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Remote Visibility of Quarry Operations

First published in the February 2015 issue of Quarry Management as Gaining Greater Insight

Trimble Loadrite’s InsightHQ centralized reporting of loaders, excavators and conveyors makes remote visibility of quarry operations more accessible

Trimble Loadrite have increased access to quarry productivity data by making such information available more easily. Performance and productivity data are now accessible on the InsightHQ web-based management portal accessible on any browser, including mobile devices. By consolidating operational information from Trimble Loadrite devices across the site, near real-time productivity and performance reports can be provided for extraction, processing and load-out operations in quarries.

InsightHQ provides visibility to respond to issues, optimize production and monitor productivity in real time. Users have access to live reports by customer, machine or product. These reports can be adjusted to suit the relevant reporting period, eg real time, day, week, month, year or custom time period. According to Trimble Loadrite, visibility of real-time productivity has never been so accessible, allowing all stakeholders to access information on the move and even remotely from the quarry. Reports can not only be customized for time periods, but also for level of detail. For example, regional managers may be interested in one metric, eg daily primary crusher output across a number of quarries, while quarry managers may want a more detailed view of their own site, eg end products produced per hour.

‘Now, with InsightHQ, managers can monitor and analyse productivity across all steps of the material flow, from extraction to load-out. Operations managers can act immediately and see improvements during the shift,’ explained Trimble Loadrite’s general manager, Johan Smet.

‘InsightHQ gives users the information they need to know how their operation is performing, making it easy for them to closely manage the main profit drivers of their business. As well as providing the data for immediate action, the application generates easy-to-use reporting that helps managers to optimize their day-to-day processes and tracks the effectiveness of operational changes. InsightHQ allows access to these data from a web browser on a smartphone, tablet or PC. Customer  feedback shows that quarry managers are checking the status of the quarry remotely, helping to reduce productivity loss from downtime issues. Likewise, email reports ➤ provide a regular summary right into their inbox,’ said Mr Smet.

Plant snapshot allows site managers to spot issues immediately to ensure delivery on their daily targets. A delay in reacting to issues, in the load-out area, for example, could result in the customer delivery expectation for the day not being met, thereby losing goodwill or the entire sale.

Reports provide information to optimize plant and loading performance and asset utilization to increase productivity. InsightHQ is a fraction of the cost of PLC- (Programmable Logic Controller) or SCADA- (supervisory control and data acquisition) based reporting systems, but is more flexible and provides KPI data in an easy-to-interpret format.

Hanson Aggregates/Midland Quarry Products’ Cliffe Hill Quarry has implemented Loadrite performance measurement in its primary extraction process, with productivity measurement on all primary loaders. According to Julian Athawes, director of Halomec Ltd, authorized distributors for Trimble Loadrite in the UK, just the process of implementation of these types of productivity measurement systems yields immediate benefits. ‘Operators given immediate visibility of their performance intuitively look to improve and maintain efficiency before any analysis of the operational data,’ he said. ‘The immediate benefit revealed by the data is around haul truck load optimization. Sites where we have implemented this have yielded very significant benefits, ensuring that every haul truck is loaded to the optimum capacity.  More detailed analysis over a longer period reveals information on haul truck cycle times and plant utilization, and may provide confirmational evidence for an expensive plant rationalization programme.’

Welsh Slate’s Penrhyn Quarry has implemented Loadrite Insight at the other end of the extractive process. Here, managers and operators now have immediate visibility of individual end-product outputs. Welsh Slate’s requirement is somewhat unique with different colours of the same grade of decorative aggregate being produced. This compounds the difficulty in the tracking of output and stockholding; a problem that the Loadrite Insight system is helping to overcome.

The Loadrite InsightHQ application can be used with Loadrite loader, excavator or conveyor belt scales and is available from Loadrite authorized distributors worldwide. For more information visit: www.loadritescales.com.

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