SUEK continues to introduce digital technologies in mining operations. Currently, the company plans to install 360° surround view camera system on 130-tonne dump trucks to ensure safety in Primorye.
Andrey Kukarenko, SUEK’s Technical Director in Primorye, says that the company operates a complex of digital systems. It includes a video monitoring system to enable shift supervisors of mining sections, managers of production units and the company’s directorate to control the operation of mining machinery. In addition, there is an automated video and weight control system for railcar loading in place.
To minimise costs and increase productivity, all mining machinery of Novoshakhtinskoye, the largest facility of SUEK in Primorye, is equipped with an automated mining control system called 'Quarry'. It displays information about all vehicles in real time using the following parameters: machinery location, the number of rounds completed, rock weight during loading and unloading and fuel consumption. The system also makes it possible to monitor the work of drivers, recognises dangerous operations such as speeding or downtime and evaluates the performance of drivers and operators for the entire shift duration. Dispatchers, shift and section supervisors and the company's managers receive all these data in real time.
Another high-tech system used in Primorye is the road quality management system. It is designed to evaluate and control the condition of onsite roads and to supervise the work of road services at open-pit mines.
The equipment installed on dump trucks eliminates the need for personnel to stay in quarries to monitor the condition of onsite roads and increases the service life of mining machinery through the prompt elimination of bumps and the restoration of the road surface. In addition, it reduces the risk of emergencies related to the inadequate quality of the roadbed and increases the service life of dump truck tyres.
As Andrey Kukarenko emphasised, these digital technologies provide significant advantages: 5–10% cost reduction through fuel saving, better technical complex performance (from 5 to 15%), less non-process-related downtime (up to 80%) and up to 8% decrease in equipment operation expenses.
Digital technology plays an important role in the continuous upgrade of all production processes. In 2019, SUEK invested about $12m in its Primorye mining operations.