The development of the world often starts with what is found in the earth. Iron ore, coal, copper, rock salt and more are unearthed by mining companies and used to build skylines, facilitate transportation and power society. Mining operations, however, are made complex by the balance of operations between three main network components: mine, rail and port. In order to meet the high demand for their products, mining companies have to run their rail operations 24/7 while avoiding delays and accommodating maintenance needs.

Advanced planning and scheduling software is needed to consider the wide range of factors that affect a mining company′s operations. The more detail that mining companies have about their networks and assets, the better they can plan for operations and maintenance activities. If all of these factors are not accounted for, a plan will not be thorough enough to maximize savings. And with needs changing from day to day, mining companies need systems responsive enough to handle their challenges.

Your Challenges

The biggest challenge facing mining companies is the scheduling of
their operations to get the greatest capacity and value out of their assets.

Increased Asset Utilization

Mining companies own very expensive assets such as locomotives, car dumpers, loadouts and tracks. These assets are often located in remote and rugged territories, making the costs of maintenance and operations very high. They are continually looking for scheduling solutions that will increase their asset utilization.

AUTOMATION AND OPTIMIZATION OF OPERATIONS

The mining industry is at the forefront of automation with assets like driverless trucks and trains. The next frontier is the optimization of their movement so that these assets are always delivering value on a company’s investment.

OPTIMAL CAPACITY PLANNING

Mining companies around the world are witnessing increased demand for their products, and they struggle to find the most economical way to increase their capacities. With each expansion costing hundreds of millions of dollars, accurate models are needed to make good decisions.

Complexity of Train Scheduling

Many mining companies operate very complex supply chains with mines at one end, ports at the other end and trains connecting the two. Creating a schedule in which mines always have trains to load and ports always have trains to empty is a holy grail for mining companies.

Our Solutions

Geo by Optym is a suite of optimization systems that helps mining companies to improve the efficiency and productivity of their train networks. GeoSYM is a planning system that allows the performance of what-if studies to determine best operating practices. GeoWIZ is a real-time train movement planning system that maximizes rail network capacity.

The focus of Geo by Optym is to maximize the throughput of the supply-chain network comprised of mines, ports, and rail network, even when disruptions in the network arise.

GeoSYMSM is a complete rail network simulation tool that models the movement of trains between mines and ports. The software considers different signaling systems, braking systems, and operating practices. All aspects of a network’s assets are taken into account including their availability, how often they need to be maintained and how long they undergo the maintenance process. These factors can be adjusted through parameters to create a new scenario and their impact can be assessed by analyzing various KPIs (key performance indicators) of the scenario. By experimenting with different values of these assets, insights are gained and better decisions can be made.

GeoSYM can be used for a variety of studies to determine the current capacity of the network, the best way to run operations to increase asset productivity, the impact of new technology on network operations, and the most cost-effective way to achieve the desired increase in capacity.

  • Realistic Modeling of Rail Network

    GeoSYM models the rail network to a very high accuracy level (over 98 percent) including movement of trains through rail yards. High accuracy is needed for capital investments.   

  • Comprehensive Maintenance Modeling

    Maintenance has a major impact on rail operations. GeoSYM models all important maintenance activities that are limited by crew size and equipment availability.      

  • Easy-to-use Web-based System

    GeoSYM is a web-based system that can be installed on a server and accessed through a web browser. It is a multi-user, multi-scenario application that facilitates collaborative decisions.

  • Very Fast Simulation Engine

    GeoSYM offers highly realistic modeling at a very fast rate. It can simulate one year of rail operations within a half hour.    

  • Excellent Analysis Capabilities

    Simulation scenarios can be analyzed through highly graphical user interfaces including tables, charts and maps. Trains can be animated on the rail network.

GeoWIZSM is a real-time train movement planning system that enables mining companies to plan movements of their trains to realize maximum network capacity. The software receives real-time data feeds about train locations, maintenance activities and train speeds. It then uses advanced analytical techniques to create train schedules that are made available throughout the network. As network conditions change, these schedules are updated in real-time.

GeoWIZ software predicts train arrival times throughout the network, determines locations at which trains will meet or overtake other trains, and recommends meet-pass decisions for single-track corridors. It takes into account maintenance activities and speed restrictions, and creates train schedules honoring various network constraints. Thorough analysis of departures, arrivals, and asset utilization at ports and mines, planners make sound decisions and revise them dynamically if disruptions or unplanned events occur.

  • Latest Optimization Techniques

    Based on decades of research and development, GeoWIZ uses the latest operations research and computer science techniques to create train schedules.

  • Real-Time Response Times

    GeoWIZ creates schedules within seconds. It runs every few minutes and revises train schedules and recommendations based on the current network conditions.

  • Interactive Application

    GeoWIZ is a highly interactive system that allows the user to change several inputs and analyze the impact of those changes on the network’s productivity and on various KPIs.

  • Multi-User, Multi-Scenario and Multi-Monitor Capabilities

    GeoWIZ enables multiple users to work in a collaborative manner by creating and sharing their scenarios. It also allows displaying a solution on multiple monitors.

  • Attractive Visuals

    GeoWIZ presents data and solutions through interface elements such as train graphs, charts, terminal timelines and maps.