Integrated Operations (IO) Working Group

Business Objective

Work with industry partners to define a best practices guideline to IO through workshops and roundtables covering lessons learned and common solutions.

Project Description

IO is the coordination of people, processes and technology on every level of the mine value chain. A project plan is currently in development through a series of workshops and roundtables with stakeholders. The plan will be announced in Q3.

Current project objectives are:

  • Develop a vision for IO in mining.
  • Benchmarking current state in mining and other industries.
  • Define links to Autonomous Mining and Interoperability WGs.
  • Map the generic model of the integration loops by subgroups.
  • Hold a series of regional workshops for stakeholder engagement.
  • Create a roadmap and work plan for 2017.

Business Case

Traditionally, issues surrounding the integration of operations have been considered from a mechanistic point of view which favours working in silos or business functions. The IO WG suggests that the real problem is the variability of the entire production process. The high variability of material flow and quality is an unsolved problem in the mining and metals industry that sensitively affects both the levels of production and the costs. More attention must be paid to the interdependencies among the parts of the system, looking at the production process holistically.

With tight margins being stretched even further in the face of an austere operating environment, the mining industry needs to switch gears to consider new solutions to old problems, change its operating paradigm and way of thinking, using collaborative development as a way to innovate.

In order to control the variation of the entire production system, the IO Working Group will develop a best practice guideline for integrated operations which promotes:

  • A balanced approach of people, process, and technology to develop a sustainable and robust business solution.
  • Collaborative planning and execution throughout the value chain of the business.
  • Identifying cross-functional KPIs that link upstream processes with their impact on downstream processes and the overall outcome.
  • Strategic intent to operate in an integrated fashion, independently of who runs the business at a given time.
  • Equip supervisors with the ability to proactively problem solve.
  • Moving toward a continuous production system that optimizes asset efficiency and overall equipment effectiveness.