JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – JSE-listed ELB Engineering Services believes it can “leapfrog” South Africa into the Fourth Industrial Revolution by implementing Internet of Things (IoT) platforms at mineral processing plants.
The company aims to achieve this through an exclusive technology partnership with software developer IoT.nxt, which was signed at a media conference on Tuesday.
The starting point will be iron-ore miner Sedibeng’s dense media separation plant, which ELB is currently building.
This plant will be 100% overlayed with an IoT platform and will be the first of its kind in South Africa, ELB CE Stephen Meijers said, adding that recognition technology, including facial, vehicle and particle recognition technology, will be implemented and installed at the plant by about September this year.
Once this has been completed, ELB aims to roll out the IoT solution to the rest of the South African mining industry, which is looking for ways to mine more economically in response to the urgent need to create leaner operating environments and unlock efficiencies and cost savings. Owing to rising costs, mines have to do more with less.
IoT, Meijers enthused, has a significant role to play in achieving more cost-effective mining production and will positively impact plant efficiency and the bottom line.
Supporting this sentiment is IoT.nxt mining director of partnerships Eric Croeser, who believes that this platform can bring “deep technology knowledge to the mining industry".
"We believe the partnership with ELB, from its deep industry knowledge and deep industry experience, and its business philosophies, is an absolute perfect match,” Croeser said at the media conference.
He further highlighted to Mining Weekly Online that driving these efficiencies and driving the improvements within organisations will add value to the bottom line.
The partnership between ELB and IoT.nxt is about “diversifying the know-how of ELB into a different direction,” Meijers stated, adding that the IoT will form part of one of the main areas of focus for the newly established ELB Intelligent Solutions, a subsidiary of ELB Engineering Solutions.
ELB Intelligent Solutions will focus on exponential technologies, including those of artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, three-dimensional printing, as well as IoT.