Software And Automation For The Aggregate Industry
- Published: Friday, 01 January 2010 07:00
Twenty years ago, no one would call mining a high-tech profession. They blasted, dug, hauled and crushed. Then came the computer and the Internet, transforming how we communicate with each other and our equipment. Technology has made blasting a precise science, nearly eliminating often deadly mistakes. It has allowed operators to monitor equipment and production from the seat of the control tower. Some even control processes through a mobile phone. In some areas technology has replaced the need for people all together.
Turning a profit would be near impossible without some form of automation technology. It has allowed for reductions in manpower, improved quality control, and it closely monitors production and costs. The technology continues to grow at an astonishing rate, and it's sometimes hard for this old-fashioned industry to keep up. But once put in place, cost savings usually result.
NEW TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE AIM TO BOOST BOTTOM LINE
TrakitGPS Trakit Time & Attendance 2.0 is a fully integrated and automated payroll solution that streamlines processes and allows material producers and haulers to use GPS and mobile devices to capture accurate and unique blocks of time. This also enables employees to clock-in and clock-out right from their trucks. This hosted solution features triple back-up, including one off-site, to ensure payroll data security.
The Trakit Time & Attendance module automates and immediately processes most manual payroll activities that are susceptible to human error The module's custom payroll export feature creates an integratable-ready file of a company's time-keeping and payroll data for immediate import into any third-party accounting system, without manipulation or adjustment. It can accommodate unique payroll rules. Companies can capture and split time into regular or overtime hours. Hours also can be divided by job, phase code and cost codes.
Arsenault Associates' Dossier Version 5.0 is maintenance management software that provides fleets with automated monitoring, reporting, and control of fuel. This feature includes reports with decision support tools, as well as a graphical dashboard that displays data summaries and trends.
Dossier fuel-management system uses data already in the user database. After setup, Dossier can provide a complete analysis to identify problems and make decisions. The fuel data import option, which links to automated fuel islands, fuel card systems, credit cards, on-board computers, and GPS systems, eliminate the need enter fuel and meter data.
The fuel management system keeps fleet managers informed about fuel with current and historic use and management analysis tools. The system displays under- and over-performing drivers and equipment to spot problems and form action plans.
Version 5.0 includes enhancements to the Dossier daily reminder that displays fleet information with color graphs and charts, as well as tabular views for work prioritization. Users can configure their own toolbar with any system function, and managers can decide which features and icons can be seen and used by individual users.
Thermo Scientific's ARL SMS-3500 integrates multiple standalone laboratory instruments, including sample preparation, in a fully automated cell to optimize the entire analytical workflow and enhance process-control efficiencies.
The heart of the system is a FANUC industrial robot, driven by intelligent Thermo Scientific SMS software, which allows for the preparation and analysis of samples using two sample preparation machines and two optical emission and/or X-ray fluorescence spectrometers. The robot handles loads up to 7 kg in industrial environments. The large floor-standing robot has six axes of movement for sample handling speed and to eliminate unnecessary hardware. All system components operate simultaneously, while sample priority management, temporary sample storage and rapid transfer between system components allows automatic throughput.
Instrument control and standardization are scheduled and executed. The system provides direct access to various components for maintenance purposes or manual work. Each instrument can be disconnected without interruption of the automatic operation, and the spectrometers can be moved to a separate park position for servicing. The integration of separate sample preparation and analysis systems in one or more compact ARL SMS-3500 cells streamlines large laboratory automation. Samples received via automated air tubes can be immediately processed, avoiding a separate sample preparation stage and leading to significant cost and response-time savings.
BinMaster's BinLink Level Controls is a Web-based monitoring solution for bins, tanks and silos that enables remote wireless inventory management of stored material from any computer connected to the Internet. The core components of the solution are BinMaster's SmartBob2 and SmartBob-TS1 sensors mounted on the bins, a wireless or wired data communications network, a gateway to provide connectivity to a personal computer or IP network, and data collection software that can be viewed by any authorized individual via an Internet connection.
BinLink eliminates the need to manually check bin levels. The system is scaleable and monitors as many as 100 bins. Site mapping capabilities include a built-in visual mapping feature that shows tank types, locations and levels to streamline operations and delivery, filling and emptying schedules. BinLink features end-to-end encryption and authentication to protect data.
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