The problem: a need for mobility and remote data
Kaunis Iron is located in the municipality of Pajala in northern Sweden, a sparsely populated area close to the Finnish border. The area is rich in iron ore, which makes it a great place for an iron mine.
Northland Resources began constructing the mine in Kaunisvaara in December 2011.
However, the mine went bankrupt in October 2014 due to low iron ore prices and high debts. Kaunis Iron took over the bankruptcy estate in 2018.
Taking over an existing yet bankrupt property meant there was a lot of pressure to get the production up and running—and showing a profit—as quickly as possible. Additionally, the remote location of the mine meant that some key staff were only able to be on-site part of the time. Mobility and remote tools were on the top of Kaunis Iron’s list of requirements.
The solution: system integration combined with production and financial data
- Hourly and daily production reports for everyone being up-to-date with the production
- Integrated systems making data reliable and doesn’t have to be repeated
- Workflow solutions to streamline processes in production, warehouse, etc.
“[The first thing] we needed [was] an app that we could use to get figures and numbers of the production rate,” says Hjärtström. “ People involved in our project aren’t always able to be on-site and we needed a way for them to check-in and see what’s going on with a high grade of mobility.”
The Novacura solution involved integrating the key processing system (ABB) and IFS Applications.
“We work with several different systems,” says Hjärtström. “We wanted a way to make data from these systems available and mobile. Each of these systems is good at its specific thing, but none of them is good at everything. Therefore, we came to the conclusion early in the project that each system has its benefits and is ready to deliver that data to another system. With Novacura we got the mobility and a solution to combine data from different systems.”
Once the systems were connected, Novacura created a production reporting app so that employees and contractors could receive hourly and daily production reports. The app allows them to see current output, compare output to previous days, and plan ahead to meet the next day’s goal.
The Novacura solution also includes applications for workers to submit/process work orders, report their time, receive goods to the warehouse, and issue warehouse materials as needed. All the applications work on both desktop and mobile devices.
“The Novacura solution allows everyone to share the same information,” says Westman. “If the Kaunis Iron management team (or someone else supporting them in the project) are off-site, they’re always updated. If there’s a glitch in the system, they see it right away and can fix it right away too. They share the info and they know the data is valid: it’s come from the production system right into the ERP.”
The results: fast, reliable data and higher productivity
- Better control over all data
- More productive workers
- Quicker decision-making time
Good and reliable data is the foundation on which everything else is built.
“The data gives you the answers: how to do all the development,” says Hjärtström. “Our goal is to use Novacura and IFS as the base platform for data. We will have one large production system for managing the mine, and the ABB system for managing the enrichment process. Still, to collect data from these systems and combine them with economic numbers, we need IFS and Novacura together. It will be the main system for maintenance and managing of spare parts for the whole company.”
“I think it’s freaking impressive what [Kaunis Iron] have done: they’ve restarted a mine and made it successful,” says Westman. “They had a plan, they stuck to the plan, and they have so far delivered better than predicted.”
“We can use the systems that we want to use and Novacura Flow for integrating them so that data can get from one place to another,” says Hjärtström. “Then we can turn all that data into something that gives you control over the whole process. It helps you make better decisions and lets you see everything you want to see, without having to use fewer systems that don’t fulfill your requirements.”