Vale, an international company committed to sustainable mining, operates across over 20 countries. Far beyond mineral extraction, Vale’s extent encompasses logistics, managing an extensive network of railroads, ports, and terminals, while actively involved in the energy and steel sectors. In this context, Vale partnered with Vidya Technology to improve the Conveyor Belt’s integrity strategies with the DSI (Digital Structural Integrity) application in the ‘’M-spot’’, a mining-oriented innovation program. And, after a successful pilot, the collaboration extended to a rollout of 5 additional assets.
Vale and Vidya started their collaboration in 2020. The project’s mission was to elevate the Management and Control of Anticorrosive Protection in Ore Handling Assets, ensuring longer asset lifespan and reinforcing sustainable and responsible mining practices. In this sense, Vale faced challenges in effectively managing diffuse integrity data and difficulty in finding data on anomalies, largely attributed to the extensive scale of its assets. To overcome that, Vidya aimed to enhance Vale’s AIM (Asset Integrity Management) strategies. Furthermore, we can highlight the following challenges the project faced:
- Managing Diffused data in multiple sources, such as spreadsheets and documents;
- Lack of historical data;
- Difficult in Managing different procedures according to different requirements of maintenance;
- Difficult-to-reach areas with inspections that require rope access;
- Unnoticed integrity anomalies leading to downtime.
To respond to those challenges, Vidya deployed the Digital Structural Integrity application, which autonomously identifies structural anomalies in mining assets. It integrates Artificial Intelligence, 3D environments, and Reality Capture to transform field images into valuable structural integrity outputs, including risk and prioritization matrix heatmaps. Additionally, the system performs effectively even in environments characterized by substantial dirtiness. It also analyzes, marks, and identifies structural anomalies and corrosion while strictly adhering to the company’s inspection standards. We can list the following results of the pilot:
- Significant savings in downtime reduction
- Positive impact on HSE (Health, Safety, and Environmental) standards;
- 86% fewer people on the field;
- High precision in anomaly detection.
The success of this project reflected the commitment of both companies to data-driven solutions, constantly improving processes, and fostering sustainable approaches. And, after the first successful deployment of the DSI application, Vale and Vidya’s efforts scaled to various assets, such as Ship Loaders, Ore conveyors, and Mineral Stackers. In essence, Vale’s Integrity Management strategies were excelled by the DSI application, generating safer and more controlled operations. As a result of the rollout, we can highlight:
- More than 100,000 m² of inspected area in 5 days;
- Identification of ore accumulation areas;
- Risk evaluation and prioritization of critical components on field inspections
- Budget Forecasting based on the degradation level acceptance.
Vale is the largest producer of iron ore and nickel. It also has operations in manganese, ferroalloys, copper, gold, silver, and cobalt. Their focus is on continuously improving processes, seeking safer and more reliable operations, and helping to deliver high-quality products to customers.
Vidya Technology is a global oil and gas technology provider committed to supporting heavy-asset industries. Its mission is to make industrial operations more efficient, safe, autonomous, and sustainable. Vidya accomplishes this by joining engineering experience with developing AI-driven solutions for Asset Integrity and Performance Management.
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