SA Gets Serious About the Internet of Things

The South Australian Government, in collaboration with software company IPACS Australia, have just launched a new facility that uses remote sensing technology that promises to save operators millions.

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Source: IPACS

The South Australian Government, in collaboration with software company IPACS Australia, have just launched a new facility that uses remote sensing technology that promises to save operators millions. The project showcases the versatility of the technology behind the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).

Designed for resource companies as a cost and efficiency saving program the IPACS’ operation centre in Adelaide, can track the disposition and performance of a stakeholder’s assets.

Remote sensors on equipment like boilers, vehicles, smelters, and mine-fixed infrastructure can by monitored in real time. This data is then fed back to the operations centre thousands of kilometres away from the actual site of the mine or oilfield.

Using smart mathematics, that is, algorithms and predictive analytics, assets can be assessed in terms of risk and operations with diagnostic models. In this way, breakdowns and time costing maintenance can be anticipated with reliability and productivity increased.

Managing Director of IPACS Australia, Kailash Nath Sriram, said that while the public were aware of the benefits of remote monitoring in traffic flow and water management, this new innovation was a milestone.

“This technology can undoubtedly be a platform for future job and export growth of remote operations services to resource companies globally,” he said. The dexterity and subtlety of the IoT technology proved impressive in pilot trials, Sriram said. In one instance, service providers attached sensors to the wheels of mining trucks. Analytics determined that certain vibrations indicated wear on the gearbox and the components of the ore crushers. When this data was streamed live to engineers they agreed that urgent maintenance was needed.

The Remote Operation Centre is one of the foundation projects of South Australia’s Mining and Petroleum Services Centre of Excellence. IPACS and partners University of SA, Lucas (Arrium), and Thiess (OZ Minerals) received $2.07 million under the scheme in order to establish the facility.

The SA state Minerals and Energy Resources Minister, Tom Koutsantonis, said that ROC will only, “drive increased competitiveness for mid-tier mining service companies, which are the backbone of our resources and energy operations in South Australia.”

Sriram is optimistic that the technology used at the ROC is a platform “for future job and export growth of remote operations services to resource companies globally.”