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TOMRA Insight available for mining applications

Published by , Editor
Global Mining Review,

TOMRA Insight, a cloud-based data platform which enables sorting machine users to improve operational efficiencies, is being rolled out to more industries, including mining.

Following its launch in 2019 by TOMRA Sorting Recycling, TOMRA Insight is now also being made available to customers of TOMRA Mining and TOMRA Food, and for all three of these industries, the platform is enhanced by new features and functionalities.

TOMRA Insight is a subscription-based service that turns sorting machines into connected devices that generate valuable process data. This data is gathered in near real-time, stored securely in the cloud, and can be accessed from anywhere and across plants via a web portal available for desktop and mobile devices.

Felix Flemming, Vice President and Head of Digital at TOMRA Sorting, commented: “By capturing and using valuable data, TOMRA Insight is transforming sorting from an operational process into a strategic management tool. This tool is constantly becoming more powerful as we continuously develop it in response to customers’ needs and priorities. New functionalities and features are released every 3 weeks – a routine during which TOMRA works closely with customers in pursuit of shared objectives.”

Data captured by TOMRA Insight provides valuable performance metrics that help businesses optimise machine performance. Operating costs are reduced by simplifying spare part ordering and flexible access to data and documentation. Downtime is reduced by monitoring machine health and performance in near real-time, identifying gaps in production and analysing potential root causes, by supporting the management moving to predictive and condition-based maintenance, and by preventing unscheduled machine shutdowns. Throughput is maximised by evaluating variations and optimising sorting equipment accordingly. And sorting to target quality is enhanced by having accurate material composition data which enables decisions to be based on more detailed information.

For the mining and mineral processing industries, TOMRA Insight’s ability to collect detailed data from TOMRA’s sorting machines means that previously hidden information can lead to improvements in efficiencies and profitability.

Data captured by the platform is analysed on behalf of customers by TOMRA Mining engineers, and key findings shared in confidential reports supplied to customers monthly. This arrangement has the advantage of combining objective statistical analysis with the interpretive skills of a service team familiar with the customer’s unique challenges.

TOMRA Insight’s data-gathering helps mineral processors in near real-time and in retrospect. Machine operators are empowered to take prompt action in response to changes in material composition on the line and managers are empowered to make operational and business decisions based on more complete information. Comparisons between multiple sites or lines can now be made more accurately and difficult-to-reach processing operations can be remotely monitored from more convenient locations. This functionality is especially useful now that COVID-19 has brought widespread travel restrictions.

One early, pre-launch user of TOMRA Insight is the Black Chrome Mine in South Africa, one of two mining projects that form the basis of the Sail Group’s plans for long-term sustainable chrome production. Since TOMRA Insight was connected to sorting machines here at the start of 2020, the data platform has convincingly proven its effectiveness. Among the gains made so far (some of which are necessarily confidential) there have been improvements in process monitoring and streamlining, more efficient line-feeding and machine running times, and reduced downtime.

Albert du Preez, Senior Vice President and Head of TOMRA Mining, added: “By accessing information, TOMRA Insight is unlocking new opportunities. Mineral processors can now move from making decisions based on experience and local observations to decisions based on experience and hard facts. This means TOMRA Insight can help reduce waste rock and downstream processing costs, enabling processors to earn more dollars per ton.”

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