Taking Shift Planner to the Next Level
Shift Planner reflects the dynamic nature of a mining operation, allowing the planned work for equipment and mining locations to be divided into small, interdependent tasks or activities, and allowing these tasks or activities to be rescheduled or re-allocated in real time during the shift.
These tasks are communicated to equipment operators along with expected duration and/or deliverables. The progress of a task is tracked automatically, and supervisors are notified when a task is at risk of delay. Dependencies between each task are shown graphically allowing the effect of a delay to be easily identified and the overall impact on the shift outcome to be known.
This type of functionality reflects the dynamic nature of a mining operation, allowing tasks to be rescheduled or re-allocated in real-time during the shift and allowing a manager or supervisor to determine the best way for the shift to be efficient and productive, despite unexpected delays or occurrences that may have occurred in the shift to date.
Unlike traditional in-shift planning tools that focus on equipment only, Pitram’s Shift Planner monitors the production or development cycle at each location ensuring that equipment units are not held up due to delays on other equipment. This is extremely important for operations that are constrained by limited access to stopes or development faces.
“Ensuring we collaborate and obtain feedback from our clients is crucial for our development process. A missing feature that has been requested by multiple clients is to implement user roles and permissions. Specifically, an often-cited example of this is the inability to lock down a plan and only allow certain users to create or modify a plan,” commented Gareth Dean, Pitram Product Strategy Manager.
The user interface of the current Shift Planner does not allow for much customisation outside of configuring the views. This forces the user to adapt to a design which may not suit their requirements. In Shift Planner 2.0, user interface elements will be dockable (or hidden) as required and can be saved per each user’s preference, for individual customization.
In addition, the Short Interval Control (SIC) panel provides a graphical view of the tasks in the current shift, comparing planned vs actual start and finish times and progress. This will be integrated into Shift Planner 2.0 as part of the application.
Notifications and warnings are an important part of planning to draw attention to the progress of the plan. The current Shift Planner has no built-in notifications apart from the highlighting of tasks in the SIC panel which are behind schedule. This feature will be extended to include new areas of Shift Planner 2.0, such as safety messages, tracking the user and being able to add comments.
While it is important to be able to track progress down at the task level, it is equally important to users to be able to see how the entire shift is operating in relation to the plan. The Pitram development team is currently undertaking an improvement in this area, Shift Planner 2.0. It will include the capability to Improve integration into Pitram solution.
“We’re moving into a digital age; no longer are mine sites using paper, white-boards and walkie talkies to track people, equipment and their associated tasks on site. MICROMINE’s soon to be released Shift Planner 2.0 offering is a true example of digitization that will offer significant increase in productivity gains,” added Dean.
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