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Digging and dealing

SOFTWARE provider Micromine brought its entire suite of products to this year’s Diggers & Dealers mining forum in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. <b><i>Supply Side</i>, by <i>Australia’s Mining Monthly</i> editor Thomas Smith</b>.

Thomas Smith
Digging and dealing

It’s quite a task, trying to stand out in a crowd of thousands of delegates and exhibitors.

How do you get people to notice you? After all, a small window of opportunity is all you need to get your message across.

Micromine certainly made an impression on the Diggers & Dealers crowd at, arguably, the optimum moment.

Just as evening drinks were being served in the main conference hall, the Micromine logo was beamed onto the roof of the marquee. Simple, yet effective.

All week, visitors to Micromine’s booth have been afforded the full tour of the company’s entire suite of software solutions.

But taking pride of place among the presentations has been the newly launched Pitram production reporting service. In short, an all-encompassing, control and management system.

Micromine is pretty excited about its latest software offering.

Here’s how it describes PPRS to clients: “Pitram is an essential and proven system for management and process improvement of mine operations.

“It can be used to record, manage and process minesite data related to equipment, personnel, locations and materials, providing an overall view of the current mine status and increasing clients’ control over their operations.

“Pitram production reporting service is supplied and supported directly by Micromine, including all hardware, software, ongoing database and server administration, software updates, help desk, offsite backups, disaster recovery and remote monitoring.”

So there you have it, total operation management. Micromine also offers service support – for a monthly fee, of course.

“The service is ideal for small to medium size underground and open pit operations that want to introduce Pitram’s advanced reporting capabilities without incurring the expense of installing the entire solution and investing in the resources to manage it,” Micromine operations manager Michael Layng said.

“The Pitram production reporting service is quick and easy to implement and can be up and running in as little as five days.

“Also, minimal training is required due to the simple and secure user interface based on the familiar Internet Explorer web browser.

“A preconfigured Pitram microserver is installed by Micromine onsite. Site personnel connect to the device using their standard Internet Explorer application to enter data and generate reports.

“To minimise interference with the site and to ensure the quality of the service, Micromine’s remote operating centre personnel regularly check the operating status of the site microserver, run health checks, schedule system maintenance and provide database administration support, including automated backup of the site’s data.”

Naturally, given the current economic climate, financial cost-cutting benefits are obvious selling points.

“Given the current economic environment, it is becoming increasingly critical that mine operations improve their bottom line and increase profits through the utilisation of technologies and services which help them to reduce costs and improve efficiencies,” Layng added.

“Micromine has introduced the Pitram production reporting service to make our Pitram technology more accessible to operations from a cost perspective, so that they can take advantage of our leading technology.

“Many small and medium minesites are dependent on Excel or Access to create production reports from paper based activity reports and timesheets, resulting in inefficiencies including the unproductive use of staff time and data entry errors.

“Additionally, the long time-gap between an activity taking place and generating a report doesn’t promote informed and effective decision making.

“The service helps operations overcome these problems at minimal expense.”

More software providers are delivering products that collate and process data, which is used to identify and eliminate bottlenecks in production.

Mining companies can do little to control market prices for the resources they produce.

So the battleground has, understandably, switched to controlling the elements they can influence, meaning every effort is being made to reduce production costs.

Judging by the traffic around the Micromine booth over the last few days, this is a message Diggers & Dealers delegates are interested in.

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