BEAP, a clean technology startup, and engineering firm Norda Stelo, said today they are joining forces to introduce artificial intelligence into Quebec’s mining industry on the strength of a $1.2 million investment from provincial government agency Investissement Quebec.
The two companies said in a release they plan to develop an AI offering that will allow the predictive maintenance of static assets, which currently has very little, or no data captured in real time.
The platform will merge the data gathered during asset inspections and maintenance with human engineering knowledge, which will lead to machine learning models to improve the precision of predictions, they said.
“For the mining sector, predictive and even prescriptive maintenance of strategic assets may allow a considerable reduction of maintenance costs and favour 20% to 25% production growth, permitting a better return on investment,” the release stated.
The AI offering could be used in 22 mines, 14 smelters and refineries and 16 plants currently in operation throughout Quebec as well as the energy sector, which already faces the same asset management issues, it added.
“Our team concentrates on preventing the negative economic, environmental, and human consequences of unexpected failures,” said Benoit Bedard, president and co-founder of BEAP.
“We have developed a method for collecting and processing information that provides structured data for artificial intelligence analysis. We can thus improve our understanding of asset health by helping tools already in place.”
According to the release, the “mining industry has embarked on an ambitious and strategic path by adopting technology that favours a high level of autonomy. Optimal analysis of equipment data by artificial intelligence allows generation of a large volume of relevant information for sustainable asset management.
“By using analytical techniques to increase comprehension and scanning of asset data, the mine raises the level of monitoring and comprehension of its operational process.”
Sophie Boisvert, vice president of resources and industry at Norda Stelo, said the project, “which includes inputting inspection data with a tablet or smartphone, will generate interactive reports that add real value to the data for the client, facilitating decision-making and risk management in servicing and maintenance of its assets.”