The DISPATCH® fleet management system for open pit mines allows your mine to maximize production and efficiency, while increasing safety and control. Using state-of-the-art field hardware and communications software, along with best-practice business processes, the DISPATCH system provides industry-proven fleet optimization.
Further features include GPS-based equipment positioning, equipment health monitoring, maintenance tracking, blending, and production reporting. With more than 35 years of recognition for its optimization algorithm, and over 250 installations worldwide, the DISPATCH system is considered the industry standard for fleet management systems.
DISPATCH 6 introduces many exciting enhancements, including a streamlined user interface, turn-by-turn navigation, advanced tire management tools, and a new enterprise reporting engine.
- Haulage Optimization
- Qualifications Management
- Fuel Service Management
- Auxiliary Equipment Management
- Remote Supervision
- Payload Analysis
- Ore Blending Control
- Real-Time Web Reporting
The Proximity Detection module is specifically designed to improve the situational awareness of equipment operators by providing visual and audible warnings of other equipment, fixed hazards, or light vehicles in the area. The module uses multiple complementary technologies (GPS, RFID, Radar, etc.) that provide redundancy while using context to reduce false and nuisance alarms. Distance-based proximity detection is particularly beneficial in congested areas such as loading and dumping locations.
Proximity Detection utilizes existing Modular onboard hardware and onsite wireless communications infrastructure, eliminating additional onboard systems mounted in the operator's cab. The module utilizes existing equipment records, operator information, equipment operating state, and road topology, to provide context-rich information and extend operators' awareness beyond their own eyes and ears. The Proximity Detection© module has helped mines around the world improve operator safety and decrease costs from incident-related equipment repairs and downtime.
- Improved operator situational awareness and safety
- Real-time mobile display of actual position of surrounding equipment
- Playback/analysis features and site-specific incident reports
- Reduced equipment collisions and related costs
- Automatic alarms with direction and severity of hazards
- Easy upgrade: no additional hardware required
Vehicle speed affects both the probability and severity of an accident. Most mines have safe speed limits, but many struggle with enforcement. The DISPATCH® SpeedAlert™ module makes it easy to establish and maintain a speed management program for heavy and light vehicles at any mine site.
The SpeedAlert module continuously measures the GPS velocity of mobile equipment. As a truck passes through points of interest—a virtual speed trap—SpeedAlert compares its speed with pre-configured upper and lower speed limits, for full and empty conditions.
If operators exceed the limit, they are alerted by a message and audible warning on their onboard mobile device, and the dispatcher and foreman can also be notified. Also, an objective log of over-speed events is automatically generated and centrally stored.
- Instant feedback to operators reinforces desired behavior
- GPS velocity is accurate to 0.06 m/s (less than 0.25 km/hr)
- Minimum speed threshold allows detection of congested areas and underperforming trucks
- Objective log of over-speed events generated automatically and stored centrally
- Speed traps are invisible and can be relocated in seconds by the dispatcher
The DISPATCH® TireAlert™ module helps you maximize the performance and life cycle of your haul truck tires. TKPH/TMPH planning utilities allow you to evaluate the impact of prospective haulage paths, and you can manage TKPH/TMPH limits on a tire-by-tire basis.
The onboard suspension interface logs instances when the tire experiences rough roads. Operators can report spillage on haul roads and flag the position of these locations via their onboard mobile devices. By plotting the location of rough roads and spillage locations in the DISPATCH system, you can efficiently allocate roadwork resources. With the FastFeedback and AuxTask modules, cleanup tasks can go directly to an auxiliary equipment work list.
Also, high-speed cornering is remotely detected using the SpeedAlert module. Early detection and feedback help minimize this behavior.
- TKPH/TMPH by tire and TKPH/TMPH prediction tools
- Works with FastFeedback and AuxTask modules to manage cleanup
- Logs position of rock spillage or areas requiring roadwork
- Works with SpeedAlert module to monitor high-speed cornering
Modular has been a pioneer in delivering fleet management technology to the mining industry for more than 35 years. In this time, we have developed detailed solutions for nearly every area of mine operations, while maintaining a balanced perspective and sustainable growth. The DISPATCH© System is engineered to help operators, supervisors, dispatchers, and managers work together to achieve your mine's top-level goals.
DISPATCH Core Module Categories
Equipment TrackingPosition Tracking
The Position Tracking module plots the GPS position of equipment against a map of the mine. The module tracks travel times for each road segment, and it uses a rolling average to project future travel times. Once the road segments have been built up into a road network, the module calculates the best path between all locations, for use by the Optimization module.
Additionally, the Position Tracking module provides visualization tools that let you monitor the position of equipment in real time, or run historical reports on equipment position to compare actual movement versus planned movement.Time Tracking
The Time Tracking module tracks the Status and Cycle of equipment. Statuses, i.e. the current activities of equipment, include basic statuses such as Ready, Delay, and Down. These Statuses can be further broken down into Status Codes, which can be re-mapped into Time Categories for reporting.
Cycle Tracking is used to calculate productivity, based on repeating actions of equipment. The equipment's operating time is separated into several distinct stages—for example, a haulage cycle includes Travel Empty/Full, Spot/Queue, Load, and Dump. These stages are then linked together in a cycle. Once the times have been recorded, they can be analyzed against other loads and/or other equipment to determine the efficiency of the operator's cycle.Haulage Tracking
The Haulage Tracking module incorporates location, time, and equipment information to create a cohesive picture of your mine's haulage system. The module records virtually every relevant detail of each truck's haulage cycle, including: the arrival time at shovel, queue time, first bucket, and full time, as well as the location, shovel ID, material, grade, truck size, and load tonnage.
Once recorded, this information can then be used to determine shovel hang time, truck idle time, historical TMPH, and other productivity KPIs for fleets, specific equipment, and operators.IntelliMine Reporting
The DISPATCH system features the IntelliMine Reporting system that includes a comprehensive library of 65 standard reports. Additional reports can be authored using either Microsoft® Visual Studio® or a drag-and-drop report builder. All reports have been implemented using a set of reporting views. These views provide a more user-friendly source for ad hoc reporting by pre-joining key records under a human-readable database schema. Sophisticated reporting options are available, such as scheduling or subscriptions, and these can be exported as Excel®, PDF, or image files.
The PowerView reporting portal allows detailed control over user access, subscriptions, report scheduling, and report usage statistics, right out of the box. Customized reports can be published for personal use or distributed to a wider audience.Store&Forward
With the Store&Forward module, production events that occur outside communications coverage are stored locally onboard a unit's mobile device. When signal is reestablished, this data is forwarded to the central server. The Event Handler then processes these events and automatically integrates the data with existing records, to create a complete production history.Load Size
The DISPATCH Load Size Module gives you the ability to accurately measure mine production. DISPATCH uses payload system data, load size entries, and individual truck sizes to produce production reports. Load size entries help to bridge the gap between static truck sizes and imperfect payload systems. Entries can be based on survey data, expressions that take into account material density, or any other relevant information. Load sizes can then be applied to the current shift, or to historical records to match survey tonnages. Load size entries can be set for different material types, shovels, and trucks.MineGraphics
The MineGraphics perspective gives you a complete, real-time, aerial view of your mine, showing all locations, roads, and equipment. Tooltips provide instant feedback on the current operator, status, and destination of each equipment unit. The filter panel allows the user to tailor the displayed information to focus on specific locations, materials, locations, or equipment statuses. A Find tool allows you to quickly locate equipment and locations on the map. Contextual information such as mining areas, contour maps, or electrical cables can be added in the form of a DXF overlay.Transactions
The DISPATCH Transactions module provides a real-time display of all fleet activities. All transactions between field equipment units and the Dispatch central server are displayed in the transactions screen. Transactions are stored in the database for reporting and analysis.Back to top
The HaulRoute perspective is an intuitive, real-time system interface that allows you to continuously monitor the location and status of all haul trucks. This perspective also lets you perform a variety of fleet management tasks, such as locking trucks to shovels, changing the status of a location, and manually assigning trucks.
HaulRoute allows drag-and-drop functionality; you can drag truck icons to any valid location and drop them for assignment. Real-time equipment status, location, and estimated arrival time are graphically represented for each segment of the haul cycle.Exceptions
The Exceptions screen posts messages called "exceptions" to notify the dispatcher when unexpected or exceptional conditions occur in the haulage cycle. Exceptions require dispatcher intervention. This tool enables you to manage your mine with precision, focusing on specific problems rather than the vast total of operations data.Operator Chat
The Operator Chat module provides messaging communication between equipment operators and central dispatch. The module is used primarily as an alternative to regular voice radio communication for reasons of convenience and safety. The dispatcher can send a text message to a specific operator or broadcast a message to the entire fleet. Operators can only send text messages to the dispatcher.Back to top
Crew ManagementWorker Tracking
The Worker Tracking module manages employee information in the DISPATCH system. You can add or delete employees in the database, or modify employee information such as permanent assignments or crew ID.Shiftchange
The Shiftchange module allows you to monitor and control the assignment of operators to a park-up location at shift change. Depending on the site and the production scenario on a given day, the optimum assignment of operators to park-up depends on many different factors. The Shiftchange module enables effective and timely decision-making of park-up assignments to maximize production.Breaks
The Breaks module is used to define general breaks in production, such as lunch and coffee breaks. Once a break is defined, the DISPATCH system sends the break information to operators' mobile devices at the designated time. If an operator does not take the break or does not return from the break, the DISPATCH system will generate an exception message.Back to top
Material ManagementLocation Tracking
The Location Tracking module manages the list of location entities, as well as each location's current position, status, and capacity. Production is tracked according to specific material sources such as blasts or stockpiles and destinations such as crushers or dumps. Non-production locations such as workshops, shift change, and fuel shops can also be defined.Grade Tracking
The Grade Tracking module enables you to individually track ore quality for every location and material type. The information from the module allows for a very fine-grained measurement of plant head-grade, and it serves as the basis for the DISPATCH blending algorithm.
The MineCompass moving map display shows the current equipment position and path to its assigned destination, helping improve operator efficiency and situational awareness. The turn by turn navigation and proximity detection optional modules compliment the MineCompass screen and add to its capabilities.
The DISPATCH System is flexible. Where generic functionality does not meet your existing business needs, the system can be extended or reconfigured to create a truly fit-for-purpose tool. Modular offers a broad range of solutions and a wealth of experience in addressing the unique requirements of each of our customers.
DISPATCH Optional Module Categories
The Payload module captures real-time payload information from payload systems on loaders, shovels, and trucks. This information can be transmitted in real time to loading equipment operators, and it is also stored against historical production records to allow detailed analysis and reporting.Fueling
The Fueling module enables manual recording of the fuel and fluids that are added to trucks, shovels, and auxiliary equipment. When truck fuel levels meet preconfigured limits, trucks are automatically assigned for refueling. A snapshot of current fuel levels helps the dispatcher carry out necessary refueling activities while minimizing lost production. The current fuel level of all trucks is derived by applying fuel burn rates. These burn rates vary depending on the truck's operating state (stationary or travelling), payload (empty or full), fleet type, and current road grade.Idle Monitor
The Idle Monitor module detects when a truck, loader, or auxiliary equipment unit is sitting immobile with its engine running. When the user-defined idle-time threshold is reached, the Idle Monitor module automatically notifies the dispatcher and puts the equipment in Alert status. Through continuous feedback, the Idle Monitor module promotes adherence to operational best practices, resulting in: less idle time, lower fuel costs, reduced engine wear and tear, and improved air quality.Component Tracking
The Component Tracking module helps you manage major component inventories and monitor component performance. The module tracks consumables such as tires, drill bits, and bucket teeth, documenting the life cycle of each component though its serial number. Transactions such as date mounted/dismounted, position mounted, and equipment mounted on can then be recorded against the serial number, to maintain a history of how the component was used.Auxiliary Equipment
The Auxiliary Equipment module provides you with a powerful tool for managing your auxiliary equipment fleet. With this module, you can easily create numerous auxiliary fleets and add equipment to these fleets. You can manually or automatically assign tasks to Auxiliary Equipment in real time. Equipment availability and utilization are automatically calculated using Status and Reason codes, and Status changes and basic time tracking are logged to the database for each unit.Crusher
The Crusher module allows you to maximize the efficiency of your crusher machine. With this module, you can stay updated on your crusher's performance, track trucks en-route, and alert dispatchers of any planned or unplanned status changes. Crusher information is sent in real time to the DISPATCH central server, where it can be analyzed to improve the performance of your crusher or your haulage fleet.
The Crusher module's rugged field computer is installed inside the crusher's control room, allowing your crusher operators to input crusher status changes, as well as view production figures at any time during their shift.Operators may also detect which shovels are currently feeding the crusher and control the crusher’s RED and GREEN lights.Back to top
The Position Tracking, Time Tracking, and Haulage Tracking DISPATCH core modules are used to establish trends based on historical data. The Optimization module leverages these trends to create optimized assignments, maximizing the efficiency of your haulage fleet.
By applying the optimization algorithms of Best Path (BP), Linear Programming (LP), and Dynamic Programming (DP) in combination, the system takes advantage of:
- Production Circuits: Instead of trucks simply moving between a particular shovel and dump, they are able to move between shovel/dump pairings to minimize empty travel times.
- Partial Allocation of Equipment: Shovel load rates are rarely in whole trucks per hour, meaning that the shovel production circuits by definition must be over- or under-trucked (truck queue or shovel hang). The optimization routine is able to allocate trucks "part-time" to several shovels, which eliminates this constraint and increases overall productivity.
The AuxTask module extends the same productivity improvements to your auxiliary equipment that DISPATCH core modules provide for your haulage fleet. Auxiliary tasks such as Dig Ditch, Grade Dump, or Shovel Cleanup can be created manually, or generated automatically by the FastFeedback module. With the AuxTask module, you can configure tasks by equipment type or individual unit, and you can designate task priority. Dynamic scheduling helps to increase auxiliary fleet productivity and manage incidents of spillage and dust as they occur.
Once a task is complete, the AuxTask module can automatically send the equipment operator the next task and its location. As soon as the operator either receives a task from a dispatcher or selects one by the press of a button on the onboard mobile device, the task is timed. From here, the AuxTask module continuously gathers task data, which gives you a clear picture of tasks' impact on machine wear and tear as well as operating costs.Foreman
The Foreman mobile field computer provides a foreman or other shift supervisor remote access to the DISPATCH system, and it provides the ability to query the system for information about specific equipment. This module frees the foreman to travel throughout the mine yet still have access to necessary control functions, status information, and mine performance data. Equipped with real-time information, the foreman can immediately react to changes, and interact with operators to provide guidance, modify behavior, or redirect resources on the fly.Location Reason Code
The Location Reason Code module enables the DISPATCH system to instantly inform equipment operators of new tasks as location conditions change. The module empowers operators to decide their next task by presenting them a list of locations that require their attention. By allowing operators to remotely track/execute defined mining processes, dispatchers are better able to focus on maximizing production. Also, the module lets you track and analyze the life cycle of each location using process-centric metrics, and you can enhance safety by including inspections in the mining process.Mine2Plan
The Mine2Plan module allows you to import short-term mine plan information from third-party mine planning systems into the DISPATCH system, greatly decreasing manual data entry. You can quickly and easily turn mine plans into DISPATCH equipment schedules using a generic interface. Special features are included for generating tramming or auxiliary equipment schedules.Back to top
Crew ManagementKPI Dashboards
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) allow you to gauge the success of operational activities by comparing actual performance to targeted performance. KPIs are commonly extracted from haul cycle data, as well as from safety logs, maintenance records, and other data sources.
The KPI Dashboards module provides a simple user interface to store targets for key operational parameters such as load counts, payload, cycle time components, availability, and utilization. The targeted ranges and actual performance values for each KPI are displayed in a dashboard graphic. Dashboards help mine managers, ore controllers, engineers, planners, and operations superintendents evaluate operating performance over a single shift or longer periods of time.Operator Training
The DISPATCH Operator Training module has been specifically developed to let you track your operators' training requirements and progress. From a wider perspective, you can continuously evaluate and manage your operations crew's skills and qualifications—and schedule shifts accordingly—within a centralized skills tracking database.
Your mine's training coordinator can configure certifications, equipment qualifications, and course completion dates in the Operator Training module. The module then automatically captures the time that each operator spends logged onto each equipment type. The training coordinator or field supervisor can generate a range of reports on hours of operation. These reports help you to prioritize and schedule operator training, keeping your workforce qualified and productive.Lineup Management
The Lineup Management module automatically assigns qualified personnel to equipment before the start of a shift, displaying assignments to equipment operators via a scrolling lineup screen. You can configure the roster and maintain the current qualifications for each employee. Default qualification types include: Unqualified, Trainee, Qualified, and Experienced. It's possible to allocate operators to equipment prior to shift changes, based on either their permanent assignment or equipment qualification.FastFeedback
To ensure equipment health and operator safety, it is crucial for mines to prevent equipment abuse. Alerting operators of undesired behavior is a powerful tool for enforcing procedural compliance, as most operators will self-correct when they realize their performance is being monitored. This is the logic behind the DISPATCH FastFeedback module and its use of ModularReady interfaces.
The FastFeedback module receives real-time equipment health alarms from OEM onboard sensors, automatically sending messages to operators and supervisors when corrective action is required. For example, if a haul truck operator is overusing the brakes on a decline, the system will send a notification to engage the dynamic retarder. Furthermore, through post-analysis of alarm events, supervisors can identify problem areas and proactively provide training and counseling to operators where necessary.Back to top
Material ManagementMaterial Inventory
The Material Inventory module automatically tracks inventory levels, providing accurate reporting for better management of blasts and stockpiles. When an area has been blasted, your mine's ore control department personnel or other assigned personnel enter information about the blast in the module's data entry screen. The inventory levels are calculated at the end of a shift when data is summarized, listing: all inventories, creation date, original material, material removed, material added, and remaining material available.Blending
The Blending module automates the blending process at crushers and stockpiles, providing your mine with precision ore quality control. The module optimizes ore haul truck assignments subject to blending constraints, and it respects blend targets despite unplanned shovel interruptions. In some cases, several different material characteristics must be kept within prescribed limits in order to satisfy mill or customer requirements. The Blending module handles all of these factors to ensure that your mine quality plan is achieved.Back to top
Safety ManagementPrestart Checklist
The DISPATCH Prestart Checklist module holds operators accountable for systematically verifying safety and maintenance items before operation. Pass/Fail information is recorded automatically in the shift database. If a failed item falls within the 'Do Not Operate' or 'Contact Dispatcher' criteria, an Exception will be posted to the Dispatcher's screen, and a warning will come up on the operator's onboard mobile device, such as "Steering – Do not operate!"
You can create customized prestart checklists for any type of equipment that has a mobile device, including trucks, shovels, auxiliary equipment, drills, and foreman vehicles. Also, historical reports can be created on a shift-by-shift basis.
The Prestart Checklist module offers a convenient way to monitor safe operating policies for heavy equipment. It presents operators with a pre-configured checklist, records their responses, and provides easy-to-use reports. The module is an invaluable tool that lets you better manage equipment health for safe operation.Defects
The Defects module allows paperless recording and tracking of predefined equipment defects. Defects can be created, viewed, or modified via a server-side utility, and failed Prestart items can automatically generate a defect record from the onboard mobile device. The Defects Reporting Screen permits quick entry of defects and viewing of open defects. Defects reports can filter by Equipment ID, Defect Type, Priority, and Progress.
The Defects module provides you with a tool to optimize service schedules and allocation of maintenance resources, and it creates a feedback loop and accountability among both operators and maintenance staff. Additionally, the module provides a means of ranking and prioritizing defects for further investigation and possible re-engineering to eliminate problems.Back to top