In 2014, CommandMobile.com predicted that recording and capturing data on wireless devices would become more popular in the mining industry. Tablets and smartphones have become pervasive in the workplace, and the mining industry is no different. Mining projects frequently take place in harsh and remote environments. This means that the mining industry needs to take advantage of technology to improve safety, productivity, and communication.
Health inspections, video surveillance, environmental impact assessments, and monitoring technologies can all be utilized via mobile and web applications from a tablet or smartphone. The automation of such data collection and compilation reduces errors and increases usability due to the speed of access.
The prediction from two years ago has been coming to fruition across the globe. In early 2016 the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines in the Government of India, Piyush Goyal, announced that two new mobile apps in the coal and mining sectors will be developed to impart accountability between companies and the central and state governments of India.
“The mobile app(s) will give a complete account of sale of coal from every mine... it will also give the e-auction data on coal as also the carry details of coal linkages.”
Other mobile and web applications are being developed for the mining industry in Australia to improve safety, enhance workers experiences, and provide information to salespeople in the industry. One company, Atlas Copco, brought an application to Apple tablets and mobile devices for their proprietary drill series, the Pit Viper. The application allows users to interact with each drill model in the series and review safety, productivity, serviceability, and fuel consumption, all on the go.
A Swedish company, Sandvik, develops mobile and web applications that are compatible on both iOS and Android devices. Their “Take 5” application delivers safety techniques that allows users to conduct risk assessments before performing tasks. Another of their mobile applications, the “Sandvik 365” app, is a promotional tool that provides access to promotional material for the company.
Everyone is getting on board in the United States, as well. The University of Illinois, Springfield, has developed a web application that maps all of the coal mines in the state of Illinois. The web application allows users to search and view pertinent information about each coal mine, modern or historical, with data from the Illinois State Geological Survey.
By pushing into the modern technological wave of mobile and web applications, the coal and mining industry is improving business, worker satisfaction, and transparency. The future of the industry is undoubtedly tied with the future of mobile and web development, and both are bright.