Australia mining’s digital opportunity

How can your team build a digital transformation roadmap that brings business value?

People First

Put technical tools and solutions as a lower priority over what the change to digital really means for the company and its employees. Putting people first means considering a whole range of challenges including Technology adoption, and having the right culture in place is essential

  • CEO pivotal role in sharing openly what the key areas of focus are reducing costs, being more agile or more secure, helping bring about the mindset change and secure an adequate budget
  • CHRO strive to retain seasoned employees who really understand your market, business, customers, and onboards new technology talents
  • COO leader of the transformation process streamlines investment in new technology and maps out which efficiency gains, and which cost savings are possible 
  • CIO an engine for change and education, successful in establishing IT as a transformation enabler doing research in advance, looking at the full stack of technology if we are going to be sharing information in a new way, and we need to have new security and compliance infrastructure in place

Avoid terminology confusion

The term CPS emerged in 2006 but related concepts existed earlier, as with Digital Twins (DTw). There appears to be some overlap between DTw and CPS, but the emerging view today is that a CPS combines several synchronising DTws.  A CPS therefore unites single DTw to achieve enhanced information and associated benefits and will regularly operate across and linking disciplines

DTws can connect critical physical asset with their historical, current, and forecast data, in a curated form derived from various data/ information storage solutions, enabling an expanded group of users and participants to collaborate, explore, prove, and improve solutions to complex problems

The CPS are the basis and enable new capabilities in areas such as product design, prototyping and development, remote control, services and diagnosis, condition monitoring, proactive and predictive maintenance, track and trace, structural health and systems health monitoring, planning, innovation capability, agility and real-time applications around mining personnel safety 

Industry 4.0 builds upon data models and data mapping across end-to-end product life cyle and value stream. Integration of Information Technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) is key and revolves around data (and the systems where they have been sitting for many years), processes and people/teams. 

To address the technical terminology confusion (see list below) engage with active cyber global Working Groups defining standards like IEC/ISO working on CPS, DTws and related entities

Digital twins, IoT, big data, IT, OT, industrial cybersecurity, visual monitoring, wearables, Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud, edge, additive manufacturing, 3D printing, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), robots & cobots, blockchain to power connected devices and many more

Focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) 

Asset-intensive industries are at a tipping point, where sustainability and decarbonisation are top items on CEOs’ agendas. To achieve a 1.5°C climate-change target by 2050, these sectors are under pressure to reduce net direct CO2 emissions to zero.

The focus has been on portfolio shifts however, the industry is facing increasing pressure from regulators, investors, and customers to decarbonise operations and communities they operate in. 

Sustainability including a low ESG score is increasingly a prerequisite for the capital markets. 

Consequently, uncover how CPS and DTws are used to expedite and mature decarbonization reporting

  • Recognizing there are many and varied ESG reporting tools, typically they apply standard costing to regulate formula, coupled data and information from disparate spreadsheets, data lakes and warehouses
  • The difference with CPS is the vertical and horizontal data traceability applied to assets that exposes historical, current, and forecast data threads enabling trustworthiness within a 3D operating model

Exploring novel, more multi-dimensional solutions to these types of regulatory / moral / reputational demands and problems would be worthwhile and since digital transformation is a learning and discovery journey the governance needs to be able to be flexible and react to changing circumstances

Jean F Laugier is the Asia Representative of Digital Twinning Australia


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