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Serious about mining safety

Hexagon is working hard to help mines prevent collisions and their consequences with a range of solutions that represent the most comprehensive portfolio on the market. Join Marcos Bayuelo to learn more about the latest advances in systems for collision avoidance, personal protection, operator alertness and vehicle intervention.

BK: Hexagon is working hard to help mines prevent collisions and their consequences with a range of solutions that represent the most comprehensive portfolio on the market. Welcome to HxGN radio. My name is Brian and today we have Marcos Bayuelo, safety portfolio manager from Hexagon mining division. He is here to discuss the latest advances in mine safety solutions. Marcos, thanks for joining us.

MB: Thanks for having me.

BK: Excellent. Now, Hexagon just launched an operator alertness system for light vehicles. Tell us a little bit about that.

MB: Thanks. That’s a very good question. Thanks for bringing it up, we’re very excited, because it has been a long wait and bringing this project to life, so we can really bring this baby out. We are very proud of it, and we’re very confident that this will be a step forward where on the disruption of the industry, we could talk a little bit or a lot about all the features function on how this really helps our customer in different aspects. But the most important piece of this announcement is really the ability to bring cutting-edge technology. And what I mean cutting edge technologies, really deep machine learning, algorithms into a compact hardware, easy to install, easy to use. So, what this is going to allow us is to really bring and protect people everywhere, every time. So not only focusing on the mine itself, but this will allow expanding the protection to all the light vehicles, buses and technology. And even going beyond that is the ability to use this in combination with our mine monitoring center that would allow to really provide our end customers the decision-making criteria. 

BK: Nice 

MB: So, it’s doing 90% of the job. 

BK: Yeah. 

MB: Just providing to our end customer, this is what you really need to do. So, our real excitement is that all this technology now we have compacted into really, really small factor hardware that makes it not only easy to install for light vehicles and where we have less space, but as well it makes it easier to manage, which really like fits on the light vehicle industry, and as well having this technology in a compact factor will allow us to protect buses that will transport personnel from the mine to their hometown. So, imagine that in a light vehicle or in a haul truck, there is only a maximum of up to four people, but the buses are going to start transporting up to 40 people. So, if an accident happens in there, the fatalities might be major. So, protecting these specific vehicle types to really enhance the vision from our portfolio division, from our division about being serious about safety. 

BK: Yeah. Excellent man. That’s great. That’s very exciting. And although it was something that was talked about that it was, you know, on the horizon in the past and so it’s great to see that’s finally coming together. And you were mentioning to you earlier, the larger, heavier vehicles, you know, if they collide with a lighter vehicle, feels like they hit a rock, for example. The lighter vehicles are the ones at risk. So that’s, that’s what’s happening. They’re getting the alert systems, so they’re able to avoid the accident. 

MB: Correct. 

BK: Accident in that sense. 

MB: Correct. So, we always have had our heavy machinery fatigue solutions or operator alertness solutions. And what has happened is this has always been targeted for the heavy machinery. 

BK: Sure. 

MB: But these risks were not only targeting these drivers, this risk is inherited by all the vehicle drivers, but due to the fact that we needed powerful hardware, powerful very robust technology that can fit on the mining industry on really big machines has always prevented us from going into the light vehicles and protect these persons. Now with the advance of the technology and with hard work and bringing this cutting edge technology, machine learning algorithms within a small format, with the small compact form factor, it has allowed us to really bring this into the light vehicles and protect the drivers in light vehicles and buses. 

BK: Good. Cool. Well, that’s good, It’s really great to hear that. Congrats on that. How does MineProtect’s integration with MineEnterprise make a mine smarter, you know, specifically Hexagon’s analytics and reporting platform. 

MB: This as well, It’s a recently new product. So, it has a couple of years already in the market. But what we really wanted to bring within the integration of MineEnterprise and MineProtect is really the ability to make decisions based on the information, right. So, I’m going to give you a little analogy and it is, if you remember in the past, how we were measuring our performance on a running race. So, we just were about running that 10-kilometer race, we just say, okay, I want to do it in 50 minutes, and then we measure, we went to 51 minutes. What went wrong through that race; was I slow at the beginning was I too fast? Why I couldn’t achieve my goal? 

BK: Sure.

MB: Right. So, I don’t have enough information to make a good decision on what I need to improve. Alright? 

BK: Makes sense. Yep. 

MB: So, this is the same way that we measured the safety in our mining industry today. So, we are going to say, 2018 I had 10 accidents, 2019 I want to have six accident or no accident, but I never know in between, If I’m going to get to zero or I’m going to get to one or two. And now if you see our performance running watches today, you’ll have many, many sensors in there. You have a heartbeat sensor, you have GPS, you have an accelerometer, you can really now measure a lot of data. But this data doesn’t transform into anything, into any insight on what you need to improve, right? So, then now all this data gets transformed into information and now you know how fast every lap you’re going, what is your heart rate? Are you going to actually make the improvements? So really you can have a live performance measurement through the race that is going to allow you to take the decisions to get to that goal at the time that you wanted. 

BK: Excellent. 

MB: So, what MineEnterprise does is all the sensors, all these technologies that we have within our portfolio. If you take on a simple example as fatigue events, how many times our operators are falling asleep behind the wheel, right? This will allow you to make sure that you are not going to have x accidents at end of the year, because you’re measuring how many times they are falling asleep while before you never had this data. So, knowing, who are the operators? Knowing which times of the day, knowing which locations, will really enhance your insights to take the decision on what you need to change on the process. To make to your goals, to get to your goal that is exactly what the watch is telling you through that race, you need to decrease your pace because you’re not going to make it. 

BK: Yeah. 

MB: Basically, So this is what it does. So, this analogy what it does is, how can I measure live performance off my controls to get to the goal. If you take a little step forward over that, now you’re measuring am I going to get am I going to finish my running race within my goal, that if you are transforming this, how many fatigue accidents I’m I going to have through the year? 

BK: Yeah. 

MB: If you take a little step forward now you see, okay, I’m running but now I want to go into triathlon. You see our portfolio we have a large number of solutions that address different challenges. Now, once one challenge is somehow associated with the other, if you do take the analogies, how it’s my running affecting my cycling, how is my cycling affecting my swimming? And then go how is my vehicle interactions or my pedestrian interaction affecting my fatigue or affecting my operations. 

BK: Yeah. 

MB: So, the mine enterprise allows you to really combine all the data that is coming from all the sensors up of the technology within your mine and take the insights of how each one of them is affecting and this is a real, real deal because nobody is able to provide this information today. 

BK: Really 

MB: It’s super hard to capture. 

BK: Sure. 

MB: So that is, what really this integration, make some miners smarter, having the ability to get the insights for all the data, having the data every time and everywhere. 

BK: That’s neat. First of all, great example by the way, but yeah, I mean that’s a really neat thing because I mean you’re right. There’s, whether it’s in mining or in other industries, there’s really not a lot of real-time data. I mean, how many times does anybody say, okay, well how did we do this and how do we, you know, your specific situation, how do we have less accidents? Well, what a causing the accidents, exactly. So that’s fantastic. And yeah, it’s going to be very helpful 

MB: Exactly 

BK: Because they can get really specific into, okay, well what’s fatigue. Well, what’s causing the fatigue? And you know, eventually, you’re, you’re fixing it at the root of the problem rather than trying to guess? 

MB: Today whenever you have an accident, you go through the investigation process and you find that root cause. 

BK: Yeah. 

MB: But why don’t you want to find the root cause before the accident happen? 

BK: Exactly, that’s what it should be. 

MB: Transforming the data into the information is what really is going to allow it this to happen. 

BK: Yeah. 

MB: And our sensors are installing all the vehicles on the mine. So, this really allows you to collect the data every time, everywhere, and give you the root cause before the accident. 

BK: Well now you just mentioned that Hexagon is the only company that’s offering this solution right now. Is that correct? That is correct. 

MB: Yeah. 

BK: So, we know that’s what sets Hexagon apart from the other, you know, competitors right.

And obviously, there are a lot of other mining safety products. So besides that, which I honestly think is probably one of the biggest factors right there. Live, you know, up to date data. That’s amazing. What other factors distinguish Hexagon from other competitors? 

MB: So, if you look through the mining industry and you look at the technology providers, what really distinguishes Hexagon from the competition is the portfolio itself. 

BK: Okay. 

MB: The ability to be the only technology provider that can really provide all the solutions for your challenges So the one-stop shop. 

BK: Yep. 

MB: So, if you want to cover all of these challenges you will have to go on as an end user, as a customer will have to get different competition, competitor products or solutions. So, we have the market leader ones and we have the most of them. So these really put us in a spot on where if you want to really cover all your challenges and you want to really extract the data and now with the MineEnterprise addition, getting the insights on how each one of the data combines to each other that is what separates Hexagon from the others, because the others might have the capability of addressing one challenge, not in the same spectrum as Hexagon does, but really providing the combination of all the solutions and then how this data is transforming into information that really provides you the insights of what is the root cause before it happens on how each one of these challenges are affecting each other is what really sets the expectation higher in our customers and the only ones to get to that expectation.

BK: Yeah. 

MB: It’s Hexagon as itself. 

BK: Now you’ve been involved in installation and implementation of Hexagon safety solutions worldwide. How satisfying is this, you know, to help these people get home safely? I mean I’m sure it is, but share some stories. 

MB: Yeah, it is. And you know something, this is a question that you don’t get asked often. Yes. But at the end of the day this is part of the passion that really made me try to push the barriers of what we can deliver and on the start of my career I did my very first years in mining, so I know what it’s like, I was a maintenance supervisor, I was involved in safety project management. So, I know what is the challenge, what are the challenges on the industry itself? Because was an end user at some point. 

BK: Yeah, and that helps. 

MB: Exactly, So this really makes me think, whenever we want to really drive a new technology when we really need to address a new problem and add a new solution, how can we really address the end-user problems? How is it that technology really helps them? So, after many, many years from bringing technology into our customers after being deployed, after getting all the feedback, being part of the technology, being part of the solution, that one customer might be using and doing our customer visit and getting the feedback from the end user on, you know, something there was an accident that got prevented because your technology helped. 

BK: Yeah. 

MB: This is really the end or the ultimate goal for us as a technology provider and it goes together with our vision of being serious about safety, providing a solution that really ends up bringing one more person to their family safe. 

BK: That’s cool. 

MB: So, it really fulfills me. 

BK: For sure. Yeah. Not, I mean, not only just a great solution to a business, but you know, saving lives, making an impact on human, you know, human safety, which is amazing. 

MB: Exactly 

BK: That’s wonderful. That’s good to hear that, you know. Yeah. I like hearing when stories, you know, from when business solutions actually have a human component to them as well. 

MB: Yeah, exactly. I mean, at the end of the day, we all tried to make solutions that address a problem that increased productivity, that save money. And once you add the point on when you really can shake the hand of your end user and then you get the feedback, you know, something that was almost an accident that could have ended in a fatality. So, it didn’t because your technology helped me, and I could see my family one more time. 

BK: That’s great. 

MB: It’s just completely fulfilling. 

BK: Yeah, that’s great man. I’m glad you enjoy it too because that’s also important. I know you obviously have a passion behind it. 

MB: Yes. 

BK: All right. Well, how do you see the MineProtect portfolio developing and further integrating into the future? 

MB: Yep. Our vision of serious about safety is what take us through the next level every time we do anything – all the time, we look forward. And one of the key components of this really adds value through the whole customer journey. So how can we really go from starting point on discussing what is the best solution for addressing your challenge, up to the point on – these are the insights, these are the decisions you have to take. So how we can cover all of this value realization across the solution deployment and the solution developing, into our customer to really develop the future of our solutions. So, all of this, if you think through or if you will see how the technology and how the world is evolving, everything is going through integrating a system, autonomy, and data integration or data delivery, the safety portfolio it is or the MineProtect portfolio, it is developing in the same direction. So, bringing the MineEnterprise, how can we really enhance data, but not only within our division, not only within our portfolio, how can we really use the data that is created across all the Hexagon solutions? Because if you see a lot of our Hexagon solutions touches our customers, so slow monitoring from our brother company within the division, how can we really interact with our Leica Geosystems solutions? All these solutions integration and data delivery to our customers is what really is going to drive our development in the future. 

BK: Well, Marcos, thank you so much for your time today. Thank you for sharing this information and it’s really great to hear how this is being integrated into helping so many people and also helping the companies that are utilizing them. 

MB: Thanks for having me on. Thanks for all your interesting questions. It really made me go through and I am satisfied to be here and to be in this interview. 

BK: Awesome. Well, you can learn a lot more information on this. By the way, if you want to check this out, please go to hexagonmining.com all of the information is there. Again, thank you very much, Marcos. And of course, to learn even more and listen to additional episodes, head over to hxgnspotlight.com and thank you very much for joining us here on HxGN Radio.