Successful mines no longer seek partial solutions. Now the foundation for success is a digitally integrated solution that harmonizes data from everywhere, making analytics and business intelligence universal. Hexagon Mining brings surveying, design, fleet management, production, optimization, and collision avoidance together in a life-of-mine solution that connects people and processes.
NJ: In today’s episode we are talking to Rob Daw, managing director of recently acquired MiPlan, an Australian tech firm, specializing in mobile apps for the mining industry. Rob, thanks for joining us today.
RD: Thanks for having me.
NJ: So Rob, welcome. Tell us a little about MiPlan and its background.
RD: MiPlan was brought about 6 years ago. It was really born out of the frustrations of a lot of us that work in the mining industry. The ability to access data in real time was really limited. So we wanted to actually bring a product to the market that allowed people to break down the different variables within the mining industry and start to see how they could optimize their operation from a reporting point of view.
So as time went on, with the maturing of tablets in the industry (ipads and android devices) we saw a great opportunity to bring mobile technology to the mining industry. And not just from a data-collection point of view, but also to utilize that tool to deliver information back out into the field to try and get to the right people at the right time.
NJ: So who are some of the clients using MiPlan solutions?
RD: We’ve got some of the largest mining companies in the world currently utilizing MiPlan. These include BHP, FMG, Whitehaven, and they are just some of the examples from an owner-operator point of view. But we also have strong links with the contractors in terms of Downer and Thiess. That’s just to name a few. And what they have given us is great exposure across multiple commodities, and also by an open pit and underground environment.
NJ: What sort of feedback are you getting from the clients, Rob?
RD: The overall feedback has been really positive. We do garner a lot of feedback across multiple areas of our business. And the two main areas that we really focus on is obviously the software itself and how that can improve the business, but more importantly for us it’s more about the services aspect of our business and how they perform. And really we get a lot of positive feedback about the services’ guys implementing the solution and working with the client to maximize the value of the solution for them.
NJ: And where do you see MiPlan bringing the greatest value to Hexagon Mining and its clients?
RD: Obviously there’s some immediate wins with the technology space. But we also see that the approach, and the ability to get in and work with the client and not just implementing a piece of software but establishing a solution and relationship that adds real value on an operational level through toa corporate one is something that hopefully MiPlan will bring, or further bring into the Hexagon suite.
NJ: What are some of the most immediate synergies between MiPlan and Hexagon Mining solutions?
RD: There are a couple immediate areas there. The current solution is Hexagon Blast. If you combine that solution with our field data acquisition, MiD&B?, essentially there is going to be a full end-to-end drill and blast solution there. Those two complement each other really well. There’s also the current Jigsaw solution and our reporting over top of that. We’ve actually had that in for quite a while now ourselves (unintelligible). So that will give clients an immediate benefit there of more advanced reporting along with a production management solution that can sit over the top of that fleet management system. And the final one there is also SAFEmine, and getting a reporting solution over the top of SAFEmine to start to get some advanced reporting out there as well.
NJ: What about long term? What is the potential for this kind of integration?
RD: The mining industry is rightly heading in a direction of launching a fully integrated software and hardware stack for its operations. We firmly believe that Hexagon has all the right pieces of the puzzle to be able to achieve that. The idea is if you imagine an interchangeable technology stack that’s really scaled with an operation’s needs, over time, from initially planning the operation right through the operational technology. And then the ability to then close the loop between those two technologies is something that the industry has been chasing for a long, long time. So I think the further we can integrate, the better that story will be.
NJ: Why do you think this acquisition was a good fit for MiPlan?
RD: The vision of the two companies for what future mining operations should, and could, look like was very closely aligned. And that was really an important factor for us. Also, our existing technology already had a lot of inter-operability with the Hexagon solutions. I mentioned before about Jigsaw already being integrated with Hexagon Blast. And it also allowed us a great platform to be able to introduce the MiPlan solution on a worldwide level. And with the people within the Hexagon group, we’re very comfortable and have been very successful going forward.
NJ: You’ve obviously got a lot of your career invested in MiPlan and created it. What’s the personal satisfaction of seeing a company that you helped create enter a relationship like this?
RD: I guess from my perspective, there is a great deal of satisfaction personally. But it’s not just myself. The entire MiPlan team has a real sense of validation of the solution that we have been building. And the realization of the technology we’ve put together that it is required on a global scale and it is making a big difference. I think that for us has been a really pleasing factor and the outcome of this and the satisfaction of this – that all of us has had through this whole process.
NJ: Rob, thanks very much for joining us today.
RD: Thank you.
NJ: So we’d like to thank our guest, Rob Daw, for joining us and being our guest today. To our listeners, you can learn more about Hexagon Mining at hexagonmining.com. Tune in to more episodes from HxGN Radio at iTunes, SoundCloud, or Stitcher Radio. Thanks for listening.