Ecosystem for Autonomous Mining
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (HCM) has recently announced its vision for autonomous mining — an open, interoperable network of partners that integrate their systems alongside existing mining infrastructure.
HCM is pioneering an open and interoperable approach to autonomy among global mining technology leaders. This vision is based on ISO Standards and a goal to encourage new entrants into the mining industry. HCM is supporting standards-based autonomy by offering its interoperable technology to assist mining customers in using new vendors with their existing infrastructure. HCM’s advocacy for Open Autonomy is based on its philosophy for its partner-focused Solution Linkage platform.
“Open innovation is the guiding technological philosophy for Solution Linkage,” says Vice President and Executive Officer, Chief Technology Officer Hideshi Fukumoto. “Based on this philosophy, HCM is announcing its commitment to championing the customer enablement of autonomous mining through an open, interoperable ecosystem of partner solutions.”
“We believe this open approach provides customers the greatest flexibility and control for integrating new autonomous solutions into their existing operations while reducing associated risks and costs of alternative approaches.”
The HCM Group is developing this open autonomy approach under the Solution Linkage initiative, a platform already available to customers in the construction industry and now being made available to mining customers with support from HCM subsidiary Wenco International Mining Systems (Wenco). Solution Linkage is a standards-based platform grounded on three principles: Open Innovation, Interoperability, and Partner Ecosystem.
Open Innovation refers to the HCM Group’s support for open standards to enable the creation of solutions that reduce costs and increase value for customers. Solution Linkage avoids vendor lock-in and offers customers the freedom to choose technologies from preferred vendors independent of their fleet management system. This approach future-proofs customer technology infrastructure, allowing for the incorporation of newer technologies as they emerge.
Interoperability creates simplified connectivity between systems to increase the sharing of information across sectors and enabling end-to-end visibility and control across the entire mining process. Customers using Solution Linkage can connect equipment from multiple vendors into existing fleet management and operations infrastructure. Interoperability also gives mines a better systems-level understanding of their operation, providing access to more robust data analytics and process management. This capability enables mine management to make superior decisions based on operation-wide insight that deliver end-to-end optimization.
A Partner Ecosystem is a structure in which customers and partners can utilise HCM’s experience and open platform to provide autonomous functionality and reduce the risk of technological adoption. HCM is actively seeking customer and vendor partnerships to further extend the value of this open, interoperable platform. If independent vendors have already been selected by a customer and are struggling to integrate into the client’s existing fleet management system or mine operations, Hitachi may be able to help using the Solution Linkage platform.
Whether customers choose Hitachi’s fleet of Autonomous Haul Trucks, Wenco Fleet Management Systems or autonomous technology from other providers, the philosophy of Open Innovation, Interoperability and a Partner Ecosystem are at the heart of HCM’s strategy and vision for Open Autonomy.