The global productivity partner for mining and infrastructure customers, Epiroc, is proud to announce the conclusion of the acquisition of the software company, MineRP. This leading company specialises in increasing productivity for mines through integrated planning, execution and analytics.
“The acquisition is a perfect fit due to the synergies between the two companies,” says Integration Manager, M&A, Technology & Digital Division, at Epiroc, Kumeshan Naidu, who has been instrumental in the 100% purchase of the company. “It aligns seamlessly with Epiroc as a significant partner on a mine’s digital and automation journey, providing smart machines, advanced digital and automation technology solutions and the associated efficiency, productivity, safety and environmental benefits.”
Naidu comments, “I have been engaging with the MineRP team over the past five years out of interest, specifically focusing on what they were trying to achieve in the Mining Industry. Two years later, we (Epiroc) met with their team in South Africa to investigate how we can work together as marketplace service providers. When Epiroc heard last year that MineRP was for sale, we immediately recognised that this acquisition would make good sense on every level. It is not every day that an opportunity like this is presented where a global purchase will expand our growing digital portfolio, with the added advantage that we were already familiar with the company and its capabilities.”
Epiroc is no stranger to investing in improving its capabilities and offerings. The company holds shares in companies like ASI Mining, a U.S.-based company that provides technology solutions for the autonomous operation of mining vehicles, and Mobilaris, a Sweden-based company with solutions such as a multi-role 3D location-based decision support system that enhances the safety, productivity and efficiency of mining operations by allowing the location and movement of workers, vehicles and equipment to be visualised in real time. A complete Mobilaris demo has been set up in the Epiroc Control Tower in Jet Park, Johannesburg, enabling customers to experience the system’s capabilities and functionalities and be ‘virtually present’ at their sites. The state-of-the-art Johannesburg Control Tower, inaugurated in September 2020, (the first Control Tower in Africa and the third globally, alongside Sweden, Chile and Canada, with more facilities planned for launch), further underlines Epiroc’s undivided commitment to digitalisation. “We developed this collaborative space to enhance remote customer support capabilities and to further explore and optimise our digital and automation technologies and information management solutions.” Naidu adds that they also offer their own in-house developed, cloud-based solution (CERTIQ) that is centred on telematics data collection by IoT devices for most brands of mining equipment.
MineRP delivers an Integrated Mining Platform that addresses the consolidation of data of mining operations where other systems available in the market are unable to do so within the mine production space. “Beyond integrating the mine’s technical data, MineRP also integrates with an organisation’s ERP system.”
The unique mine integration platform offers unified technical and financial planning and control. Where usually the digital twin is spoken of as a digital representation of the mine’s mineral and production assets, the digital triplet has now been birthed with the addition of the financial aspect where the costs associated with mining activities are traced through the value chain.
There are four focus areas – latency in decision-making, technical and financial mine planning, scheduling and optimisation, and short interval control – all with their own unique solutions. Of late, MineRP has found particular market favour with its capability to deliver an optimised Master Business Schedule that integrates all scheduling activities for the mine (including production, maintenance, HR and other areas) and provides a feasible, practical short-term schedule for execution.
The digital solution takes care of complexities such as information governance, security and integration while allowing modular extensions that live on top of the platform to address expert domains and their functional demands. Once data is collected and spatially contextualised on the platform, information is standardised and ready for consumption by spatial production dashboards, 3D Visualisation and Analytics tools, machine learning and AI solutions, and more. This turns data into actionable insight at all levels of the organisation, from the CEO right across to production on the ground. The flexible MineRP platform is compatible with the majority of expert mining software and data platforms. This means that there is no need for mines to replace the systems in which they have already invested in, in order to gain value from MineRP. Instead, the platform works seamlessly with and alongside digital solutions from other OEMs and software vendors.
As innovative thinkers since 1998, MineRP punches far above its weight and comes up with unflinching ways to solve mining problems. The company has been responsible for implementing numerous successful projects for large blue-chip mining companies around the world. “This acquisition has extended our offering to include all mining operations; we have premium MineRP software solutions for large digitally-savvy operations to entry-level solutions for smaller operations needing only on-board machine digitalisation. As we are part of our customers’ long-term digital journey, we can, for example, bolt on Mobilaris or MineRP solutions to meet the smaller operation’s expansion requirements,” concludes Naidu.