Mining methods have been used to pull important minerals and ore from the ground since ancient times. For centuries these processes were labor-intensive and hazardous. But as new technologies based on big data are being developed, mining companies in the U.S. now have secure and precise ways of finding and removing materials from the earth.
Capturing and processing big data may be a relatively recent phenomenon in other industries, but in the U.S. mining sector it’s nothing new. Hitachi has been helping U.S. mining companies with sensor arrays that collect masses of data from trucks, excavators and other machinery for at least two decades, tagging everything from geographical positions to who’s driving, what they’re carrying and how much their cargo weighs.
“Many of the remote sensor monitoring scenarios that feature in modern IoT deployments have been in use in U.S. mining for a long time due to the very nature of mining in tough and remote environments,” says David Noble, VP Research and Development, Wenco International Mining Systems. “What’s new is the extent to which mines are monitored and the amount of data they collect. Mines are now taking advantage of heightened connectivity to collect and store very large amounts of disparate data.”