Data analytics in itself is not a silver bullet. But the way Interlate works with clients to leverage advanced analytics for greater plant performance is what sets us apart. Interlate does not consider itself purely as a consultant or as data analysts. Rather, we aim to work closely with our clients in a joint effort to find better solutions. Our engagement principles state that we think and work as an extension of the operating teams.
That said, it is true that Interlate boasts considerable hardware, advanced technology and some very clever people with different skills and experience. Clients who work with us will discover that it is quicker and easier to achieve material improvements through Interlate’s resources and this allows site teams to focus on higher-value activities.
The best testimony for our work comes from our existing clients. One said “We could probably do this ourselves but with Interlate it is ten times faster and more accurate”. Another plant manager noted “We could not get these insights using our traditional approaches. Interlate’s processes have helped us to reveal more.”
Interlate was the first company to develop and commercialise a real-time remote productivity improvement service for the mining industry globally. Compared to the traditional business model of consulting and engineering houses this service is a true business “disruptor” as the speed of service and ability to deliver locked-in and sustainable productivity improvements is unparalleled.
A significant advantage is that Interlate can work out of the operating environment, undistracted by plant issues, thereby keeping our focus on productivity improvements. Even the most technically driven operations can benefit, as Interlate uses technological and behavioral innovation which effectively combines high performance computing, analytical tools, data connectivity, artificial intelligence and human-to-human engagement methods.
Our focus on reducing the number of productivity issues allows busy site teams to more efficiently manage their day-to-day operations.
Sentinel™ is Interlate’s near real-time monitoring and decision support service and it has a unique focus. While control room operators perform a wide range of tasks, our team’s sole purpose is to continuously hunt for productivity opportunities. Near real-time monitoring means instant decision support and constant one-off step change analysis.
It’s important to note that the Interlate team and the Sentinel™ product are there to work alongside you and our client’s site teams always retain full operating authority.
While Interlate’s Productivity Supervisors boast many years of operational experience in on-site roles, we don’t stop there. The first step our Productivity Supervisors undertake on a project is to join the site team as a new team member and go on a shift.
Only after attending pre-start meetings and working with the site team to familiarise themselves with the plant, people and processes does the work start. Armed with specific site knowledge the Productivity Supervisor can then return to the Operations Intelligence Hub and use Interlate’s tools and resources to secure productivity improvements.
Naturally we take the issue of data security extremely seriously. Interlate’s System Architect will work with the client’s IT team to ensure there is full compliance with the client’s ISMS – Information security management system.
Interlate secures data in two places:
We operate a data center on-premise where all data is securely stored. Data is encrypted at rest and protected 24-7 by our Network and Security operation centers which manage and monitor traffic. At any sign of an attack they have the mandate to stop or block any such breaches.
Data that travels in transit from the sites to our on-premise data centers via the data assimilation node is protected by an industrial grade VPN. Remote ethernet devices manage our internal network and all traffic is encrypted while in transit. In this scenario our Network and Security operation centers also monitor the traffic at the source and endpoints to stop any potential breaches
Our Assessment phase is normally paid through a fixed fee arrangement and monthly subscriptions used to provide our Sentinel™ and Guardian™ services. Since Sentinel™ and Guardian™ are monthly services, customers can stop the service anytime.
Our approach is to talk to site people to learn about the prevailing ideas and areas of interest. Once we are made aware of those areas of interest we can go to work to generate data-driven decisions. We will look for ways to quantify productivity improvement in the identified areas, as well as finding opportunities in areas not previously considered.
With all recommendations we quantify the value proposition and nominate whatever implementation measures will be required to secure the value. In most cases these measures can be executed and value locked in with zero to low capital costs.
With Sentinel™ and Guardian™ working for you there is a constant source of information at hand. So, tracking outcomes happens on a daily basis through workflows and notifications. By using Interlate’s systems to monitor productivity and find improvements in real-time, site teams can then lock them in for long-term value benefits.
Consistent communication between our Operations Intelligence Hub and site teams is also a critical component to ensure you keep control of the value drivers. Interlate leverages federated networks and applications that can be accessed by users on any device, at any location both within Interlate and in remote mining operations. Thus, the Interlate team members are accessible all the time, communicating seamlessly via instant message as if they are the part of the site teams.
We typically aim to deliver a target 10X contract value for each engagement. Delivering value for money is in the Interlate DNA so a 10X contract value is more than just a goal – it’s our mission.
While 10X contract value may seem substantial, we have an existing client with multiple sites where the target value was achieved within 6 months. During an Assessment it is not uncommon to identify 1.5% to 2% productivity improvements just through application of our expertise. But when SentinelTM services are engaged, we continue to help you lock in incremental value benefits over the long term.
Some recent customer value experiences include:
2% additional yield at a Coal Processing Plant which came from a combination of data science and engineering experience
8% additional throughput at a Copper-Gold Concentrator which came from advanced analytics and modelling
10% additional throughput at a Copper Concentrator which came from a combination of machine learning and subject matter expertise
2% additional throughput and 2% additional yield at an Iron Ore Plant which came from machine learning and data science