Multi-national ABB makes Australia an international hi-tech launching pad

Multi-national ABB makes Australia an international hi-tech launching pad article image

International technology heavyweight ABB has made one of its most significant global hi-technology investments right here in Australia.

Software solutions developed in Australia are being exported around the globe.

ABB has hired more than 150 top flight programmers and developers in Brisbane and knowledge centres around Australia as part of a solid technology commitment to the region. This is expected to further increase as the scale and breadth of Australian based research and product development is enhanced.

ABB’s investment in the development of leading edge software products in areas such as mine operations management and planning are meeting the needs of local Australian and international mining organisations.

More than half of ABB’s Australian developed software, which form the Intelligent Mining Solutions (IMS) suite of products developed are exported around the globe.

Minescape is one of the Australian made IMS products that specifically addresses mining geology and planning and is considered one of the world’s premier products in this area.

Economic variables and timelines

The face of mining economics has changed considerably in recent times where initial evaluation, mine planning and design of the extractive process interact with and are affected by a global matrix of economic variables and timelines. This requires a capacity to master multiple data sets of three-dimensional complexity, along with attendant issues of risk management.

Managing and navigating complexity is among the great challenges of sophisticated software solutions today. It is a challenge ABB product developers and IMS meet with a comprehensive array of tools.

The nature of modern mining operations requires and incorporates assets on a vast scale.

The effective maintenance and management of these assets is fundamental to achieving qualitative and quantitative returns on funds employed. Australian developed Ellipse is an enterprise asset management software solution used widely here and internationally. 

Supply chain software solution

Australia’s unique Asia-Pacific position within a global supply chain of dispersed manufacturing, transport, assembly, extraction, processing combined with contractual management requirements also contains many diverse complexities that require software tools equal to the task.

MineMarket is an integrated supply chain software solution which is also part of the Intelligent Mining Solutions (IMS) suite.

Developed by ABB in Australia it is an integrated production, processing and supply chain solution that incorporates the logistics and accounting process from extraction to port, shipping right up to final customer delivery.

The capacity to “twin-track” the logistical sequence with accrual accounting in parallel provides a powerfully descriptive view of the entire process.

A recently completed product from the Australian development team is the fully redeveloped cloud ready CCLAS mining/metal processing laboratory information management system (LIMS), also part of the IMS suite. This now includes a state of the art cloud-first architected analytics engine. 

Productivity increases up to 70%

One of the world’s premier verification, testing and certification organisations have been rolling out CCLAS globally to hundreds of their laboratories.  Early feedback suggests the improvements in process optimisation, such as expanding rates of sample analysis, have and will continue to lead to productivity increases of up to 70%.

Starting from mine exploration and design, through to mine management, contracts and supply chain to testing, verification and certification, Australian developed technology at ABB – Intelligent Mining Solutions (IMS) is at the forefront of modern mine practices delivering positive economic outcomes.

In addition to creating hundreds of knowledge intensive technology jobs in Australia, ABB software solutions have been successfully exported, with more than 6,000 users internationally.

The IMS is part of the recently launched ABB Ability offering – a unified, cross-industry digital capability with devices, solutions, systems, services and a platform to enable customers to know more, do more and do better and to achieve better outcomes.

ABB commitment to fostering advanced applications and developing leading edge technology in Australia is continuing and the next generation of products is being designed creating the virtuous cycles of knowledge and learning so essential to Australia’s future as an advanced value add economy.

David Gray is lead consultant at Digital Information Partners:


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