The Connected Quarry

April 11, 2021

Interview with Chris van der Loo, Business Area Director for Weighing Systems, Trimble

Chris van der Loo sitting for an interview

What is the Connected Quarry?

The Connected Quarry is an evolution of LOADRITE systems. Traditionally, we’ve had industry leading payload scales for forty years or more. Our customers are really demanding us to increase the value proposition for them across the entire quarrying continuum and continuing so we’ve introduced the Connected Quarry, which is really about tying information together that is relevant for our customers within the quarry so that they can use that information for making informed decisions about their operation.

How do LOADRITE scales fit in?
We still have the solid base of accurate sensors and scales, but that is very much our basis.  We’re going to use that accurate data between one machine and another machine so that we can get relevant information that our customers can use for those decisions. 

Who can use the data?
Anybody that is a stakeholder within the quarrying operation can have access to this data. It’s really about how we present it. It’s a very flexible solution that can be presented in any way that the customer needs depending on their role within the organization. We store that data is a very secure location. In fact, we use the rest of Trimble that has the infrastructure and support around data security. We pride ourselves on having the best data security in the industry.

How could a manager use Trimble Insight data?
One example might be the fleet manager who wants to track where his wheel loaders, haul trucks or excavators are across the operation and show those in real-time on a map.

How can a quarry manager get value from Trimble Insight?
A quarry manager might be interested in how they are tracking for the day from a productivity perspective. So with Trimble Insight, they can see productivity vs. targets. They can see this as a ‘worm’ chart, in real time to see how they are tracking for the day.

Can a safety manager use Trimble Insight?
Trimble Insight is replayable so you can go back and look at yesterday or today's data. You can visualize the machines and have moved across the site and that us a useful piece of information if you were trying to work out exactly what happened or reviewing an incident.

Other than productivity, what else does the Connected Quarry track?
The Connected Quarry is not just about looking at different processes individually, it’s really about tying all the different processes together and providing a tool for quarry managers so they can see how one part of the process impacts the wider process. For example, if I'm looking at the haul cycle process and how those trucks are delivering material to the primary crusher. We can track the haul cycles with the amount of material going into the crusher which can be used to draw inferences as to reasons why that crushing may have been down. If the haul cycle is the reason we can quickly determine  through a visual I can look at the whole quarrying process on one dashboard.

How do you break down the connected quarry to identify issues?
The Connected Quarry also allows us to look at downtime. It gives operators a chance to key in why those downtimes might have occured. Over time we will build out a real view of what the quarry capacity is of any quarry and how much productivity we may have lost and we can use the system to go back and determine why those losses have occurred. So we can go back and put actions in place to ensure that we operate at the highest possible productivity level for that quarry.

What are actionable insights?
Our customers have asked for a tool that is proactive, rather than reactive. The Trimble Insight platform allows them to react in a timely matter, because once production is lost for the day we need to get that back. Insight allows him to react in a timely manner so that that productivity is not lost.

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