It May be Better to be Thick
IT MAY BE BETTER TO BE THICK
Release date: 10/20/2017
Australia’s Mining Monthly – Brisbane-based software developer Dingo reckons thick data, rather than big data, is the way for miners to save millions on maintenance costs.
The company is forging data-driven solutions for heavy-asset operators looking for ways to minimise maintenance and repair costs.
According to Dingo CEO Paul Higgins, big data had become a buzzword across many industries but thick data was where it was at.
Put simply thick data is big data with some human context added to it.
“Thick data is simply the idea that numbers alone aren’t enough,” Higgins said.
“Resources operators are gathering vast amounts of data on their sites but not always able to apply the analytics in practical, effective ways.
“It’s adding the layer of context that humans can bring.”
According to Higgins, using thick data insights and big data analytics, Dingo’s customers achieved more than US$300 million in savings by improving the health and extending the life of more than 125,000 major components.
He gave the example of a job the company did in Canada for a company that was having trouble with its Komatsu 930E trucks.
Their trucks were suffering wheel motor failures and despite lots of efforts and data analysis they could not get to the cause of the problem.
At that stage Dingo had been doing a lot of work on oil analysis. However, the data the company gave it was electrical data.
The Dingo team asked for the oil data and eventually received it.
Their analysis of the oil data showed signs of silicon in the wheel motor armatures and gearboxes of the wheel motors that had suffered major failures.
“We presented this data to the team,” Higgins said.
“The guy from the customer’s side who had been on this for three years was angry.
“He said we didn’t know what we were talking about and threw the report on the floor and stormed off.”
It was his reaction that made Higgins think they might be onto something.
On further investigation the Dingo team discovered that when the trucks were being brought in for programmed maintenance the maintenance crews would use high pressure hoses to wash the mud off the wheels before the trucks were taken into the heated workshop.
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Noel Dyson │ Australia’s Mining Monthly