Shell and IBM work to accelerate digitalisation in the mining industry

Shell and IBM look to accelerate digitalisation in the mining industry with the launch of the new online marketplace, Oren.

Oren is a global B2B digital mining services marketplace platform, co-developed by the companies. It is aimed at helping mining companies find solutions related to safety, sustainability, mine planning and operational efficiency.

By hosting new technology and digital solutions in one place, Oren aims to accelerate the digitisation of the mining industry, speed up the transformation of mining workflows and build in more operational resiliency in a rapidly changing world.

A response to disruption

As Covid-19 and other world events disrupt regular business operations, mining companies are looking to become more agile and resilient by embedding more automated mine solutions, such as self-driving haul trucks and remote operations centers in their operations.

To do this, mining operations need to quickly become more digital and intelligent at every step, both within the mines and throughout the wider value chains.

Shell, a major supplier of lubricants to the mining industry, engaged with more than 350 mining businesses and identified that 80% of those surveyed are wrestling with similar challenges in their operations. These include; difficulty aggregating data to make actionable insights; lack of intelligent workflows due to siloed organisational working; improving sustainability; along with keeping employees safe while deploying autonomous technology.

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“Mining customers can benefit from many of the digital solutions used in the energy industry, for example, those that help manage operations safely and efficiently in remote locations. We envision Oren being the one-stop digital destination for the mining sector to access the best digital solutions and technologies, not just from Shell and IBM, but also from leading and emerging companies. Being able to find and access a wide range of solutions digitally is even more important given the movement constraints faced as countries respond to Covid-19,” said Carol Chen, VP Global Marketing Lubricants, Shell.

Matt Candy, Global Managing Partner IBM iX, added: “The next push in mining requires a new approach towards industry-wide technology platforms which requires new levels of openness, innovation and collaboration. Oren accelerates the adoption of digital services in the mining industry by facilitating technology transfer, innovation and integration from solution providers across the ecosystem. For miners, this experience can help efficiently locate solutions at all levels of the organisation. This can make their existing workflows more intelligent to enable their digital journeys and help them reach their long terms goals.”

The Oren marketplace

The Oren marketplace platform allows solution developers — both established enterprise companies as well as start-ups — to get their market innovations to mining clients quickly.

Mining companies, like many traditional businesses, do not always have the time and budgets to invest in developing their own new tools to meet these challenges.

Instead, they are looking to deploy ready-made, proven solutions to improve operations by aggregating data from different sources to create a single view of their operations in order to abstract insights and really drive action and make more informed, data driven decisions.

Oren also aims to enable mining operations to develop a roadmap designed to deliver the interconnected mine of the future by creating connected solutions that integrate and leverage data, artificial intelligence, IoT, automation and analytics. This can give miners not only access to digital mining services, but also bring solutions and services that can enable miners to imagine and build up intelligent workflows that integrate all services across the mining ecosystem.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...