When the game is on the line

The other day I went to see a soccer game and the person next to me was yelling at the referee that there were still 3 minutes to finish the match. His hope was there was enough time for his team to turn things around. After the game the losing coach was interviewed and said that one explanation for the defeat was the excessive time that his team needed to get into the flow of the game.

In the creation of a mining plan, the task that takes the longest is the preparation of the information, whether it be cutting polygons or building triangulations. Like a team prepping for an upcoming soccer game, the ability to create and assess multiple scenarios helps with preparation.

Using Maptek’s Short Term Planner tool, compared with traditional methods, users can generate multiple scenarios up to 4x faster. This greatly simplifies the time needed to prepare information and allows users to quickly “get into the flow of the game”.

On the other hand, generating a mining plan without considering the associated truck requirement is like playing a soccer game without the coach. Scheduling can be logistically challenging. Short Term Planner is great for analyzing different production schedules but when combined with Haulage Profile, the coach can create a robust game plan that ensures a win.

Today we have a choice to develop mining plans that take haulage cycle times into account. Based on the block model like a central databases which store and retrieve information, this information can be quickly and easily interpreted by users.

Using a combination of Vulcan Short Term Planner and Haulage Profile, scenarios can be generated that take into account certain variables such as tonnes, metals, haulage cycle times, and other variables during the process of creating the mining plan.

Haulage Profile is a powerful tool, yet easy to learn.  The multi-step process can be broken down easily.  First, the user creates haulage routes through basic CAD design.  From there, the user inputs haulage parameters such as fixed travel times due to speed limits or grades, velocity curves, and any other associated delays.  Haulage profile can then calculate these cycle times and write them back to the block model.

Maptek ardently works with its clients to solicit feedback about the software.  Recently, I met with a number of users who wish to see improvements to Haulage Profile.  For example, they want to see the ability to run this function without predefined routes, but rather a loose set of attributes and constraints.  This is due to the large number of alternatives and expansions in their current mine plan.  This would greatly increase the productivity of using the Haulage Profile tools.

When using the cycle times created by Haulage Profile, Short Term Planner can become even more powerful.  You can use variable accumulation as restrictions for many possible scenarios, such as limiting the amount of tonnage mined by different equipment, as well as restricting hours on different mining crews or equipment fleets.  The possibilities are endless.  This flexibility allows the user to run multiple scenarios in a very short amount of time.

Within about three minutes of the game a few scenarios can be built using these modules, making the time for generation of each alternative quite short.

Those who have not seen this can request more information or a demonstration from any of the sales representatives in each region. We also invite users of these modules to share their experiences using these tools.

Eduardo Coloma
Chief Executive Officer
June 18, 2012

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