ELB Engineering Services is set to catapult South Africa into the fully-digital age, thanks to an initiative that will see the Internet of Things (IoT) being implemented at mineral processing plants.

The ground-breaking enterprise, a first in this country, is being undertaken in partnership with software developer, IoT.nxt. The dense-media separation plant (currently under construction by ELB) at Sedibeng’s iron-ore mining facility will be the starting point for the project.

Drive cost savings
The plant, which is expected to come online in September 2018, will be completely IoT-driven and will incorporate the latest in facial, vehicle and particle recognition technology. It’s also set to include the latest developments in Big Data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), all of which will help drive cost savings, safety and optimisation.

Ability to generate and analyse data
“It’s no longer enough to merely supply equipment and services,” says Stephen Meijers. ELB CEO, adding, “The differentiator for companies of the future lies in the ability to generate and analyse data, and to use these findings to significantly improve operations, such as reducing power consumption without decreasing yield or managing the efficiency of employees.”
Once the Sedibeng plant is completed, ELB intends to roll out the solution to the rest of the South African mining industry. According to Stephen, this step into the future is particularly pertinent when considered within the current context of the industry overall, which denotes that mines have to do more with less, owing to rising costs and political-economic pressures.

Future growth
It’s his belief that IoT has a significant role to play in achieving this, a sentiment which IoT.nxt Mining Partnerships Director, Eric Croeser, wholeheartedly endorses. “Considering the future growth of ELB, as well as its business philosophies, this partnership is a perfect fit,” says Eric.
IoT will form part of one of the main areas of focus for ELB Intelligent Solutions, which has been established as a subsidiary of ELB Engineering Solutions. It will also focus on exponential technologies including robotics and large-scale 3D printing.
“We are very fortunate to be the systems integration partner of IoT.nxt. This partnership is diversifying the knowhow of ELB into a different direction, while still being connected to the traditional minerals and metals business,” Stephen concludes.
ELB is an internationally recognised solutions provider and capital equipment supplier, in the fields of materials handling, mineral separation, industrial projects and power solutions. The group operates predominantly in Africa and Australasia.
Tel: (011) 306-0700