AI och automation för framtidens gruva


Digitalization and automation strengthen the competitiveness of the mining industry through increased efficiency, work environment and environmental performance. While the development of AI and automation are at an early stage, the potential applications in the industry are enormous and things are moving faster than ever. A critical success factor is the strategic and close collaboration between industry and academia that has become synonymous with Sweden internationally.

Many ground-breaking testbeds and development projects are underway in Sweden. Magnus Karlberg, Global Product Manager Face Drilling Equipment at Epiroc points to several factors  driving this:

– Technology development is really on the rise today, but not only that. The timing is ideal right now. Swedish mining companies are prepared to invest in the future, and see that automation and technology development really generate lower costs and more efficient operations. Academia is hungry to solve problems through research and we have many companies, both smaller start-ups who are quick to find implementations of academic research, and established industrial companies with a lot of innovation capacity and drive. It is indeed the right time to do everything we can to connect these strong forces. I anticipate that we will witness a further development and change of of the industry.

Paving way for innovation
Swedish Mining Innovation Bergslagen works strategically to enable Sweden to further accelerate the automation and digitization journey in the mining industry, through relationship building, inspiration and knowledge transfer around AI. Digital transformation requires upskilling and re-skilling, as well as new processes – a multidimensional challenge.

– It may sound simple, but the physical meeting between people cannot be overestimated when it comes to innovation. New technology is emerging incredibly fast and industry needs to make tough priorities with its resources, so we have worked hard on creating events based on industry challenges, and match these needs with relevant calls and research groups, says Lotta Sartz from Swedish Mining Innovation.

Connecting stakeholders
The utilization of research is strengthened through closer relationships and collaborations between universities in different geographical regions and areas of excellence.

Through strong collaboration, we can ensure knowledge transfer between researchers and actors from business and society. This can be done in various ways, through seminars and joint projects, says Amy Loutfi, pro-vice-chancellor for AI and Innovation at Örebro University, adding:

– Mining is an important strategic area for the University and our aim is to contribute to a sustainable mining sector. We do this by conducting fundamental and applied research in number of subjects, not least within areas such as automation, AI, and robotics which can contribute through adding insights on data, optimizing processes, and creating safer working environments.



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