More miners closing the gap between planning and execution, RPMGlobal says

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RPMGlobal says it is experiencing exponential growth of its advanced mine planning and scheduling software XECUTE® and XPAC® Solutions.

The 2019 financial year has seen a significant increase in the industry’s adoption of XECUTE as more miners begin to reap the benefits of closing the gap between planning and execution, according to RPM.

Over recent months, this has seen the company add several new XECUTE customers in what has been the fastest uptake of a new solution RPM has experienced in many years, it said. This has been across a range of commodities (oil sands, coal, copper, iron ore and gold).

The software is already used extensively around the world across various commodities and mining methods, with the significant growth in sales of these products attributable to both their innovative nature and the fact more organisations are starting to realise the “power connected solutions can deliver to their planning functions”, the company said.

XECUTE is RPM’s short-term scheduling solution to enable miners to maximise planning value by using intelligent integration to connect planning with operations. It uses a highly visual user interface to enhance communication between mining specialists, according to the company.

“XECUTE supports this by providing short-term work assignments to HPGPS and Fleet Management systems. The dynamic integration then allows the solution to bring back the ‘actuals’ (from those systems) to view what work was done and compare it spatially to the shift plan,” the company said.

“XECUTE takes guidance from longer schedules ensuring that operations are always working towards the strategic goal of the longer-term planners. Short-term planners then have a rich visual compliance tool, overlying longer-term guidance, the short-term plan and actual operations all in one 4D environment.”

XPAC, meanwhile, is made up of pre-defined logic, which, when combined with the tacit knowledge of mining engineers, automatically determines what is practically possible to achieve across one or many mining operations, according to the company. This agility gives engineers the ability to respond rapidly to the market and maximise output delivering shareholder value.

The schedules developed in the latest version of XPAC can be passed directly to XECUTE and, likewise, any changes made within XECUTE can be passed back to XPAC to update the short-term schedule, ensuring a seamless scheduling interchange and more importantly, far easier analysis of plan compliance, RPM said.

One of the major differentiators of RPM’s scheduling tools is the Integrated Product Optimiser (PO). Product Optimiser is a mathematical algorithm that determines the optimal allocation of material to destinations through the mining supply chain.

RPM says: “Unlike other scheduling packages, PO is integrated with the schedule to find the optimal way to process, blend and stockpile products to maximise value from what is about to be mined. Mining organisations tend to have very sophisticated supply chain operations which makes it difficult to produce a specific blend at any given point.

“PO optimises the process by determining the single best solution with all of the material available at any given point in time with the goal to maximise the net present value,” the company said. It can therefore have a significant role in reducing stockpile costs by providing the ability to define the requirements of the blend before the port.

XECUTE has, as its foundation, RPM’s Enterprise Planning Framework™, with enterprise data feeds providing planners with the most up-to-date scheduling inputs to be automatically pushed to downstream systems.

RPM CEO, Richard Mathews, said: “The mining industry is focused on plan compliance and driving more predictability into their planning processes. Not only because of the cost savings available to them but because predictable operations are also safer ones.

“To create XECUTE, we listened to the market, worked with key players and delivered a solution that can align horizons, optimise the plan with the supply chain, and connect planning/maintenance and production as well as delivering a visually rich compliance tool.

“As we move increasingly toward autonomy, solutions such as XECUTE are vital. With more automation comes less human intervention, with better data collection and integration comes better execution and with better execution better outcomes are realised.”

He concluded: “The investment we have made into enterprise integration over the last seven years is really paying dividends to both RPM and the industry.”

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