IBM Brings Sustainable Opportunities to the Natural Resources Industry

Introduces Mine-to-Ship, a smarter solution that will improve organizational efficiency and optimize resource utilization

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New Delhi, India - 30 Jul 2013: IBM (NYSE: IBM) IBM has announced the availability of an optimization (planning /scheduling) solution related in mining (Mine-to-Ship) for addressing contractual fulfillment with appropriate process/asset constraints. Additionally, the company announced new exploration technologies using geospatial modeling and seismic imaging to improve capabilities at finding remote fields and new mines. IBM also stated that new mathematical algorithms and modeling ideas were developed to enhance recovery and extraction techniques. Further, IBM also announced its predictive asset management solution for capital intensive industry like mining supporting the optimization solution.

With rapid growth seen in the Natural Resources industry, especially Oil and Gas as well as Metals and Mining, IBM’s Centre of Excellence for Natural resources combines expertise from across several departments to extend these technology solutions to help companies ensure greater organizational efficiency, agility and resource utilization. The solutions have already been deployed successfully in companies across the world. The IBM Centre of Excellence for Natural Resources team works in such areas as computation geosciences, integrated operations with high performance computing and management, optimization solutions, asset management, and streaming analytics.

IBM is working with clients in the industry, filling the critical gap in providing smarter and integrated industry solutions that address unique imperatives of the Natural Resources industry, making use of its in-house research capabilities, state-of-the-art technology solutions, and deep consulting experience to offer sustainable opportunities to the industry. These opportunities help optimize operational performance and health, safety, and environmental solutions with high reliability and availability.

Speaking about IBM’s big bet on Natural Resources, Venkataraman Neelakantan, Industry Leader, Manufacturing & Natural Resources, IBM ISA said, “Working with companies in this industry, we have seen an increasing need for maximizing sustainable and value based engagements. The limited supply of natural resources coupled with increasing demand is a key driver for new technologies in this industry. The scale of this industry is so vast, that a fraction of a percentage improvement in any single area can yield a benefit in hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.” 

The scope of the Mine-to-Ship solution spans from the loading of materials into the trains at the mine hub to the berthing of the ships, loading and departure. It can take into account real-time operational information regarding equipment status, rolling stock status and location, equipment efficiency and planned maintenance. The result is a closing of the gap and associated costs between planning, scheduling and execution. The solution will benefit mining companies by increasing resource usage, ensuring higher throughput, reduced cost of operations, and higher revenue.

Seismic Imaging
Seismic imaging is the process of converting acoustic measurements of the Earth into images of the Earth’s interior, much like ultrasound for medical imaging. It is widely used in oil and gas exploration and production to identify regions that are likely to contain hydrocarbon reservoirs and to help characterize known reservoirs to maximize production. These methods have become critical to the energy industry as known reserves are used up and new reserves become increasingly difficult (and expensive) to find and are increasingly in technically challenging areas, like the deep sea.

Geospatial Modeling
Geospatial Modeling gathers, stores, processes, and delivers geographic or spatially referenced information, using technology that involves surveying, remote sensing, geographic information systems, satellite information, cartography, and other related forms of earth mapping. In the Natural Resources sector, IBM is using this technology to improve and enhance recovery and extraction techniques.

According to analyst firm Gartner, the top technology investment priorities for Natural Resources companies include analytics and business intelligence, mobile, enterprise resource applications, collaboration, and cloud technologies. Natural Resources and Manufacturing industries are expected to have a higher cloud adoption rate than other industries, with almost 60% of Natural Resources firms planning to adopt cloud and other IT solutions in the 2011-2015 periods. In terms of IT spending, Asia/Pacific shows the strongest spending growth rate with 4.4% CAGR from 2011 to 2016.

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