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The term Industry 4.0 is now attracting significant attention in this part of the world, though it has to be said that few know exactly what it means. The Government has adopted a high-tech strategy aimed at driving Germany forward as a global innovation leader, with Industry 4.0 but one of ten future-oriented projects.

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With my best regards // Mit freundlichem Glückauf
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Herne

ISSUE 01/2017

From Dog Hole to Zero Entry Mining

Fig. 1. Mining 0.0. // Bild 1. Bergbau 0.0. Source/Quelle: Privat

This paper builds the bridge in mining developments from the 1980s to the presence and to what will happen in the future. It not only includes technical developments but especially social ones. The article is the conclusion of the author´s presentation, given at the “Forum Bergbau 4.0” conference of the RWTH Aachen University on 1st December 2015.

Author: Dr. Thomas Lautsch, Geschäftsführer der Deutschen Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe mbH (DBE), Peine

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Mining 4.0 – Importance of Industry 4.0 for the Raw Materials Sector

Today, it seems like everyone is talking about Industry 4.0 concept. However, only a few know what really is behind it: The Federal Government has set a goal to advance Germany with its high-tech strategy towards becoming a global innovation leader. The concept of Industry 4.0 is one of ten future projects that makes a featuring part of this “new high-tech strategy”.

A reliable, sustainable and transparent raw material supply of the economy is of great importance for the development of future technologies. Economic strategic resources enable industrial production processes and innovations and are therefore indispensable for the German high-tech production centers.

Author: Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bartnitzki, Advanced Mining Technology Institute (AMT), RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany

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How Digital Technology and SAP Can Help Mining Companies Mine Smarter

Fig. 1. Wireless devices in the mining industry. // Bild 1. Einsatz von WLAN-befähigten Geräten im Bergbau. Photo/Foto: SAP

Digital technology, digital transformation or digital economy are currently big buzzwords as we have seen many industries disrupted by new sales channels, digitized products, new business models or market players. What started with digital music at the turn of the century is now finding its way into more and more industries. Even the mining industry is increasingly looking at how it can benefit from these technologies. Commodities are not on the brink of being replaced by digital versions of them any time soon, so why are mining companies interested in digital? This article will give an answer on this question. The paper is based on the author´s presentation on the SAP International Conference for Mining and Metals from 12th to 14th July 2016 in Frankfurt am Main/Germany.

Author: Rüdiger Schroedter, Global Lead for Mining, SAP America, Atlanta/USA

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Digitalization in Mining – Industry 4.0

The term Industrie 4.0 originates from the German government initiative to integrate manufacturing with state-of-the-art information and communication technology. It is synonymous with the digitalization of industrial processes. While some industries are far along in the digitalization of their processes others, like the mining sector, still have a lot of ground to cover. However technologies are already available today to help mining companies increase their digitalization and at the same time tackle the woes currently plaguing the industry.

Author: Ormond O´Neill, Siemens AG, Erlangen/Germany

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Digital Transformation in the Mining Industry – Next Level mining

Like all industries, the mining industry must face the challenges of digitalization. Today, automation and software already play an important role in controlling the variability of deposits and commodity price fluctuations. This trend will rapidly further accelerate with the digital transformation since the mining industry still has a lower level of automation compared to other industries and thus has correspondingly high potential. Only companies that consistently take advantage of and use the opportunities of new technology can meet the due to the decline in commodity prices increased competitive pressure. In the future, it will be important to combine the “automation islands” still existing today with each other and to optimize all stages of the value chain in total.

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Peter Mühlbach, Manager Process Industries Germany, ABB Automation GmbH, Cottbus

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The Digital Mine – Transparency in Operational Management for a Higher Level of Efficiency and Effectiveness

Fig. 1. Control loop for a mining process. // Bild 1. Regelkreis für einen Bergbauprozess.

The general fall in prices and high degree of volatility in the commodities market are now having a major impact on the viability and strategic focus of raw materials companies and machine manufacturers. Irrespective of whether the situation is set to continue long term or undergo a complete change of direction, it has already had a transformative effect on the activities of mine operators and their suppliers. Increased productivity, efficiency, workplace safety and flexibility are now very much at the forefront and this has raised the issue of automation to a new level. The rapid development of digital technologies has created all kinds of innovative design possibilities for automation. Fully-integrated systems with (part-)autonomous machines that can move reliably in and through different types of environment and make decisions independently and without human control are no longer the stuff of fantasy in the mining world. The industry has already made a successful start on implementing Mining 4.0.

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Holger Boxnick, Geschäftsführer der Actemium Fördertechnik Rheinland GmbH, Köln

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Smart Mining Creates New Openings in the Global Commodities Market

The general fall in prices and high degree of volatility in the commodities market are now having a major impact on the viability and strategic focus of raw materials companies and machine manufacturers. Irrespective of whether the situation is set to continue long term or undergo a complete change of direction, it has already had a transformative effect on the activities of mine operators and their suppliers. Increased productivity, efficiency, workplace safety and flexibility are now very much at the forefront and this has raised the issue of automation to a new level. The rapid development of digital technologies has created all kinds of innovative design possibilities for automation. Fully-integrated systems with (part-)autonomous machines that can move reliably in and through different types of environment and make decisions independently and without human control are no longer the stuff of fantasy in the mining world. The industry has already made a successful start on implementing Mining 4.0.

Authors: Dr.-Ing. Fiona Mavroudis, Dr.-Ing. Lars Pierburg, Eickhoff Bergbautechnik GmbH, Bochum

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Development of an Underground Positioning System Based on the Ultra-Wideband Radio Technology

For the automation of underground mobile equipment in the scope of the Mining 4.0 initiative, it is necessary to have precise and continuous position information of that very mobile equipment. Different indoor positioning systems are available these days. However, not every system is suitable for use in underground mining operations. At the Institute for Mineral Resources Machine Technology (IMR) of RWTH Aachen University the ultra-wideband radio technology was identified as a suitable candidate. This -article is supposed to give an overview of the past and current research as well as development activities for an underground positioning system based on the ultra-wideband radio technology. Part of this overview will also be the presentation of an improved positioning system by means of sensor fusion.

Authors: Christian Niestroj, M. Sc., Christian Niedringhaus, M. Sc., Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl Nienhaus, Institut für Maschinentechnik der Rohstoffindustrie (IMR) der Rheinisch-Westfälischen Technischen Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen

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Securing the Long-term Supply of Raw Materials – Protection on Corporate Level

This paper provides an overview of methods to secure long-term supply of raw materials, potentially applicable on corporate level. The feasibility of the methods was investigated with regard to strategic metals. In addition to the general applicability of the instruments, the limits of the implementation on corporate level have been assessed. The paper is based on the evaluation of literature on long-term supply of raw materials and different protection methods. The results point out the importance of the debates held and the continuing search for alternative instruments to secure long-term supply of raw materials at corporate level. The author identifies the relation of long-term supply of raw materials to current challenges and opportunities, related to the strategic goal of a successful transformation of the economy into Industry 4.0.

Author: Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Bastian Winter, Thyssen Schachtbau GmbH, Mülheim/Ruhr

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