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Caterpillar is set to augment the Cat MineStar Solutions suite of technologies with a new platform, MineStar Edge, which is also suitable for smaller mining operations.

The platform creates an operational ecosystem for mining companies rather than keeping data in individual silos.

With visibility to the entire mining operation, managers can see how early activities impact those further down the chain.

This ability leverages cloud computing, data fusion, machine learning and artificial intelligence underpinning Edge.

This allows managers to focus on improving operations rather than collecting and interpreting data as Edge automates data collection with accuracy.

Users can access information from a computer or tablet from any place with an internet connection.

Edge’s design also makes it cost-effective for smaller operations as it has the capability to scale up as needed.

Users can select an offering based on their role, function or task and pay only for those functionalities they need.

Edge is a cloud-based, subscription-managed application that reduces cost of deployment, service and training.

“In early deployments of Edge equipment tracking and production recording, we saw the mines achieve significant gains,” Cat MineStar Solutions commercial manager Ryan Howell said.

“A phosphate mine was able to increase the average tons per load by 15 per cent and to reduce the number of underloads by 29 per cent. The mine also reduced shift change time by 17 per cent.”

Sites using paper reporting systems can increase production by 20 to 30 per cent with Edge, Howell said.

Equipment tracking provides information on each asset, including data on location and movement, velocity, payload, cycle times, fuel level and hour meter reading.

Supervisors can view scheduled and unscheduled downtime as well as operational stoppages, driving operational changes to maintain productivity.

When pairing equipment tracking with production recording, Edge delivers near-real time solution that reports on every aspect of the load-haul-dump cycle.

The operator is not required to give any input, eliminating the risk of incorrect data entry.

Edge offers in-cab displays to help loading tool operators improve payload compliance and material selection.