Digitalization for the mining industry

By Justin Tuttle

Over time, digital solutions are proving to be invaluable to the success of the mining industry. The efficient management of capital assets also play a critical role in providing a competitive advantage to the mine.

In both the physical and digital worlds, the complexity of capital assets combined with massive data quantities generated over their lifecycles has been hard for companies to organize and manage. As a result, most capital assets operate at reduced efficiency throughout their lifecycles. This has caused challenges for mining companies to address.

The solution: A digital twin

One of the solutions to address the complexities associated with capital assets is the creation of a digital twin for mines. To get the most benefit from the digital twin, it is important to learn about weaving a digital thread of data through a capital asset’s lifecycle, from project delivery through to operations. This is how a digital twin of the physical asset is created, where project and asset data become centralized, with design and information models located in an easily accessible digital ecosystem.

Because of the digital twin, engineers can collaborate across the enterprise making data-driven decisions, helping them better manage a project and operational complexity. Previously disconnected information silos are eliminated, along with the multitudes of spreadsheets that typically accompany them.

The ‘digital twin’ is a complete digital replica of the mine which will allow management and the contracted company to connect to and manage it from anywhere and the maintenance teams will be connected to certain machinery to analyze and pick up problems early – resulting in increased safety and reduced downtime.

Improving capital asset design, construction and operation

By building a digital twin from the onset of a project, Teamcenter for Capital Asset Lifecycle Management lays a foundation for data management and collaboration which helps mining companies to achieve significant improvements in their capital asset’s design, construction and operations

Early digital twin adoption also allows mining companies to perform simulations to optimize the asset’s design, both before and during construction. In addition, they can also gain new efficiencies by continuously optimizing asset performance throughout the lifecycle using planning and simulation capabilities, while sharing simulation results across the enterprise.

A foundation for enterprise-wide collaboration

Teamcenter for Capital Asset Lifecycle Management provides a single access point to federated data by integrating data from various computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided engineering (CAE), and building information modeling (BIM) authoring and project management systems.

The ability to integrate plant and process definition information into the plant maintenance and operational areas is also a huge benefit.

By unlocking proprietary data from individual users and applications and sharing it across the enterprise, companies can make smarter, more collaborative decisions to increase productivity and speed-up innovation. As project data grows and matures across multiple teams, the solution consolidates the information, so workers can rely on a single source of up-to-date asset data.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at