Addressing the challenge of the energy transition… in the world of mining and metallurgy? Is this even possible? Yes, it is! Especially when, as at Eramet, one decides to see this unprecedented, historic change, as an opportunity. Lithium, nickel, manganese: these are all metals that are essential to the manufacturing of batteries and electronic circuits, and all are metals in which the Group is involved. To meet ever-increasing demand, and to achieve sustainable performance, a whole sector, an entire industry, is in the process of undergoing a transformation. And at Eramet, the metamorphosis is DIGITAL!
It is because the Group has successfully made the switch to digital and because its transformation has gathered pace over the past two years that it has been awarded the BFM Business Grand Prize for Digital Acceleration in Industry 4.0. To understand why Eramet has received this award, we need to take a brief look back in time. 2017: Christel Bories takes over at the head of the Group. Her vision of the industry of the future: smart, connected, safe and responsible mines and factories that benefit people and the environment. None of this could be achieved without a radical transformation of tools and methodologies.
Ludovic Donati, Digital Transformation Manager, and Christel Bories, during the ceremony, Octobre 3rd.
The road map for digital transformation is then put in place. It is based on three priorities: the safety of employees and the environment; the optimization of field operations; and real-time supply chain management. These priorities are reflected in three specific major projects on which Eramet has been working for nearly two years:
- Digitization of mining operations thanks to new technologies (drones, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, big data, Internet of Things), thus focusing on operational efficiency, safety and environmental protection;
- Creating the digital twin of the mine, to optimize operations and resources, improve planning, and provide real-time mine management;
- Process transformation in the name of increased efficiency, while at the same time supporting the development of the business lines.
And the results are now in! In 2019, the pace of the transformation accelerated as it was scaled up: 30% of PoCs (Proofs of Concept) have been industrialized, and this has made it possible to accelerate the modeling of mining deposits, which is now 15 times faster; to map an area 100 times larger than before; to reduce fuel consumption by 4%; and to increase productivity by 20%.
This Grand Prize for Digital Acceleration is thus a recognition of Eramet's vision, and of the intelligence, efforts and collective work of the Digital Transformation teams, managers and operators in the field, who have worked hand in hand to implement this ambitious project.