Despite the travel restriction difficulties associated with Covid-19, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology has found novel and innovative solutions to overcoming these challenges which has ensured the company maintains its leading position in the fields of both automation and digitalisation.
Considering Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology first introduced automation solutions into its product offering some 15 years ago, and digital technologies 10 years ago – the company has been leading the way in helping the mining industry adopt and embrace the modernisation revolution.
“The African mining industry has traditionally shied away from embracing new technologies, but Covid-19 has been the push factor in accelerating the necessity to adopt change, and this has happened rapidly as mines have had to learn to operate remotely and with limited resources owing to Covid-19,” says Simon Andrews, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology vice president for sales in Southern Africa.
According to Andrews the adoption of new technologies is no longer the primary objective. He says that finding ways to implement new technologies remotely has now become the primary focus.
With the philosophy of working towards finding a solution for any challenge, Sandvik Mining & Technology has done just that, and introduced a headset which enables it to walk and talk anyone through the process of commissioning a machine and associated software without having ever seen it before. “This offering removes all barriers associated with the inability to connect physically on the ground and is a mechanism of training in itself,” says Niel McCoy, automation business development manager for Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology.
Coupled with this new skill set and offering is Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s ability to better utilise its highly skilled personnel. “Our top level experts within the business are no longer time restricted by travel and are able to utilise their skills set across multiple mines on a more frequent basis, something we had never considered in the past but is an exercise already reaping great success,” McCoy points out.
As a result of the company’s efforts in ensuring digital technologies and the implementation thereof remain a top agenda for clients – regardless of remote working conditions, lockdown restrictions, etc., Sandvik has established a new communication repertoire with its clients. “Never before have we communicated so effectively or as frequently with our clients as we do now. We know more about our sites now than we ever did before, which naturally provides us with the ability to better assist our clients in any areas that we can contribute towards and give input on,” Andrews concludes.