According to a new research report from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, the total active installed base of connected mining solutions reached almost 0.6 million units in the equipment, people and environment segments in 2018.
The equipment segment accounts for the largest share of the total, representing connected units deployed on machines and vehicles used in mining operations. This includes solutions ranging from OEM telematics systems on mining equipment to advanced connected solutions supplied by mining technology specialists.
The people segment includes various solutions deployed to support the safety and productivity of mining personnel, while the environment segment consists of sensor technology implemented for environmental monitoring of the mine itself.
Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 15.5 percent, the total installed base of connected mining solutions in all these segments is forecasted to reach close to 1.2 million units in 2023.
The top players active in the connected mining space include strikingly different types of companies, ranging from specialised independent technology suppliers of varying sizes up to the leading mining equipment manufacturers. “Many of the key players today serve both surface and underground mining customers”, said Rickard Andersson, Principal Analyst, Berg Insight.
The surface segment is dominated by Modular Mining Systems (owned by Komatsu), Hexagon Mining, Wenco International Mining Systems (owned by Hitachi Construction Machinery) and Caterpillar through its Cat MineStar suite.
Mr. Andersson continued:
“Modular, Hexagon and Caterpillar all serve underground customers in addition to a primary presence in the surface segment, while Wenco is fully focused on surface mining.”
He adds that VIST Group is also active in the surface segment and serves some underground operations as well. Examples of key technology providers focused specifically on underground applications are Newtrax Technologies (recently acquired by Sandvik) and Mobilaris (partially owned by Epiroc). The underground segment is in general less mature and more fragmented.
“Mine Site Technologies, MICROMINE and rapidBizApps are additional players in the underground segment that all also serve surface customers to varying extents”, concluded Mr. Andersson.