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How ÅF contributes to the future of mining

Hello, Lars-Eric Aaro, Senior Advisor to ÅF! Sweden is one of Europe's leading producers of iron and base metals. In order to maintain our competitiveness, we must continue to develop smart solutions for a sustainable mining industry with efficient production and less emissions. How is ÅF contributing to the future of mining?

– The big change that is taking place right now is the investments in automated processes in the mining industry. Here, ÅF is an important player since we are one of the leading consulting companies within automation and electrification in the Nordic region. We are at the forefront when it comes to implementing Industry 4.0, which means that we have created many smart solutions for efficient mining, such as smart control of mining ventilation and production systems for autonomous loaders.

What challenges does the industry face?

– One of the challenges, which is also an exciting one, is how to succeed with a smooth transition towards a digital mine when new information management systems are launched, where all staff gets access to distributed information in real time about the production situation and ongoing activities.

What are the latest trends in the mining industry?

– The latest trends are mainly about developing the mine's wireless infrastructure. There are currently a lot of investments in the expansion of robust Wi-Fi networks that can deliver high coverage in deep underground facilities and mines. The next step is the implementation of 5G networks for increased possibilities for wireless control of the production. Here, too, ÅF is at the cutting-edge due to the partnership with Ericsson for a smart and wireless industry.

What do you think the future mine will be like?

– We are moving towards an even more autonomous mining operation. With a fully connected mine, the operation will be streamlined; We will have smarter logistics and with analysis tools we will understand when machines need to be maintained or when tools need to be replaced. Autonomous intelligent electric vehicles will be used, which will contribute to a completely new work environment in the mine.