Fortescue Metals Group, one of the world’s largest iron-ore producers has announced the launch of Fortescue Hive – an expanded Integrated Operations Centre (IOC).

(Courtesy: Fortescue Metals) Fortescue Founder and Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO and Chief Executive Officer, Ms Elizabeth Gaines celebrated the official opening in Perth.

The Hive will reportedly be buzzing with a lot of activity. It brings many teams under one roof – planning, operations and mine control teams, together with port, rail, shipping and marketing teams.

330 team members can work here for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to deliver improved safety, reliability, efficiency and commercial outcomes. Dr Forrest, Founder and Chairan said: “Mining is one of the most innovative industries in the world. Fortescue has long been a technology leader in the industry and was the first mining operation in Western Australia to control a railway from a remote location when we unveiled our Train Control Centre in Perth in 2009.”

EY Global Mining & Metals Leader, Paul Mitchell, describes an IOC as, “As a platform for significant productivity and quality improvement through optimised supply chain management, an integrated operating center (IOC) helps mining and metals companies rapidly pivot operating practices to align to ongoing changes in their operational priorities and in market demands.”

BCG writes about an interesting case study at MineCo, that they helped build, using their MOST approach. (MOST stands for: Mining Operating Systems Transformation). “To improve coordination and boost productivity, BCG helped MineCo launch a project to consolidate operations monitoring and control into a central hub located in a city hundreds of miles away. Although the individual components of enabling technology were already in place—sensors and actuators, control systems, network connectivity—it was the combination of those technologies, and coordination across multiple vendors, that made the difference,” says BCG.

It is a great investment, according to their report. The centre paid for itself within 18 months.

At Rio Tinto, the remote operations centre is already in use and paying great dividends.

A Rio Tinto report says, “Our integrated iron ore network is supported by our Operations Centre in Perth, a state-of-the-art facility that enables all the autonomous trucks, trains and drills at our mines, ports and rail systems to be operated from a single location. The Centre incorporates visualisation and collaboration tools to provide real-time information across our demand chain and allows us to optimise our mining, maintenance and logistic activities across the Pilbara in a way never before possible.” .

Stepchange Global, a UK-based form, define Integrated Operations as: “the integration of people, work processes, organisations and information technology to make safer, smarter, faster decisions.”

We celebrate all of these at Commuro Digital.

Some facts about the Fortescue Hive

  • Covers 2,500m2
  • Over 15 weeks, 6.5 tonnes of concrete was removed from the building, while 2.1 tonnes of steel was installed
  • The fit-out includes 162 workstations and 996 computer monitors, connected by 64km of underfloor cables 




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