IBM Optimization Mine to Ship

Optimizing the mining supply chain

Business Application

Business Challenge

The mining industry faces an impressive increase in demand thanks to the recent and upcoming global economic growth. In order to cope with this rising global demand mining companies are increasing their supply capacity with huge production expansion plans. One way to efficiently execute these plans (and reduce costs) is by better utilizing the expensive supply chain assets that compose a typical mining operation supply chain.

Adopting an optimized and integrated mine-to-ship supply chain management approach can help address various operational challenges like execution disruptions (broken equipment), late ship departure penalties, and reduced customer service levels.

The typical mining supply chain has a lead time from mine-to-ship that may not exceed 24 hours, a target level of inventory at the port that might cover a demand of just a few days and a limited queuing capacity at the marshalling yard. This type of supply chain needs to be managed in a much more integrated way if higher global supply chain performance is to be delivered. Optimizing equipment utilization at each stage of the supply chain (in silos) is important but it is not enough. Only an integrated and optimized supply chain can help maximize overall production throughput as well as timely customer order fulfillment.

The Solution

IBM Optimization Mine to Ship allows integrated mining companies to enhance their mine-to-ship supply chain operations by optimizing each supply chain component in a fully integrated schedule.

The scope of this solution spans from the loading of materials into the trains at the mine hub to the berthing of the ships, their loading and their departure. It offers various capabilities including the ability to take into account real-time operation information regarding equipment status, rolling stock status and location, equipment efficiency and planned maintenance, etc. The result is a closing of the gap and associated costs between planning, scheduling and execution.

The solution is built on top of the IBM ODM Enterprise platform, which allows efficient What-If analysis and scenario comparison, making it easier to collaborate for the various supply chain stakeholders.

Value Proposition

IBM Optimization Mine to Ship allows integrated mining companies to:

  • Produce and dynamically update fully integrated mine-to-ship schedules
  • Maximize production throughput (produced and shipped tons)
  • Minimize mine-to-ship operation disruption costs and delays
  • Maximize customer service levels
  • Minimize demurrage costs and maximize demurrage bonuses
  • Maximize execution scheduling reliability

Company Description

IBM pushes the boundaries of science, technology and business to make the world work better. Our global network of employees develops a range of applied and exploratory projects to solve real-world business and societal challenges. This software is representative of that body of work and part of the Industry Solutions Asset Program. It is not an IBM product but is available to clients and partners; implementation services and support are available through a services engagement.


Related Products

For more information, please contact:

Fabio Tiozzo, Product Manager, Planning & Scheduling Solutions