US-based technology giant IBM and the Anglo-Dutch energy and lubricant company Shell have jointly launched Oren, a new online marketplace to connect mining companies with other companies offering digital and technological solutions to enhance operational efficiency, sustainability, safety, and mine planning. It is hoped the new platform will hasten the industry’s digitalisation process.
As a major lubricant supplier, Shell is heavily engaged with the mining industry. Of the more than 350 mining companies with which it does business, Shell says four fifths are dealing with issues related to digitalisation and autonomous technology, such as remote control centres and self-driving trucks. These problems include developing actionable insights due to a lack of aggregate data, enhancing sustainability, creating better workflows in the face of partitioned organizational practices, and ensuring employee safety alongside the introduction of autonomous technology.
Shell Lubricants’ VP for Global Marketing, Carol Chen, said mining operations can profit from digital approaches developed in the energy sector when trying to efficiently and safely manage remote operations. She added:
“We envision Oren being the one-stop digital destination for the mining sector to access the best digital solutions and technologies, not just from Shell and IBM, but also from leading and emerging companies.”
With the new Oren platform, startups and established companies should be able to deliver their services more rapidly to mining operators, many of which lack the resources and time to develop digitalisation solutions from scratch, so they need built and proven solutions that can be quickly deployed, such as to aggregate data from multiple sources.