Landscape of Interoperability Initiatives in Mining

One of the challenges with interoperability in mining is that it is difficult to understand what is out there to help advance the industry. This landscape aims to increase the industry’s understanding and confidence in what different organizations are doing on interoperability to enable collaboration among organizations, and accelerate the progress of those ongoing efforts.

This initial iteration covers organizations with ongoing or completed interoperability initiatives, solutions, tools, and projects. This is a live database based on input received by GMG and research and is not intended to be exhaustive. The outreach, feedback, and information gathering process will be ongoing.

Organization: Commonwealth and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)

ACARP C24034 Proximity Detection Device Interoperability

Description:

“A primary outcome of this project has been the framework for a common protocol for communications between proximity detection system (PDS) and OEM devices in the mining industry. It was resolved by the working group that, due to its familiarity and broad industry acceptance, the preferred basis for the protocol should be the J1939 standards as established by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). There are a number of documented limitations of this approach, however it has been agreed that these are surmountable, and that the advantages outweigh the limitations” (source: https://www.acarp.com.au/abstracts.aspx?repId=C24034).

Outcomes:

“The end outcome of this work has been envisaged as a standard, open architecture protocol with wide acceptance and uptake by the entire industry.”

This initiative produced a report that: “provides an overview of the J1939 protocol in light of the vehicle interaction requirements defined by EMESRT. The EMESRT workshop also defined a set of fundamental signals or messages between the PDS and OEM systems that would be required for compliance with the proposed industry standard: these signals, and the J1939 protocol messages necessary to implement them, are documented. Some key issues remain to be addressed as part of the implementation process, such as the need for an agreed hardwired interface for communication with non-computerised vehicles. Of particular note in this category is the question of the extensibility of the proposed protocol, and the need for an ongoing roadmap to carefully manage the implementation process” (source: https://www.acarp.com.au/abstracts.aspx?repId=C24034; report can also be accessed through this source link).

How this project can be used to advance interoperability:

Standardized protocol will enable interoperability between PDS and OEM devices in mining. It applies a broader standard (J1939) to mining requirements (EMESRT).

Status: Research portion is complete, but implementation is ongoing. The report indicates the following recommendations for ongoing action:

  • Regular review and monitoring of similar technologies in the automotive field should be undertaken
  • A project to implement a testing and compliance verification suite to validate systems in development or production
  • Ongoing refinement of the protocol under development by the EMESRT group should address the identified issues preferably with reference back to the SAE standards, as well as the LISCA framework where appropriate

Read more here: https://www.acarp.com.au/abstracts.aspx?repId=C24034

Accessibility Model: Reports can be purchased from the ACARP website.

 

See also: EMESRT, SAE J1939

Organization: Mining3

ACARP C26028 – Proximity Detection System (PDS) Validation Framework

Description:

“This project has made an attempt at developing a PDS Validation Framework that is scientifically rigorous yet practically achievable for a site to implement. The project, which involved an initial investigation into the fundamental problems and challenges of validating such systems, proposed a staged two-tier approach to PDS validation:

  • Tier One involves validating the PDS’s Object Detection capability against a set of environmental and vehicle speed variables;
  • Tier Two covers the validation of PDS’s L8 and L9 capability (see PR5A L1 – L9 hierarchy of controls) in limited choreographed test scenarios.” (source: https://www.acarp.com.au/abstracts.aspx?repId=C26028).

“A framework for Learning and Knowledge Capture driven by all stakeholders is extremely important as this will ensure that performance failures in the application environment (if and when they do occur) is converted into critical information that helps drive the development of the next generation of improved and more robust products while simultaneously reducing the set of ‘unknown unknowns’ of the operating environment” (source: https://www.acarp.com.au/abstracts.aspx?repId=C26028).

How this project can be used to advance interoperability:

Validating and understanding how different proximity detection systems work together enables interoperability between them and feed into standardization work (e.g., ISO/DIS 21815).

Status:  Ongoing

Accessibility Model: Reports can be purchased from the ACARP website.

See also: EMESRT, ISO/DIS 21815

 

Mining3 has also created a toolkit based on this framework: https://pdstoolkit.com/

Organization: AMIRA International

AMIRA P1025 Achieving Interoperability Across the Minerals Value Chain – Phase 1- Surface Mining Equipment

Scope and Description
“The project was a study of interoperability across the minerals value chain, focused specifically on surface mining equipment. The project’s three main goals were to identify and position the many disparate past and present initiatives aimed at interoperability, develop a set of guiding principles for improved interoperability, and determine whether increased efforts are needed to support the evolving requirements of mining companies for major technology based transformations” (source: https://amira.global/project-publications/)

Outcome
“The Summary report outlines the results of a series of interviews and surveys with key mining industry personnel about the current state of interoperability and how to move the industry toward a more open interoperable technology environment.” (source: https://amira.global/project-publications/)

Stakeholders
Mining companies, equipment manufacturers, technology vendors, services companies, research, and
standards organizations.

Status: Published in 2016. Phase 2 open for sponsorship
Accessibility Model: Summary report is publicly available, full report accessible to sponsors. The summary
report can be accessed here: https://amira.global/project-publications/

Organization: AMIRA International

AMIRA P1208 Enabling Interoperability in Natural Resources

Description:

“The aim of this project is to develop and implement Interoperability Standards for Mine Planning, Mine Scheduling and Execution so that equipment and applications for mine operations become ‘plug and play’. Building on the University of Western Australia (UWA) I4.0 ERDi Test Lab, this project will enable an offsite test laboratory to evaluate efficacy of interoperability of technology without disrupting ongoing mining activities. The project will utilise the existing Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF) structures and systems to implement the standards” (source: https://amira.global/project/interoperability-enablement-for-natural-resources/).

“This project aims to demonstrate that existing interoperability standards can be implemented into existing software packages used in mining today as well as demonstrate benefits associated with cross functional/process/system automation” (source: https://erditestlab.com/services).

Specifically, this project demonstrates how existing ISA-95 and OPAS standards can used and implemented in lab environment using real world and scaled test data for both open pit and underground. The project covers a number of use cases and interfaces in which these standards can be used in mining.

Scope:

  • Interoperable Mine Planning, Scheduling, FMS and Materials Tracking POC
  • Interoperable data platforms
  • Process control POC (OPAS)
  • Standards rate of change and more performant implementation schema POC

(source: https://erditestlab.com/services).

How this project can be used to advance interoperability:

“To develop a vastly improved mining operating model with reduced costs and more efficient exploitation of opportunities through real time data exchange between applications, the Digital Mine” (source: https://amira.global/project/interoperability-enablement-for-natural-resources/).

Status: Ongoing

Timeline: Q2 2021

See also ERDi Testlab, Open Process Automation Forum

Organization: Luleå University of Technology

Arrowhead Tools

Vision:

The Arrowhead Tools project aims for digitalisation and automation solutions for the European industry, which will close the gaps that hinder the IT/OT integration by introducing new technologies in an open-source platform for the design and run-time engineering of IoT and System of Systems. It is an EU project under ECESL Joint Undertaking.

Grand Challenges:

To create digitalisation and automation solutions, Arrowhead Tools addresses engineering methodologies and suitable integrated tool chains with the global aim of substantially reducing the engineering costs for digitalisation/automation solutions.

Objectives:

  • Consolidating and TRL 7 mature platform for interoperability and SoS integration: Arrowhead Framework
  • Engineering tool chain integration architecture and reference implementation
  • Engineering procedure and supportive tools and tool chains

Validation and verification of such engineering procedure, tools and integrated tool chains in 23 commercially driven use cases covering applications in production, health, infrastructure, smart home and buildings, mobility and energy.

The innovation strategy is expected to deliver the following technology innovations, which can be brought to the market and will support a wider exploitation of digitalization solutions:

  • Open-source integration platform for design and run-time IoT and System of Systems engineering, enabling automation solutions with real time, security, scalability, engineering simplicity and evolution requirements
  • Engineering procedure for the design and run-time IoT and System of Systems automation solutions, proposed for standardization
  • Engineering tools and tool chain integration supporting efficient engineering of IoT and System of Systems solutions
  • Training software and hardware for efficient IoT and System of Systems engineering.

Role of interoperability in this project:

Arrowhead: Creating protocol and data interoperability between IoTs and legacy automation software and systems.

Arrowhead Tools: Interoperability between engineering software tools.

This is an industry-driven Innovation project targeting interoperability technology possible to standardize.

Interoperability definition:

The main objective is creating seamless and autonomous interoperability between devices and software systems enabling instant understanding of transferred data/information. Arrowhead Tools mainly focus on protocols and data interoperability.

What problems is it trying to solve in terms of interoperability?

Reducing engineering time for system development and implementation by creating an integration platform capable of handling interoperability, security and training in parallel (p25 ECS-SRA “obstacles”).

 Mine cycle stage:

The project is developing generic industrial technology with testing and validation cases at for example Boliden Mines in Sweden focusing on efficient and secure data sharing with external suppliers in the mining values. It’s worth noticing that the problem statement for mining industry is very similar to challenges found in other industries such as automotive, chemical, semiconductor, heavy manufacturing, buildings, etc. Large possibility for collaboration and knowledge exchange with other sectors.

Type of mining:

Use cases have primarily been focusing on underground mining applications.

 Business area:

Business areas include applications in Mining such as:
– Sensor system and data aggregation, intelligent Rock Bolts Manufactured and Implemented by company ThingWave
– MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) successfully developed and has been integrated to legacy using Arrowhead architecture by company BNearIT
– Automation engineering, interoperability between different engineering tools (used for requirements, functional design, procurement, and engineering & deployment and commissioning) by autonomously translating data/information, implemented by companies MSI & Midroc.

Applicability to Mining:

The technology developed is generic but has been specifically tested and evaluated at different industries including mining. Automation solutions in continuous processes with closed-loop control have a high degree of similarity on a principal level, i.e., process based on DCS rather than SCADA.

Stakeholders:

Arrowhead Tools have 80 partners from across Europe including end-users from process and manufacturing industries, Automation Integrators, Automation System Suppliers, Component suppliers.

Accessibility model: primarily open source

Learn more here: https://arrowhead.eu/arrowheadframework

Timeline: Project ends July 2022.

Organization: Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT)

EMESRT Vehicle Interaction

Description and Scope:

This project aims to improve the effectiveness and reliability of vehicle interaction controls in mining.

Industry-level initiatives include:

  • “The development of interoperability standards between third-party PDS suppliers and equipment supplied by OEM’s – a common interface protocol allows PDS controls in mixed equipment fleets. This has led to the development of an international standard ISO 21815 Collision Awareness and Avoidance – Part 2 that formally defines the interface protocol.
  • In 2017, EMESRT prepared a paper seeking Collaboration with the ICMM Risk Committee, ICMM Collaborative Technology Acceleration Summits which has led to involvement and ongoing collaboration during 2019 for the ICMM Innovation for Cleaner Safer Vehicles (ICSV) VI programme.
  • Supporting and contributing to the industry review of the ACARP Proximity Detection System Validation Framework Project C26028. The outcomes of this project are being aligned to allow transition into ISO 21815 to formalise the methodology for all to reference” (source: https://emesrt.org/vehicle-interaction/). 

How this initiative can be/is being used to enable interoperability in mining:

See first point above.

 

See also: ACARP C26028, ISO/DIS 21815, ICMM ICSV

Organization: University of Western Australia

ERDi TestLab

Description:

“ERDi provides the optimal validation platform for you to test I4.0 commercial readiness for open process control and operations management systems using international standards. We specialise in I4.0 interoperability standards from standards definition, research and development, testing of interoperable components and architectures, education, advisory and compliance testing” (source: https://erditestlab.com/services).

How this initiative can be used to enable interoperability in mining:

This TestLab offers several services to enable standards-based interoperability.

Specific project: The On-board to Office FMS and AHS interoperability – A number of mining companies have expressed interest in interoperability between mobile equipment level 2 systems and level 2 to level 3 systems. This project will demonstrate how to develop a OPC-UA companion specifications for a select number of use cases as well as conduct development, lab and field testing.

  • Status: Proposal Stage
  • Start: Q1 CY2021
  • Completion: Q1 CY2022
  • Vendors: TBC
  • Miners: TBC

The test lab also offers the following services:

    • l4.0 Advisory: assessment of software or business challenge and “determining the specific functionality and standard interfaces/message exchanges your software will require, in order to support and meet interoperability” (source: https://erditestlab.com/services#i4.0-advisory).
      • Stakeholders:
        • Technology and Industry organizations – advice on their software/architectures
        • Mining and Energy organizations – advice/interoperability assessments on solving specific challenges seeking
    • l4.0 Compliance Testing and Certification: Provides pre-certification and certification testing “enabling technology vendors to build and test their software against interoperability standards applied to real world mining use cases” (source: https://erditestlab.com/services#i4.0-compliance-testing-and-certification).
          • Stakeholder: Technology companies
    • Collaborative Projects and Proof of Concepts (POCs): “Executing I4.0 collaborative projects and undertaking POCs using our sophisticated Lab technology, configuration and test data sets” (source: https://erditestlab.com/services#i4.0-collaborative-projects-and-pocs).
            • Stakeholders: Industry and Technology companies that are seeking i4.0 expertise support in the scoping and execution of a specific i4.0 related proof of concept or project.
            • Their inaugural project is AMIRA P1208 Enabling Interoperability in Natural Resources, and specific information about that project is provided under that item.
    • Lab Demonstration and Testing Services: “The lab can be used to test and/or showcase single or multiple software packages working against real i4.0 mining test and data sets” (source: https://erditestlab.com/services#lab-demonstration-and-testing-services).
            • Stakeholders: Industry and technology companies – testing technologies

Accessibility model:

Paid services. A membership model that offers discounted services and access to content and other opportunities.

Partnerships:

This is “a pilot project of the Australian Government’s Industry 4.0 (I4.0) TestLabs for Australia Initiative, ERDi partners secured a grant, matched by The University of Western Australia and industry, to establish the platform. The ERDi team is an experienced, multi-sector group, with specialised knowledge” (source: https://erditestlab.com/about).

 

Organization: Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG)

GMG Data Exchange for Mine Software – Open Mining Format (OMF)

Scope and Description

Open Mining Format, an open-source file specification to support data interchange across the entire mining community, was developed to enable 3D data interoperability. The first version of OMF, released in 2017, supports basic structures including points, lines, surfaces, meshes, and volumes. The second version will support to block models, computer-generated representations of orebodies that contain valuable data about them, which can be extracted to offer insights and solutions about them.

How this project can be used to enable interoperability in mining

Mining requires a wide range of spatial data, and new technologies are adding to locate rich orebodies and avoid geological impediments, and new technologies are adding to the complexity of these data. While these changes create better representations of geological phenomena, moving complex data between proprietary software formats is often time-consuming and becomes prone to error when it is done incorrectly or not easily supported. This interoperable format enables more effective data interchange between formats.

Key Stakeholders

  • Software companies
  • Mining companies

Accessibility Model: Open

Status:

OMF 1.0 – Launched 2019, available on GitHub here: https://github.com/gmggroup/omf

OMF 2.0 – In development (planned release of Python library, May 2021). See https://github.com/gmggroup/omf/projects/2

For the latest updates, visit: https://gmggroup.org/projects/data-exchange-for-mine-software/

Organization: Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG)

GMG Interoperability Definition and Principles White Paper

Scope and Description

Previously the “Interoperability Definitions and Roadmap guideline,” this white paper describes high-level foundation and reference on interoperability in mining based on input that GMG has received from the industry over five years. This white paper describes a high-level foundation and reference on interoperability in mining based on input that GMG has received from the industry over five years. It aims to provide broad context on interoperability in order to accommodate a global landscape with varied maturity and regulatory frameworks.

How this can be used to enable interoperability in mining.

By sharing industry input on the drivers and context around interoperability in mining, stressing the value of a collaborative approach, identifying an aligned industry definition, and set of guiding principles, this white paper is intended to be a foundation and reference for more focused initiatives.

Interoperability Definition

Interoperability is the ability of two or more systems, components, or processes to exchange information so they can act on this information to achieve business and operational outcomes. Interoperability has two fundamental constructs:

  1. The exchange of information, which can be bidirectional
  2. The executions of actions initiated by the exchanged information.

Stakeholders

Key stakeholders are mining companies, OEMs, and OTMs.

Accessibility model: Open

Status

Final review. Publication aimed for Q2 2021.

More information available here

Organization: Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG)

GMG Mobile Equipment Open Data – Industry Challenges

Description

This project focuses on industry collaboration to drive consensus on the priorities surrounding open data for mobile equipment.

How this project can be used to enable interoperability in mining
Data sharing is seen as an interoperability enabler. Common language and protocols have been identified as a key priority.

Publications

Mobile Equipment Open Data: Report on Industry Challenges and Next Steps | March 2021

This report summarizes the result of workshops and individual outreach within the GMG community throughout 2020 and captures key areas of agreement, recurring themes, and possible future work on the topic. Participants identified the lack of common language and a need to better communicate and describe open data as the highest priority challenge. Two potential projects to address this challenge emerged.

  • The first is to identify, define, and prioritize key open data use cases to provide context for different users. This context can enable better awareness onsite and improved communications between key stakeholders about different types of information.
  • The second is to identify existing standards and protocols and their applications and limitations within a mining context, which can help users understand their options for standardization without prescribing an approach.

Mobile Equipment Open Data Consensus Guideline | 2016

This guideline identifies onboard datasets that should be available to equipment owner/operators in real or near real-time, read only format. It also identifies an initial list of the open data elements for onboard mobile mining equipment. This guideline covers a range of underground and surface equipment types, but autonomous systems and some equipment types were out of scope.

Status: It is currently in a refocusing and definition stage, for further information see the report under publications.

Accessibility Model: Open

Organization: Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG)

GMG Mobile Equipment Open Data Consensus – Published Guideline

Scope and Description
The scope is to identify and develop guidelines to create a common vision for the seamless access and use of mobile equipment data across the mine cycle, including both open pit and underground, for the purpose of increasing operational efficiencies. The scope also includes identifying an initial list of the open data elements for onboard mobile mining equipment. Autonomous systems are not considered within the scope of this guideline. The initial guideline is not intended to be complete or cover all equipment types and use cases for mining equipment data.

How this project can be used to enable interoperability in mining
Data sharing is an interoperability enabler. This guideline provides a common reference for industry stakeholders to use to understand what data should be open and how to describe it.

Definition

While interoperability is not defined specifically in this guideline, real-time access to and use of mobile equipment data would be considered the scope of interoperability in the project and it aims to solve the challenge of defining requirements for data collection and storage.

Key Stakeholders
Mining Companies
OEMs

Published: 2016
Accessibility Model: Open, available here: gmggroup.org/guidelines

Organization: Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG)

GMG Mobile Mining Technology Product Categorization

Description

This project aims to develop a matrix with high-level details about relevant mobile technology product terminology and provide a visual framework of how mobile technologies integrate with other mining products’ ecosystem.

This project seeks to provide mining operators with a visual categorization map outlining common terminology for mobile mining technologies so that this issue can be solved once and for all. This project will allow operators to compare and contrast the various mobile mining technologies used within operations to determine how these different products interact with one another in the overall mining ecosystem to enable a more productive mining environment.

Role of interoperability in this project

This project focuses on integration, but the outcome and common language may also be a foundation for future interoperability work.

Status: In proposal phase

Intended outcome: White Paper

Organization: Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG)

GMG Open Data Sets for AI in Mining

Scope and Description

This project is developing a guideline that aims to provide data sharing best practices so that they can benefit from the opportunities of open data. It is a first step in a broader project that aims to assist with building open data sets for the mining sector. The scope of the whole project is still under development.

How this project can be used to enable interoperability in mining

This guideline project aims to equip the industry with common practices for the use of open data sets, which can help to improve interoperability between different data sets used for AI applications.

Key Stakeholders

  • Anyone in a mining organization who intends to share data with others
  • Anyone in the mining industry tasked with approving sharing data between entities
  • Anyone who wants to use open data shared by the mining industry.

Status: Draft development. Guideline publication planned for 2021.
Accessibility Model: Open

Learn more here: https://gmggroup.org/projects/open-data-sets-for-ai-in-mining/

Organization: Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG)

GMG Time Classification Framework for Mobile Equipment in Surface Mining

Scope and Description

This guideline offers recommendations for the consistent classification of surface mining operational activities, statuses, and events into standard time categories and provides a Time Usage Model, which is a visual representation of this framework. The guideline also includes recommended definitions for common industry operational key performance indicators (KPIs) for reporting asset availability and utilization.

How this project can be used to enable interoperability in mining

For the mining industry to achieve digitalization, interoperability, and system integration, it is important for it to establish consistent terminology and data. By providing a consistent classification and definition of time categories, a common time usage model, and common KPIs, this framework is a tool that can enable data sharing across different platforms and systems.

Key Stakeholders

Mining companies are a primary stakeholder, but technology providers (e.g., FMS providers) are a secondary one.

Accessibility Model: Open, read it here gmggroup.org/guidelines

Status: Published in 2020.

Organization: International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)

ICMM Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles Initiative (ICSV) – Vehicle Interaction (VI) workstream

General Background:

Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) is a collaborative change leadership initiative between the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM’s) 27 company members and 18 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). ICSV was created to address three of the most critical safety, health, and environmental performance issues of ICMM’s mission towards zero harm and the decarbonisation of the mining industry. It aims to:

  • Introduce greenhouse gas emissions-free surface mining vehicles by 2040
  • Minimise the operational impact of diesel exhaust by 2025
  • Make collision avoidance technology available to mining companies by 2025

Further information is available here: https://www.icmm.com/icsv

ICSV is a CEO-led initiative guided by a CEO Advisory Group comprising six representatives – three from ICMM company members (BHP, Anglo American, and Gold Fields) and three from OEMs (Caterpillar, Komatsu, and Sandvik) – supported by the wider ICMM Council of CEOs.

ICMM members and OEM participants collaborate to accelerate innovation. ICSV is the catalyst for change to develop cleaner, safer vehicles. This collaboration operates under anti-competition and anti-trust rules and provides a safe space for OEMs and ICMM members to work together to help identify solutions and overcome silos within the industry and individual companies. ICSV is a unique model of collaboration across the mining value chain that sends strong market signals to suppliers that ICMM members – representing over 30% of the global metals market and operating in more than 50 countries – are committed to embracing cleaner and safer technology. This builds the wide-spread confidence needed to accelerate the level of innovation investment required to scale up commercial solutions for the industry.

Further information is available here: https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/news/2018/icsv_pr and https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/news/2020/icsv-update

Vehicle Interaction Description and Scope:

This entry will deal with the vehicle interaction (VI) workstream of the ICSV initiative; however, interoperability is also a consideration for all technologies, including those related to diesel and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Ultimately, the way in which vehicles can integrate solutions for all three workstreams will be of interest.

The objective is to prevent a person or equipment (machine or vehicle) from causing a Priority Unwanted Event (PUE) in the following PUE categories resulting in injury or equipment damage:

      1. Equipment to person
      2. Equipment to equipment
      3. Equipment to environment
      4. Loss of control of equipment.

Out of scope: Autonomous and remote-controlled vehicles.

Role of Interoperability within this Initiative:

The ICMM Vehicle Interaction team will not develop industry standards on interoperability but will leverage the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT) and its processes, along with the International Standards Organization (ISO) and vehicle-to-everything communication (V2X), as has been undertaken for the first generation of Collision Avoidance.

It applies to hardware and software interoperability (i.e., whatever is needed to have interoperable systems) and light and heavy vehicles for surface and underground operations.

Interoperability Definition:

As per ISO and V2X definitions

Intended Outcome:

To drive conversation amongst industry stakeholders with the goal of converging actions, thinking, and decision-making for the most effective use of technology to reduce the incidence of vehicle interactions in mining.

Stakeholders:

OEMs, third party solution providers (e.g., PDS providers), ICMM member companies and the broader mining industry

Expected timeline:

ICMM’s collaborative Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) initiative, which aims to promote collision avoidance technology capable of eliminating fatalities from vehicle interactions, is expected to be available to mining companies by 2025.

Accessibility Model: Membership-based for mining companies, open for OEMs and relevant third-party technology solution providers. However, we do work closely with organisations like EMESRT where the membership is mainly aligned with ICMM, but not completely. We also encourage engagement of other relevant organisations such as academic institutions (e.g., University of Pretoria), government regulatory/research bodies (e.g., NIOSH), and other membership organisations (e.g., GMG).

Partnerships: Regarding VI, EMESRT is a close partner. Engagement on more technical aspects of the work is being done directly through EMESRT (e.g., engagement in ISO, etc.).

Further information is available here: https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/innovation/cleaner-safer-vehicles/icsv-ambitions/icsv-vi

Organization: International Rock Excavation Data Exchange Standard (IREDES)

International Rock Excavation Data Exchange Standard (IREDES)

Description:

“The International Rock Excavation Data Exchange Standard (IREDES) makes mining equipment and underground worksite computers talk to central IT systems. Within a real-time process optimized mining environment, IREDES thereby conforms the standardized electronic language used by all the computers to talk to each other. The standard is easy to integrate, efficient and logic (sic) as it bases on predefined XML schemas widely used throughout the Internet. Profiles for electronic work plans and production reports are in use for drill rigs, LHD’s, trucks, explosives chargers and shotcreting machines as well as for tracking. Currently, the standard is extended to cover work orders and messaging as well as maintenance information” (source: https://iredes.org/purpose/).

They also offer consulting services in implementation of the standard for machines and IT systems, compliance testing, and short courses.

How this project enables interoperability:

“IREDES enables the easy integration of the heterogeneous world of automation, mobile machines, ventilation and any other information in order to allow an efficient real-time management and optimization of the ongoing production process. IREDES enables this integration without spending large amounts for development of individual interface.” (source: https://iredes.org/purpose/).

Status:

See a summary of what has been completed and what is ongoing here: https://iredes.org/roadmap/

IREDES is also creating a companion specification for OPC-UA through collaboration with the VDMA.

Accessibility model: The standard documents are open to the public. They are accessible free of charge for any IREDES member. Non-members can purchase the documents from the IREDES office.

Organization: Interop

Interop Roadmap for Mining 4.0 Digitalization

Scope and Description:

This project aims to build a Roadmap of Strategic Innovations for Mining 4.0 in Chile as part of the strategy to adopt a sustainable development model for the country.

Role of interoperability in the project:

A roadmap turns out to be an industry consensus and, as expected, one result of this roadmap is the need for standards that allow information systems to collaborate with each other (i.e., interoperability standards). In enabling nucleus “Digitalization”, it is explicitly stated that the industry needs this effort on the part of the suppliers. It aims to enable value chain integration.

Definition:

Interoperability is defined as the ability of information and communication technology (ICT) systems, operational technology (OT) systems, and the business processes that support it to exchange data and transfer control. This in turn provides the ability for systems and organizations to work together seamlessly (inter-operate).

Outcomes:

The roadmap 4.0 is a navigation map representing industry consensus, but companies must adapt it to their own reality. Suppliers and mining companies have different processes and goals, for example, some prefer sustainability, others digital integration. There’s a need to work with each company and each supplier to create a roadmap for them. At Fundación Chile and Interop, we invite companies to include us in their roadmaps. We have a tool to set their level of digital maturity and interoperability, so we can build a small roadmap with specific challenges.

Key Stakeholders:

  • Mining companies
  • OEM
  • OTM
  • Innovation and development organizations

Partnerships: Consejo Minero, Corporación Alta Ley y Fundación Chile

Status: Released July 22, 2020

Accessibility Model: Open (https://digitalizacionmineria.fch.cl)

Organization: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

ISO Collision Awareness and Avoidance (ISO/DIS 21815)

Scope and Description:

This International Standard specifies general requirements and describes methods for evaluating and testing the performance of the object collision awareness and avoidance system which supports operators safely operating earth-moving machines by detecting approaching objects, indicating, warning and, if appropriate, taking preventive action to avoid collision or to mitigate collisional damage.

How this project can be used to enable interoperability in mining:

This standard specifies interface and interaction between the onboard mobile mining equipment collision awareness and detection system and the mobile equipment control system for collision avoidance. This standard covers data and control interoperability and aims to provide the ability of independent collision detection systems to interface with onboard control systems to initiate and take collision avoidance action.

Stakeholders:

Mine operators, safety personnel

Standard Number: ISO/DIS 21815

Intended outcome: Documented international standard

Accessibility model: Purchase

Status: Ongoing

Timeline:  Publication planned for 2021

Draft international standard available for purchase here: https://www.iso.org/standard/77302.html

 

See also: EMESRT, ACARP, and ICMM initiatives, which feed into this one.

Organization: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

ISO Reference Architecture and Framework for Advanced Mining Automation and Autonomy (Joint ISO/TC 82/SC 8 – ISO/TC 127/SC 3 WG)

Scope and Description:

This initiative develops a conceptual model and reference architecture to describe the requirements for interoperability of mining systems. This project provides a logical reference and description of the interoperability of mining systems. The scope of this project is still in the definition stage.

How this project can be used to enable interoperability in mining:

This project aims to serve as a starting point for describing interoperability between systems. This standard is being developed because there is currently no picture of the systems in mining and the interoperability between them. The industry needs a common reference in order to develop the interoperability components.

Stakeholders:

Mine operators, OEMs, OTMs, research, education

Working Group:

Joint ISO/TC 82/SC 8 – ISO/TC 127/SC 3 WG

Intended outcome: Documented international standard

Accessibility model: Purchase

Status: Ongoing

Timeline:  2019-2024

ISO TC82/SC8 information is available here: https://www.iso.org/committee/6910144.html

Organization: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

ISO Remote stop function for mining equipment (Joint ISO/TC 82/SC 8 – ISO/TC 127/SC 2 WG)

Scope and Description:

This standard is to provide the information required to allow the implementation of a single common stop function for autonomous machines, that can be provided by all manufacturers for all types of mobile autonomous mining machine, and that can be used by workers in the AOZ (Autonomous Operating Zone) to remotely stop autonomous machines.

How this project can be used to enable interoperability in mining:

The standard aims to provide functionality for a single remote stop device to interact with any autonomous vehicle so that the vehicle will execute a stop sequence when a command is received from the remote stop device. The standard covers data and communication aspects of interoperability and aims to prevent people in the operating zone from having to carry multiple vendor-specific remote stop devices and eliminate the time required to determine which stop device to use in an unsafe situation.

Intended outcome: Documented international standard

Accessibility model: Purchase

Status: Ongoing

Timeline:  2019-2024

ISO TC82/SC8 information is available here: https://www.iso.org/committee/6910144.html

Organization: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

ISO Secure High-Speed Mobile Data Communication (Joint ISO/TC 127/SC 3 – ISO/TC 82/SC 8 WG)

Scope and Description:

This series of standards will define the requirements of a communication protocol that enables secure, high-speed, and high-bandwidth communication between state-of-the-art systems and emerging technologies (e.g., collision awareness and avoidance, obstacle detection, birds-eye-view, autonomous and semi-autonomous components). General standards for mobile mining equipment onboard secure high-speed data communications.

How this project can be used to enable interoperability in mining:

This project aims to provide communications infrastructure interoperability between and onboard mobile mining equipment. Existing networks and protocols in use on earth-moving machinery (EMM) today are incapable of supporting the speed, bandwidth, and security needs that this protocol will address. As it relates to EMM, this standard will enable future innovations in machine-learning, artificial intelligence, and object identification. It will also support ongoing work on ISO 17757 (Earth-moving machinery and mining – Autonomous and semi-autonomous machine system safety) and ISO/AWI 21815 (Earth-moving machinery – Collision awareness and avoidance). This standard will also facilitate the use of on-highway standards and infrastructure.

Stakeholders:

Mine operators, OEMs, OTMs, regulators 

Working Group:

Joint ISO/TC 127/SC 3 – ISO/TC 82/SC 8 WG

Intended outcome: Documented international standard

Accessibility model: Purchase

Status: Ongoing

Timeline:  2019-2024

ISO TC82/SC8 information is available here: https://www.iso.org/committee/6910144.html

Organization: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

ISO Specification of interoperability of teleoperated, autonomous, and manned mining equipment (Joint ISO/TC 82/SC 8 – ISO/TC 127/SC 3 WG)

Scope and Description:

This project envisions a standard that will govern how a wireless device, mounted on a machine which has been equipped with the proper drive-by-wire technologies to allow it to function autonomously (or semi-autonomously), will control the actions of that machine.

How this project can be used to enable interoperability in mining:

This project aims to enable mining equipment from all participating manufacturers to interoperate into a standards-compliant “supervisory system”. The interoperability defined in this project is the ability to provide a common interoperable mechanism for situational awareness and coordination of activities. It applies to both surface and underground mining.

The problem it aims to solve is to define the interoperable data to be shared between autonomous mining equipment, the format of that data, and the method of transmission.

Stakeholders:

Mine operators, OEMs, OTMs, regulators

Working Group:

Joint ISO/TC 82/SC 8 – ISO/TC 127/SC 3 WG

Intended outcome: Documented international standard

Accessibility model: Purchase

Status: Ongoing

Timeline:  2019-2024

ISO TC82/SC8 information is available here: https://www.iso.org/committee/6910144.html

Organization: Commonwealth and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)

LASC Longwall Automations

Scope:

Automated Shearer location measurement and face straightening

How this project can be/is being used to enable interoperability in mining:

A set of open communication standards was published at the beginning of the project, to be implemented by the OEMs (e.g., CAT, Komatsu/Joy Global, Eickhoff). This format specified a set of inputs and outputs using E/IP protocol from the Shearer measurement system, Roof support control system and Shearer control system. Mine sites asking for longwall equipment tenders could then specify “LASC Compliant” equipment. Interoperability between LASC technology and OEM longwall equipment is necessary so that devices can correctly interpret the data and respond appropriately. This project was the first example of true interoperability standards for underground coal mining.

Outcomes:

Continuing to use the LASC standard model for example for Continuous Miner automation and other hardware-independent automation systems. Now used comprehensively in Australian longwalls (24/30), increasing use in USA (5/60) and China (30/1500).

Key stakeholders:

Mine sites get access to known interoperable systems. OEMs gain access to advanced automation technologies.

Status: Released in 2007. Specifications updated as required, not scheduled.

Accessibility Model: Open, http://lascautomation.org/

 

Note: this project is also listed as ACARP C220012

Organization: MIMOSA

MIMOSA The Open Industrial Interoperability Ecosystem (OIIE)

Description:

“The Open Industrial Interoperability Ecosystem™ (OIIETM) enables a major paradigm shift from traditional systems integration methods, to standards-based interoperability, in asset intensive industries, including process industries, integrated energy, aerospace and defense and other key critical infrastructure sectors…

“Major parts of the OIIE include standards associated with the OpenO&M Initiative and with ISO 15926. The OIIE uses these existing standards in combination with each other, to meet the identified systems and information interoperability requirements for use cases which are defined and prioritized by the industries which are served” (source: https://www.mimosa.org/open-industrial-interoperability-ecosystem-oiie/).

Problem it aims to solve:

“The OIIE was born from the collective desire of owner/operators to reduce their reliance on expensive, fragile, custom application integration, and move toward an interoperability paradigm that can be employed across a range of targeted industries. Traditionally, organizations in these sectors have been forced to use large scale systems integration methods, if they needed their complex applications and systems to work with each other in an integrated manner. This resulted in solutions which were relatively fragile and inflexible, while also being expensive and difficult to sustain” (source: https://www.mimosa.org/open-industrial-interoperability-ecosystem-oiie/).

Outcome:

“The OIIE is characterized by a solutions architecture framework for developing an enterprise architecture that employs system-of-systems interoperability. The foundation of an interoperability architecture is standards, and the OIIE uses a portfolio approach in leveraging both international and industry standards. … A Use Case-based approach is used to elicit common information exchange requirements from industry. These Use Cases are associated with Interoperability Scenarios that specify the systems involved, event triggers, data content, data formats and exchange mechanisms that are required to meet the industry requirements. While the Use Cases are contextualized within a representative business process, the business process itself is not standardized by the OIIE in recognition that business processes can widely differ across organisations and industries” (source: https://www.mimosa.org/open-industrial-interoperability-ecosystem-oiie/).

Status:

“Due to the hard collective work which has been done over many years, the OIIE is now at the point that it can start to be deployed in production environments, even as it continues to be developed, extended and enhanced. MIMOSA collaboratively leads the OIIE effort in conjunction with other industry standards bodies, industry associations, software suppliers, system integrators, EPC contractors and academia” (source: https://www.mimosa.org/open-industrial-interoperability-ecosystem-oiie/).

Organization: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

NIOSH Characterization of Haul Truck Health and Safety Issues

Project Description and Scope:

The objective of this project is to inform future health and safety research related to powered haulage by identifying and characterizing health and safety issues related to haul trucks through a systematic evaluation of accidents, operators’ needs, and technology maturity.

This project is looking to identify specific interoperability problems that are contributing to or creating health and safety issues related to haul truck operation (e.g., data dead ends). This project is looking specifically at data and hardware interoperability related to haul truck operation, maintenance, and planning (e.g., including road conditions). This project aims to define and identify the key problems. It applies to all stages of the mine cycle that include haul trucks.

Intended Outcome:

The intended outcome is to help develop a roadmap for future research and develop procurement support guidance for mine operators related to what to look for in systems and implementation gaps to improve interoperability among other concern related to haul truck health and safety.

The key outcomes are the identification of research, training, and technology gaps.

Interoperability Definition:

Communication and compatibility in information transfer as well as equipment usage.

Stakeholders:

Mine operators, equipment manufacturers, safety professional, researchers

Status: Ongoing. This project is expected to be completed by 9/30/2021. Publications are being developed throughout the project, such as a preliminary roadmap, peer-review articles, and trade publications. Learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/researchprogram/projects/haultruckhealthandsafety.html

Accessibility Model: Open

Organization: Open Platform Communications (OPC)

Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture (OPC UA)

Description:

OPC-UA is “[a] platform independent service-oriented architecture that integrates all the functionality of the individual OPC Classic specifications into one extensible framework” (Source: https://opcfoundation.org/about/opc-technologies/opc-ua/).

While not mining-specific, the OPC-UA mining companion specification is underway (see also IREDES).

Description from the VDMA:

“OPC UA is an open interface standard that defines the mechanisms of cooperation in the industrial environment. It enables the industry to integrate its products and its production by information and communications technologies (ICT). Machines and plants can be redesigned as required by plug & work – irrespective of which manufacturers the machines and components originate. The VDMA develops with its member companies OPC UA Companion Specifications”  (source: https://opcua.vdma.org/en/).

 How it enables interoperability:

“OPC UA provides the necessary infrastructure for interoperability across the enterprise, from machine-to-machine, machine-to-enterprise and everything in-between” (source: https://opcfoundation.org/about/opc-technologies/opc-ua/). It is platform-independent solution.

Outcomes:

  • OPC UA is published as an International Standard in multiple parts, IEC 62541 OPC unified architecture
  • A searchable repository of information models is available here: https://reference.opcfoundation.org/v104/
  • Ongoing work to update and expand.

 

See also: IREDES, VDMA OPC UA Mining Initiative

Organization: SIP-STRIM Swedish Mining Innovation

SIP-STRIM Digital Driver support for interaction between vehicles in mining environments

Description:

“Design, implement and evaluate a concept for a digital driver support system that has potential to significantly improve efficiency and safety for underground transports. The project will contribute to improved production efficiency and working environment in today’s mines. The developed solution will also consider a future mining environment, in which manual vehicles will coexist with automated and remotely controlled vehicles.”

“The project is divided into three work packages (Project coordination, Interaction design and System integration and evaluation). Initially, an interaction design concept for a digital driver support system is developed. The concept is then integrated with a positioning system for underground use. After that, the concept will be evaluated in a usability test. The test will be carried out with end-users in a mining environment”

Read more here: https://www.sipstrim.se/project/digital-driver-support-for-interaction-between-vehicles-in-mining-environments/

How it will advance interoperability in mining:

Enabling interoperability in mixed autonomous, automated, and remote-controlled fleets.

Status:

Completed (04/19 – 10/19)

Read more here: https://www.vinnova.se/en/p/digital-driver-support-for-interaction-between-vehicles-in-mining-environments/

Organization: SMIG

SMIG Integrated smart testbeds for the mining industry

Description:

Phase 1 – “The project is being implemented to meet the needs of the mining industry in a test bed where systems of systems, systems and functions are being investigated towards a fully automated mining operation. The project works to fulfill this purpose, but has not yet achieved the full purpose, after step 1. However, important basic structures are developed as well as some use cases that will serve to test these structures. An analysis report containing a zero status analysis with mapping of existing projects and initiatives is developed” (source: https://www.vinnova.se/en/p/integrated-smart-testbeds-for-the-mining-industry/).

Phase 2 – Testing use cases in the environment defined in Phase 1 (see https://www.vinnova.se/en/p/integrated-smart-testbeds-for-the-mining-industry—phase-2-year-1/).

Outcomes:

“The result after step 1 of the SMIG project is a detailed description of the type of platform including all substructures that need to be developed as well as a number of usage cases that will serve as pilot tests of an upcoming platform” (source: https://www.vinnova.se/en/p/integrated-smart-testbeds-for-the-mining-industry/).

How it will help advance interoperability:

This testing environment will help demonstrate how systems and systems of systems can be integrated. A clear picture and use case examples will help to enable interoperability between autonomous systems in mining environments.

Status:

  • Phase 1 completed (06/17 – 10/18)
  • Phase 2 Year one completed (11/18 – 10/19); plans for years 2 and 3 defined.

Accessibility model: Through partnerships

SMIG website: https://smig-testenvironment.se/

Organization: The Open Group

The Open Group Exploration & Mining Business Reference Model

Scope:

The project has produced a standard with two parts, including an Exploration and Mining Business Reference Model (diagram) and a Business Capability Reference Map.

Role of interoperability in this project:

The EMMM standard defines a common reference model and consistent business capabilities that enable mining companies to describe their businesses in a consistent way. This project covers enterprise Architecture and consistent process descriptions and definitions for mining business capabilities. This project covers Enterprise Architecture and consistent process descriptions and definitions for mining business capabilities. It creates a consistent description of mining businesses for enterprise architectures in mining companies, and for business managers.

Outcome:

Many mining companies are using the EMMM standard to describe their businesses.

Stakeholders:

Enterprise architects, business managers, operations, IT

Status: The EMMM standard was published in 2013.

Accessibility Model: The Open Group is membership-based; however, the standard is made freely available for use. Learn more and access the model: https://www.opengroup.org/content/exploration-mining-metals-minerals-emmm-forum-0

Organization: The Open Group

The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum

Scope:

Open Process Automation™ Standard (O-PAS™) aims to develop a standard of standards for open and modular process automation systems. Once fully defined, it will allow for construction of safe, reliable, secure process automation systems that are scalable from very small to very large, which do not require system shutdown to perform updates and extensions, and which can be applied to existing systems and to new construction. It covers data, software, hardware, and application interoperability.

O-PAS™ is applicable to process automation systems in industries like mining, oil, gas, food, beverage, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, plastics, power generation, and more. Specifically, it begins in the pit with hazard, safety, and asset monitoring, and moves through the comminution process with monitoring, control, and operating of capital equipment.

Role of interoperability in this project:

Interoperability is the basis on which O-PAS™ was founded. Interoperability is defined as the ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged (ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765:2017). It aims to solve the problems associated with vendor lock-in and purchasing constraints due to proprietary system components.

Outcomes:

O-PAS™ Version 1.0 focuses on Interoperability – released 2019

O-PAS™ Version 2.0 focuses on Configuration Portability – projected 2020

O-PAS™ Version 3.0 focuses on Application Portability

Stakeholders:

End users, system integrators, sub-system integrators, industry software/hardware innovators

Status:  Version 1.0 is complete. Versions 2.0 and 3.0 are in progress

Accessibility Model: Membership-based, however the standard is made freely available to end user organizations for internal use. Learn more: https://www.opengroup.org/forum/open-process-automation-forum

 

Related projects: AMIRA International P1208, ERDi TestLab is testing OPAS

Organization: VDMA – (Mechanical Engineering Industry Association)

VDMA OPC UA Mining Initiative

Description and scope:

This joint working group is developing an OPC UA information model for the communication of mining machinery and equipment.

“The OPC UA Companion Specification Mining includes a basic description of the mining machineries and equipment. Main scope is to support machine-to-machine communication in the different processes in mining and vertically into higher level mine operation systems for control, information and diagnostic purposes. The basic description of mining machinery and equipment is supplemented by selected use cases, e.g. longwall conveying, mobile mining machineries and mine operations” (source: https://opcfoundation.org/markets-collaboration/mining/).

How this initiative can be used to enable interoperability in mining:

OPC UA is a standardized interoperability architecture that is widely used in industrial settings. This group will create a vendor-neutral interface based on OPC UA so that mining machinery and equipment can communicate.

Accessibility model:

Ongoing work is only available to members of the joint working group. Once released, the accessibility model is open.

Timeline:

Current timeline is for release in February 2021.

 

See also: This is a partnership between VDMA and the OPC Foundation. They are also partnered with IREDES to integrate their content.

Updates needed? Let us know!
  • Is there an initiative missing from this landscape?
  • Do you have corrections for any of the information included on those listed?
  • Are there links between initiatives or any initiatives you feel are particularly of value to the industry?
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