Unearthing greener mining: Imerys drills down on sustainability with MachineMax data 

Imerys is a leader in mineral-based solutions across diverse industries such as construction materials, mobile energy, and personal care, impacting markets globally from its operations in 142 countries and about 100 mines. By employing a combination of owned and contracted mining fleets, Imerys has established itself as a pioneer in functional innovations. 

For access to a unified view of its sites and machinery, Imerys partnered with equipment data and telematics specialist MachineMax in 2020, forming a strategic collaboration that harnessed cutting-edge digital tools to optimize the performance of its extensive fleet of heavy machinery.  

From strategy to implementation 

Dedicated to sustainability and ethical operations, Imerys faced the challenge of achieving complete oversight over its extensive fleet operations. Historically, the absence of a unified fleet view led to inefficiencies, unnecessary expenditures, and environmental impacts. Matthew Jones, Mining Director at Imerys, emphasized the previous lack of a robust data-driven approach, saying: “We don’t come from a history of having a strong mindset of data capture in our mine environments, so we’re not giving ourselves the right information to challenge the way we’re working and we’re not really measuring.” 

Open cast mmineTangible outcomes from strategic partnerships 

MachineMax delivered a transformative experience for Imerys, providing a comprehensive 360-degree view of site operations across 100 percent of fleets across every mine. By using data from telematics sensors, the platform’s advanced visualization capabilities and real-time tracking allowed Imerys to monitor and enhance equipment productivity, helping to align with organizational ESG goals.  

This initiative has significantly lowered carbon emissions by three to ten percent and reduced fuel consumption by a quarter within two years, demonstrating the power of live data analytics in enhancing operational efficiency and sustainability. 

Operational data such as equipment utilization, idling times, and location tracking provided crucial insights. These metrics unveiled several inefficiencies like excess and inappropriate equipment on sites leading to underuse and lower productivity, poorly arranged site layouts increasing idle times and less-than-optimal operator behaviors. 

Alfie Jones, Mobile Plant Supervisor, shared insights on the integration benefits” “MachineMax provides a portal where all information is presented on one screen in one place and one format. No matter who supplies the equipment or who it’s made by.” 

Ed Buscombe, Mobile Plant Manager, also highlighted the environmental and operational benefits, stating: “Benefits include a reduction in idling time, which we notice, and that brings other benefits, such as reduced fuel burn. This helps our CSR targets as well as the benefits for our CO2 emissions. So it’s clear that there are some excellent benefits from the system.” 

Looking to the future 

Jennifer Thompson, CPO of MachineMax, outlined the strategic future direction: “This case exemplifies the vast potential for the mining industry to leverage straightforward, scalable data collection and analysis methods to drive substantial advancements in operational efficiency. Our solution has enabled Imerys to enhance the identification of idling periods exceeding five minutes, prioritizing larger idling periods and pinpointing where these inefficiencies are occurring in real time. This proactive approach empowers onsite teams to swiftly identify bottlenecks, process inefficiencies, and significant improvement opportunities. This is just one example of the boundless potential for the mining industry if it embraces a simple and scalable method for collecting and leveraging machine data.”