Eurasian Resources Group is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of natural resources with integrated mining, processing, energy and logistics operations. The company’s operations spread across 15 countries, and it is one of the largest employers in the metals and mining industry. The Group’s largest operations are located in Kazakhstan, Africa and Brazil.
Eurasian Resources Group plays a pivotal role in implementing a range of global multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as the Global Battery Alliance and Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). Over the past five years, the company has supported and advanced innovative manufacturing processes in the industry.
According to Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, the initial struggle in adopting artificial intelligence (AI) has now turned into a global phenomenon. The company is working on the implementation of Industry 4.0 principles into its everyday business – the Group uses deep automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Innovations in iron ore processing
In September 2019 Eurasian Resources Group partnered with Redmadrobot Data Lab to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) system to increase the efficiency of iron ore processing at its SSGPO JSC that processes over 40 million tonnes of iron ore per year. The AI analyses raw materials on the conveyor using computer vision technologies and video footage and converts them into structured data detailing the particle-size distribution of the incoming ore. The data from other sensors is analysed through machine learning. As a result, the system reveals hidden links between certain parameters, calculates the optimal characteristics of the grinding mills’ functionality and then transfers them to the process control operator.
Eurasian Resources Group now has a more accurate understanding of how the equipment is being used across its operations. These insights are meant to:
- support investment decision-making;
- minimise failures;
- eliminate unscheduled equipment downtime;
- expedite the movement and allocation of the equipment;
- optimise costs.
Eurasian Resources Group also plans to use other IT solutions such as machine learning for mineral exploration in the Aktobe and Kostanai regions within Kazakhstan.
Eurasian Resources Group introduces new system based on SAP Mobile Technologies
The introduction of a new system for managing maintenance and equipment based on SAP Mobile Technologies will enable the real-time management, maintenance and repair in all affiliates, accurate planning and rational allocation of resources based on multi-level analytics, and optimisation of costs. Prior processes were subject to irregular inspections and excluded data on the physical state of the equipment. Recognising the need for change, Eurasian Resources Group led by Benedikt Sobotka introduced the use of modern mobile technologies at every stage of the manufacturing process, with a goal of ensuring the efficiency and high quality of the data. For Eurasian Resources Group, SAP Mobile Technologies were the system of choice.
SAP Mobile Technologies is a set of mobile capabilities for connecting the Group’s business systems. SAP’s tools can be used directly or as a means for creating a new cross-platform application.
Every day, SAP allocates tasks to specific employees, thereby eliminating paperwork. The system has a variety of other functions, which facilitates the employees’ tasks and allocation of responsibilities.
Following the implementation of the project, the firm’s equipment control processes acquired additional logical and systemic integrity.
Technological maps for the inspections were introduced to determine the manner of execution and the frequency of the procedures. The employees’ areas of responsibility are now specifically allocated. The methodological guide to equipment reliability was agreed upon and implemented across all Eurasian Resources Group’s enterprises.
The introduction of SAP Mobile Technologies has had a multiplier effect. By increasing the transparency of the time recording of equipment inspections, the approach to organising the employees’ work has been revised. Bypass routes have been modified and the personnel’s overload has been reduced. The quality of data regarding the equipment’s condition significantly improved, which increased the possibility of a quick response. The equipment downtime decreased due to the newly developed failure prevention measures. The transparent control systems made the overall quality of work substantially better.
The implementation of SAP had the following results in Kazakhstan:
- the coefficient of the equipment’s technical readiness reached up to 5%;
- the unplanned downtime was reduced to 15%;
- the number of defects detected at early stages is now 4.8 times higher than what it was before;
- the instrumental time of the maintenance personnel rose to 30% (excluding training, work preparations, etc.).
Galymzhan Akhmetov, Eurasian Resources Group’s Chief Information Officer, stated that the use of mobile technologies and the reduction of labour costs for routine tasks and system operations demonstrated the value of SAP solutions as essential tools for everyday work. The experience strengthened the employees’ interest and their involvement in the transformation as well as their motivation to actively participate in subsequent projects.
Under Benedikt Sobotka’s leadership, Eurasian Resources Group has invested in modernising its management system and contributing to Industry 4.0. The Group uses more than 90,000 sensors and 237 automated process control systems to ensure efficiency at every stage of its production chain. The company is closely monitoring the new IT solutions to help increase transparency and efficiency of ERG’s employees work and tasks.
Eurasian Resources Group’s investment in Industry 4.0 initiatives is expected to reach $1.8 billion by 2025.