Where do mining firms land on the Industry 4.0 Maturity Index?
In an era where technology is reshaping industries, the mining industry is undergoing a profound transformation with the advent of Mining 4.0. This digital revolution, driven by advanced technologies, is reshaping the industry's landscape, promising increased efficiency, enhanced safety, and a sustainable approach to resource extraction.
To get a deeper understanding of the existing competitive environment and the level of digital transformation in the mining industry, Nokia collaborated with ABI Research to conduct research among mining companies in several regions. Together, we investigated the challenges companies face in adopting new digital practices and the level of alignment between their investments in information technology (IT) and their use of operational technology (OT) use cases powered by digital technologies.
The Industry 4.0 Matrix Index is based on a 1Q 2023 online survey of 500 individuals. All participants designed the overall strategy program or implemented digital transformation projects at their companies' factories, plants, or industrial facilities. The sample included 50 respondents working for mining firms. Other respondents were from port operators and the chemicals, fabricated metals, mining, oil and gas, heavy machinery, electronics, and appliances sectors. Respondents were either in the United States, Japan, France, Germany or the United Kingdom. The sample consisted of IT and OT leaders and senior managers from organizations operating from a single location or many sites, employing hundreds or thousands of personnel.
Defining Mining 4.0
First, let’s define what we mean by “fourth industrial revolution” in mining. Mining 4.0 represents a convergence of digital technologies that optimize the entire mining value chain, from exploration and extraction to processing and transportation. The benefits from intelligent automation, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, and other digital tools not only increase operational efficiency but also reduce environmental impact, improve safety, and enhance resource utilization.
Which digitalization initiatives are most important to mining companies?
Mining companies want to achieve various benefits from their investments in Industry 4.0 technologies to address the challenges they face . Survey participants were asked to rate how much attention a specific subject was getting.
The following spider diagram compares the degree to which the topics get attention.
The most important topic is supporting the company's sustainability goal (6.94). Many people view mining companies negatively regarding how they relate to the environment. As a result, respondents rank supporting the company's sustainability efforts as their top priority. The main goal for these efforts is to lower the energy needed to extract, process, and transport mineral resources. In addition, it is important to improve the company's agility, such as handling supply shocks, political risks, and local economic conditions (6.70), and to optimize workforce operations and workforce safety (6.56).
Mining Industry 4.0 Maturity Index Overview
Mining companies intend to achieve various goals with their investments in Industry 4.0, as a way of meeting challenges that might come up in the short, medium, and long term. The survey respondents were asked to rate the specific subjects they were particularly interested in.
By our analyses, the mining industry achieved an IT maturity score of 61.9 out of 100. This metric encompasses technological deployments such as communication networks, computing systems, software and applications, cloud solutions, devices, and systems. On OT use case deployments, which include worker communication, data analytics, asset performance management, and operation optimization, mining companies earned a score of 67.3. The index displays completed tasks and indicates whether the IT and OT environments are aligned.
Also, the figure below shows that mining companies score lower than the average for all respondents. The sector is behind electronics and home appliances companies, which are the most advanced in deploying use cases and investments in information technology.
Mining Industry 4.0 Maturity Status Summary
As discussed in the previous section, mining companies invest in Industry 4.0 to enhance operations, increase operational efficiency, and ensure standards. The matrix indicates that mining companies' IT and OT environments are currently aligned. However, several respondents said there needs to be more alignment among their teams. Furthermore, mining companies must expand their internal knowledge to keep moving up the Industry 4.0 Matrix Index.
Challenges and opportunities
While the benefits of Mining 4.0 are evident, the industry faces challenges regarding digital technology adaptation and worker upskilling. Overcoming these challenges requires a strategic approach to change management, investment in training programs, and collaboration with technology solution providers. The transition to Mining 4.0 presents challenges and exciting opportunities for innovation, growth, sustainability, and competitiveness.
Benchmarking Mining 4.0 is not simply a performance measurement exercise but a strategic imperative for companies aiming to thrive in the digital era. By evaluating their digital maturity and comparing it with industry leaders, mining companies can capitalize on Mining 4.0, ensuring sustainable and efficient operations for the future. As the industry continues to evolve, benchmarking will remain a crucial tool for driving innovation, enhancing competitiveness, and shaping the future of mining.
You may now benchmark yourselves using the self-assessment tool co-created by Nokia and ABI Research: https://pages.nokia.com/T008UQ-Industry-4-0-Maturity-Assessment.htm.
One platform for mining digitalization
To learn how Nokia One Platform can help mining companies use industrial-grade private wireless, Wi-Fi, industrial edge, and industrial devices when building a digitalized mine, visit https://www.dac.nokia.com/industry/mining/.