Coal Mining

Various types of coal mining methods exist depending on the physical nature of the coal seams. Although the mining processes vary considerably, they all lead to the extraction of coal that needs crushing, conveying and washing before it can be shipped to the customers.

This process represents the processes at a surface mine and focuses on the steps with the SAP ERP system as oppose to those steps executed with the aid of mine technical systems used for the Mine Planning and Scheduling. Process Orders are created – these Orders contain or link to all production related data within SAP ERP. The process shows how data is captured, displayed changed and how a confirmation leads to receipt of the production into stock or the movement of materials from one process step to the other.

  • Mining Specialists systems take care of the Geological modeling, Reserve estimations, Mine Planning and Scheduling. The output of these systems feed into SAP for downstream production tracking and costing. In addition, the actual production activities (for reporting against the planned data mentioned before) are often captured into SAP through a PI sheet.
  • SAP takes care of the business processes related to the production like Maintenance and Materials required for the production as well as the production quantities itself.

Process Flow

This process consists of the following steps:

  • The first step in SAP ERP is to create the process order. The process order will usually represent a specific time period, to allow accurate recording of actual production. In many cases, an external production planning system will be used to define and plan for the different requirements of mining from different areas. The external system will have created planned orders (a.k.a. production targets) that specify the quantity, date, production version and often the grade. Once the process order is created, dragline or blasting and hauling details can be recorded.
  • In this process, the PI (Process Instruction) sheet will be used to manually record production achievement. The PI sheet is a user friendly method of allowing production operators to enter data in a customized fashion. In many cases, shop floor systems or data historians are used to collect the data at the shop floor level and the data aggregated for automatic posting into SAP.
  • In the first step of the process, ore is blasted and hauled to the crusher. Via the PI sheet, the quantities of consumables as well as resource operating hours are entered by the operator to be issued against the order. The shift operator in the Operators Control Room captures the production parameters like loads delivered, delivery times, truck number, fueling quantities, engine hours, etc. using a Process Instruction sheet. The usage of other resources, such as excavators etc. are also entered on the PI sheet, and appropriate documents posted to update the logistics, financial and plant maintenance information in the background.
  • The second process order represents the Crushing and Washing processes, where hauled ore is passed through a Crusher to reduce the coal lump size. Again a PI sheet is used to record the production data for a particular time period. In this case, a batch is also created for the process order, which allows quality characteristics (assays) to be recorded in the system. This batch represents the specific crushed ore quantity and quality for the time period specified by the process order.
  • In the PI sheet, the operator then selects the stockpile (or stockpiles) onto which that day’s production is transferred. A batch-to-batch movement is performed to move the daily batch quantity into the stockpile batch, and the batch characteristics of the stockpile batch are appropriately adjusted based on a weighted average calculation.

Key Points

  • Production Order for Load & Haul and Crushing process at the Mine
  • Production planning & execution for time bucket, e.g. shift, day, week
  • Detailed Production confirmation for individual trucks
  • Basis for KPI reporting on plan / actual comparison, from a logistics & cost perspective
  • Integration to PM measurement documents for trucks
  • User friendly data entry for production confirmation in PI Sheet
  • Process instructions are the basis for later re-use in automation of this Mine production confirmation from dispatch system via SAP xMII
Business Details
Process Overview
Business Process Documentation