How the Internet of Things is Ready to Help Australian Mining.

Published September 17, 2016

The “Internet of Things” has become a reality with the advancement of technology and the ability for countless devices to connect to the Internet. But what is the Internet of Things, and how does it help business?
Having represented businesses in the information, communication and technology sectors since the 1970’s, the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has figured it out. Their work has helped to better the digital environment and create factors that allow businesses to grow and thrive while contributing to Australia’s economic success.
The AIIA is set to form an Internet of Things cluster that will help the mining and energy industries increase efficiency, and maximize work processes.

What is the Internet of Things?
In basic terms, the Internet of Things is the idea that you can connect virtually any device to the Internet or to another device. Cell phones are a prime example of this, but items like coffee makers, wearable technology and even power tools and medical equipment are all examples of items which can have internet connections. Not only can devices be connected, but so can specific parts of the devices. Aircraft engines or the drills for an oil rig are all examples of component parts that can be connected to the Internet of Things.

It is estimated that, by the year 2020, there will be between 26 and 100 billion connected devices in use. All of those devices can provide endless amounts of information which can be examined with Big Data analytical software. Tying information from different parts of an industry into related groups can give business leaders a detailed view of the entire industry and allow them to make immediate decisions whenever a problem arises.

In Australia this type of network is being proposed by the AIIA, in partnership with the South Australian Government.

The AIIA Proposal
Their proposal suggests that industry members involved in the project both invest in, and provide access to information for advisors and other companies relevant to the industry. The AIIA proposal would help foster collaboration between businesses, streamline information and work processes and allow for better decisions by business leaders.
With over 20,000 members in the AIIA, creating an industry cluster will help related businesses gain access to many sources of information, including:

  • Fleet operations monitoring
  • Machine sensors
  • Dashboards from plants
  • Ore grade detectors
  • Sales information
  • Supply chain management

Beginning with the special interest group of the AIIA, the number of organizations would eventually grow and include universities, tech firms and supply chain management firms, all with ties to the mining and energy sector.

Despite the fact that business clusters are common in Europe, the use of the Internet of Things in combination with the Mining and Energy industries is believed to be the first of its kind anywhere. Participating organizations will have the means for easier collaboration, and it’s hoped that companies that are both complimentary and competitive will work to create a better, more efficient industry than ever before.
Along with large industries and companies, small startups such as Punchtime can use the Internet of Things to easily collect accurate, immediate data from field workers. This ability will allow even small organizations to have access to information on a level that was not previously possible.

Such a high level of access means everyone can ensure that their business is tailored to meet all of their clients’ needs. When changes occur, the entire group is alerted at the same time and can make decisions that keep the entire industry running smoothly and efficiently.