMTRAX Plus data will feed into a database accessible by Komatsu’s analytics team, which develops algorithms that can detect any issues with machines across our entire range,” he said.

“Once KOMTRAX Plus is integrated with Smart Solutions, we will offer many additional advantages for customers and mine operators, right across the ‘four pillars’ that we aim to deliver for all our machine owners – HSE [health safety and environment], reliability, productivity, and owning and operating cost.”

Hewitt said the first stages of this have already been implemented. However, it will be an evolving product, so it will undergo many stages of development.

The Smart Solutions/KOMTRAX Plus integration program is being undertaken in Australia and in Komatsu’s Milwaukee (US) offices.

“Komatsu Milwaukee is responsible for the management of all of the databases, while Komatsu Australia is assisting in ensuring all of the ancillary technologies and information are compatible and will work together,” Hewitt said.

“This will deliver benefits not only to our customers here in Australia, but also throughout the world. The technology used in Smart Solutions will eventually also have applications in Komatsu’s construction products. We are currently working on a completely new offering that will overlap both mining and construction. Known as KOMTRAX Plus Air Relay, it is being completely developed in Australia. Details of this will be made available in due course.”

Source: Komatsu Australia

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