Assistance from MineStar
To help maintain the efficiency and productivity of the operation, Phelps Dodge teamed up with Caterpillar and installed MineStar, an integrated mining information system. It features programs that focus on machine health, productivity, machine and material tracking, drill management, computer-aided earth moving systems (CAES) and an advanced truck assignment program.
MineStar operates using GPS to accurately pinpoint machine and materials positions and provides real-time communication between machines and the MineStar database and applications servers. These two servers hold Bagdad’s historical database and current mine plan.
There are six programs that make up the MineStar system:
MineStar FleetCommander schedules and assigns trucks and maximizes production and shovel utilization and minimizes truck wait time.
MineStar Production provides constant productivity information from trucks, loading tools and earthmoving machines to increase efficiency of mining operations.
MineStar Health acquires machine and fleet health in real time over a wireless network from VIMS and reports to a service centre or production database for improved maintenance operations.
MineStar Material Tracking monitors material type and movement and alerts operators and planners of routing mistakes to ensure material is moved to the proper location.
MineStar Machine Tracking monitors machine location for the entire fleet and incorporates a playback function to analyze dump movement and haul road congestion.
MineStar Business Enterprise integrates mining functions such as mine planning, real time production and machine health, financial and human resource information to the mining company’s Enterprise Systems.
CAES provides machine operators a real time site plan to complete earthmoving tasks in the most efficient manner. Aquila Drill Management controls drilling operations for maximum production and provides material recognition.
Implementation of MineStar has helped Phelps Dodge optimize operations by reducing the variability in each task performed, which in turn has lowered operating costs.
Phelps Dodge and Caterpillar continue to look for ways to improve efficiencies and lower operating costs at the mine. Improvements to the MineStar information system in the areas of automation and improved GPS communication should help improve the bottom line for both companies.