PRECISE measurement and management of mine site fuel can:

  • Produce significant cost savings.
  • Increase accountability.
  • Improve efficiency.
  • Return cash in the form of fuel tax credits.

However, this can only be achieved when a comprehensive, mine-specific fuel management system is implemented.

AMR spoke with Sean Birrell from Australian Company, FluidIntel, about their AdaptFMS fuel management system.

Evolution

In conjunction with large mining companies around the world, and through extensive field testing, AdaptFMS evolved over more than a decade to create solutions and workflows, delivering a true multi-site application.

The extensive R&D period enabled FluidIntel to design and build everything from their printed circuit breitling bentley b a25363 001 46mm mens silver tone stainless steel boards (PCBs) to firmware and ultimately the web application for cloud-based deployment.

AdaptFMS now has the capability to meet any client requirement.

New developments include more comprehensive analytics and artificial intelligence to enable machine learning. It is an end-to-end solution that allows customers’ requirements to be met through one integrated system.

How AdaptFMS can operate across a mining network or site.

Holistic system

The management of fuel involves far more than just keeping diesel up to loaders and haul trucks.

It can involve global bulk purchasing, contracts set up by a procurement team, an operations team that keeps fuel delivered to the right locations, storage and warehousing, fuel usage monitoring and can also include coolants and lubricants.

Add operations in different legal jurisdictions and the level of complexity ratchets up again.

With such an interlaced system of physical and financial transactions, the need for a fully reconciled fuel supply chain is instantly apparent.

This reconciliation must be carried out in real time and give the ability to drill down to the very last fuel-consuming asset.

Such careful monitoring gives the company an insight into fuel management across the whole enterprise and can deliver value from many areas. That value aggregates across the entire company.

Cash returns

One area where the adopters of AdaptFMS are seeing real cash value is the automation of vendor-managed delivery.

In many cases, the ordering, delivery and payment of fuel supplies is handled manually, with all the human errors and time delays inherent in such a system.

AdaptFMS has the ability to initiate automatic orders with vendors, based on real-time telemetry supplying information from fuel level sensors in storage tanks on site.

Once ordered, the ERP system can be triggered to make an early payment for the fuel, which in turn triggers an early payment rebate to the mining company from the fuel supplier.

Large operations enjoy multi-million-dollar rebates from this timely system.

Extensions of this process automation include minimised risk of fuel misappropriation through real-time monitoring of levels and dispensing volumes.

Even checking the volume of fuel actually delivered can be done in real-time, to ensure the company is receiving all the fuel they have paid for.

Other value-added analytics available through AdaptFMS include measuring fuel flow rates, monitoring and recording the frequency of refueling each machine and the volume dispensed to each machine.

Compliance

It is the bane of many a manager’s existence, but compliance is a fact of life in mining.

As big fuel consumers, you are required to report on your consumption for a number of governing bodies.

AdaptFMS can accurately create tax credit claims and remove the risk of non-compliance in this area.

It leads Adapt users to fuel management best practice, which also translates to reporting for NGER and environmental compliance.

AdaptIQ report comparing the refuelling practices of two haul truck fleets on two different sites by showing the percentage of the truck’s tank filled by each dispense (if a truck tank has 20pc fuel remaining at time of dispense, the dispense will be 80pc of SFL) against the frequency with which this percentage occurred.

System architecture

AdaptFMS functions at three integrated levels of operation.

The bottom, layer is instrumentation and authentication.

This is the network of level gauges, flow meters, pump controls valve actuators and temperature sensors that measure and monitor actual fuel delivery.

Additionally, RFID tags, which are linked to both machines and personnel, ensure fuel and lubricants are accessed securely and transactions are accurately allocated to the correct equipment item without manual intervention.

Next is the middle layer, referred to as Adapt MAC or manage, authenticate and control.

This is the human-to-machine interface which operates via ruggedized touch-screen controllers.

The workflows on these controllers apply business logic to field operations by stating which vehicles are allowed which fuel or lubricant products and in what volume, for example.

This layer forms a bridge between the data gathered directly from the instrumentation and the data pushed to the AdaptFMS software.

The top layer is dubbed AdaptIQ and is the data presentation and web interface software for AdaptFMS, where all transaction and tank levels can be viewed on a cloud-based enterprise web application.

From here, the information can be pushed into a company’s ERP system or exchanged with other systems.

Currently the AdaptFMS system monitors transactions that account for over four billion litres of fuel per year with companies located across the globe.

The human-to-machine interface operates via ruggedized touch-screen controllers.

Resource management

Large mine sites are very conscious of their hydrocarbon usage and the consistency and accuracy of hydrocarbon reporting has become increasingly important.

It is critical, therefore, that fuel resources are managed efficiently and controlled responsibly.

The data generated by the AdaptFMS system is crucial to this process and can identify unseen risks and reveal untapped value for an enterprise.

Accurate and timely data provides a holistic view of the entire fuel supply chain and that leads to improved governance reporting – and improved internal reporting as well.

This makes it easier for larger operations to become better corporate citizens, which often translates into more positive investor relations for publicly listed companies.

The accurate management of fuel can be a complex business.

But it can also deliver substantial gains in efficiency, improved corporate governance, reduced risk of non-compliance and significant cash returns over life-of-mine.

FluidIntel chief technology officer Sean Birrell

More information:

FluidIntel.

(02) 8075 222

www.fluidintel.com