Miners learn from gamers

A GAME-inspired interactive tool is set to reinvent traditional methods of short-term mine planning.
Miners learn from gamers Miners learn from gamers Miners learn from gamers Miners learn from gamers Miners learn from gamers

RungePincockMinarco has turned to the gaming industry to create an interactive short-term mine planning tool.

Marion Lopez

Swapping archaic spreadsheets for a visual interface with gaming features, RungePincockMinarco’s new XECUTE solution enables users to create and maintain their mine plan in 3D through an interactive viewer.

The viewer combines all spatial and equipment data associated with the mine, including survey data, wire frames, block models, mine faces, drill and blast patterns, the mining equipment register and maintenance schedules; with real time mine data to provide a complete representation of the mine.

It also features functions which RPM claims have never been available in technical mine planning solutions before, including touch screen functionality, 4D animation, context menus and a real time multi-user option.

These features mean users – and these include all people involved in mine planning, from surveyors to shift dispatchers and engineers – can easily collaborate in real time, whether onsite or at the office, all within the one visual application, the same as online gamers would.

They can also take on different responsibilities within a mine plan and understand the impact and interrelationship of their planning requirements on both the actions of others, and the mine plan as a whole, now and into the future.

XECUTE

The XECUTE system has a rich and interactive user interface.

In turn, this means they can also observe, assess and take action in real time over the impact of different ultra-short term scenarios or recent operational issues, which may have arisen in the mine, such as poor blast or equipment failure, on their mine plan. 

Once the optimal plan is selected, the associated operational instructions are immediately distributed to the operational team so that mining interruptions are minimised, equipment is better used and the quality/blend of the final product is optimised.

RPM CEO Richard Mathews said XECUTE was an innovation in the true sense of the word.

“The idea for this product originated from a mine planning engineer in one of our major customers who looked outside the box to the gaming industry for an intuitive, easy to use but incredibly complete solution to use in the ultra-short term horizon for mine planning,” he said.

“Previously, the ultra-short term horizon was dominated by one off manual spreadsheets and office whiteboards which all failed to have any linkage to the original mine plan, nor did they deliver the mining instructions to the production systems which are needed in order to deliver on that plan.

“It became very obvious to us, this missing link was a productivity roadblock for every operation globally and as an Industry we needed to take a fresh and innovative approach to the way in which we deliver planning solutions in this horizon.”