Coal India Limited (CIL), a Maharatna company and the single largest producer of coal in the world employs about 2.5 lakh employees to satisfy energy demand of the nation. It has 85 mining areas in eight states containing 345 mines.
There exist great challenges to monitor all critical activities of the company with huge geographical spread and such enormous manpower. In today’s times, digital enablement is the only solution to meet such challenges. Hence CIL has taken many initiatives to deploy Industry 4.0 concepts in mining.
Seven big mines of CIL are undergoing complete digital transformation which will enhance coal production. Application of RPA is under process in few of the critical areas and in future it may become a significant tool for day to day operation. Digital intervention in security aspects are already under place in all the mines.
However there exist few challenges which CIL would like to resolve imminently. For example, the estimated weight of coal and managing overburdening of each truck through AI techniques without using weigh bridges. To reduce overloading and under loading of railway rakes by applying AI/IOT is another big challenge. If addressed, it will save huge penalties CIL pays to Railways.
Video analytics for stringent security system in mining areas to stop pilferage is also a priority area. The list goes on and CIL realizes that AI/ML/IOT with an intelligent cloud platform will be able to answer most of the challenges. CIL is taking appropriate steps in those directions.