Start me up21 Dec - 29 Jan
This competition has finished.
Improving pre-start check in our crushing and flotation plants
Many of our mine sites operate on a 24h, seven days a week schedule. To allow for maintenance of equipment in these harsh conditions, we schedule regular shutdowns. After each shutdown, we follow a Safe Work Procedure (SWP) that details steps to ensure all equipment including pumps, lines and vessels are ready and there are no leakages. It also ensures that the area is clean and free of hazards.
In general, mine sites are located in remote areas and often without access to infrastructure such as high-speed internet or operate in harsh environments that might include hot or cold temperatures or dusty conditions. In the past, this has prohibited us from rolling out digital solutions that might already be standard in other industries, which means that we often still rely on paper-based processes and radio-based communication.
We have now created a technical environment that allows us to change to digital processes.
This challenge is focussed on SWP for the Concentrator 2 Crushing & Flotation circuit, although if successful it could see application across the whole business.
- A number of Area Technicians manually fill out their paper checklists for 9 different areas within the crushing and flotation circuit
- These results are either radioed, phoned or verbally given to the SAOC (Site Asset Operations Centre) operator and/or Area Supervisor
- SAOC Operators field & control room (DCS) checks off the same checklist until completed (generally having to chase up results)
- Area Supervisor advises the plant can be started based on checklist completion status (involves operator and technician)
- Communications can be misunderstood, utilising voice radio networks, especially during the busy maintenance shutdowns.
- Notes taken on paper might be missed and therefore don’t result in learnings for next shutdown
- Sometimes during a shift change, a checklist may need to be passed on to another employee, which can result in records entered by 2 different people, and it may not be clear who signed off on what
- There is no easy way of recording checklist issues out on the field and having them quickly available to SAOC teams, especially photographs/data
- No visibility of the entire process and current status
- No audit record of what has been done and when and by whom
- Delays due to missing paperwork, voice radio congestion, walking to crib-point to print SWP, etc.
- No standard for pre-start checks (checklists are formatted differently for different areas)
The overarching goal is to safely reduce plant start-up time and improve the controls & integrity of the checks performed.
We are looking for ideas, concepts, solutions or designs that can contribute to achieving this goal (either holistically or certain aspects of it). Our employees and contractors have access to handheld mobile devices, which are approved to connect to the local Newcrest network. While we assume that many solutions will utilise those mobile devices, we would also like to encourage alternative approaches. We have in-house capability to deliver this project (mobile app with checklist) but recognise that existing product offerings or entirely new approaches may deliver a superior outcome. After the competition, we may engage with one or multiple teams to implement their solution.
Fit for purpose
Solutions should recognise and address on-site conditions. For example: Users are likely to wear gloves which may impair their ability to accurately select small icons on a touchscreen. Where conditions are dusty and devices are operated under direct sunlight, a high contrast UI may be advantageous, etc.
Requirement wish list
- Ability to run on mobile with a simple, intuitive interface for the user in the field
- Simple, intuitive progress visualisation with the ability to aggregate multiple pre-start checks (i.e. RAG dashboard)
- Visibility - Ability for supervisor to see progress in near real time
- Multitasking - Ability for multiple technicians to perform and track the same pre-start check simultaneously
- Reporting and analytics – Ability to analyse work completed for various criteria (i.e. day shift, night shift)
- Ability to operate in challenging network conditions (i.e frequent dropouts, no network for extended periods, low bandwidth)
- SWP version control
- The ability for users to capture pictures and add comments
- Reporting and auditing
- Sign off and approval (complete status)
- Scalable and customizable (Ability to add in other checks easily) – needs to work across different assets and sites
- Follow a Newcrest Style Guide (Customizable design)
- Mobile (iOS) and desktop browser (primarily phones)
- Contractor Pool has access to iPods (have IT access)
- Employee iPhone (App Centre)
- Connectivity – Wi-Fi and 4G at Cadia
- Up to 100 users
Submissions need to contain as a minimum:
- Max 5-minute video explaining your submission
- One image (as a hero image for your submission)
Your submission may also contain:
- Any additional information consisting of pictures, documents, detailed description, links, etc.
You can choose to submit all or some of your submission publically, which makes the content available to all registered users on our platform and allows other interested parties to find it. You can also choose to upload some of your content privately, which makes it available to the competition sponsor only.
To avoid bias towards known solutions and approaches and to encourage a wide range of submissions (i.e. existing products, UX/UI designs, process improvements, working prototypes, etc.), we have not pre-defined a set of judging criteria. However, submissions that recognise and address a maximum number of the above requirements will have a higher chance of success. Also, make sure that your submission addresses its own potential shortfalls. The Judges will judge all submissions qualitatively.
For example: If you have an existing product in the market which meets the requirements and has existing customers, you may want to demonstrate a case study, while a team proposing a custom build should focus on demonstrating their capabilities to build an enterprise-ready solution. If you are submitting an idea focussing on one part of this challenge, think about how it would integrate.
If we receive a large number of submissions, the judges may filter for the top teams based on the video or slide deck submission only before reviewing the full submission. We encourage every team to include the key facts in the video submission.
The prize money is a reward for winning the competition and any further work will be agreed on directly between Newcrest and the team.
A word on IP
At Unearthed, we believe that intellectual property (IP) is generally best placed with the teams and innovators. This allows and incentivises teams to continue to improve their ideas, products and services, and bring them to market if they wish.
For most of our competitions so far, the handling of IP has been relatively simple, because the course of action after the competition is known. For algorithm-based challenges like Get 2 the Core, the winning team retains the IP and assigns the sponsor (e.g. Newcrest) a licence to use the algorithm in its submitted form. For more open, engineering-style challenges like Burn your Bridges, all IP stays with the teams and no licence is given.
However, for challenges like this one, finding the right course of action (i.e. build, buy, contract, etc.) forms part of the challenge. We want the competition to test different courses; scan the market for existing products and capable service providers for custom builds, while also gathering innovative ideas around UX/UI or process improvements.
For this challenge, pre-existing IP is all yours with no rights for use to us or the sponsor - this addresses cases where you have an exciting product and want to bring it to our attention as part of the competition. IP generated as part of the competition (for example, the UI wireframe of a prototype app which makes it easy for users to complete the startup task) also remains yours, however you grant a free licence for the challenge sponsor to use any or all of your idea after the competition. We think that's fair and have designed our T&C to reflect this.