Smart Scheduling Tool

Partners involved

Partners involved in Task 5.1 areĀ BRUNEL, ICCS, LIBRA, and TAPO for Task 5.7. Moreover, the end users involved are TITANIA and KEMI for Task 5.7.

Objectives and outcomes

The main objective is to develop a smart scheduling tool for asset scheduling in a sustainable digital mine of the future. The tool is based on the ‘Phase-Wise, Constrained, Multi-Objective Optimization’ concept, which stems from mine operation practice. The target of the smart scheduling tool is to set the best strategy for operating the trucks and loaders by considering multiple goals that need to be achieved simultaneously. Three objectives have been applied, including (1) minimising the queuing time, (2) maximising the production, and (3) minimising the financial cost. Recently, the fourth objective, (4) minimising the risk of machine downtime, has been incorporated to extend the capabilities of the smart scheduling tool. While the goals may conflict, this tool will help mining operators plan their operation activities smoothly and efficiently.

A Smart Scheduling Tool within the Dig_IT Decision Support System (DSS) is developed to assist mining operators in deciding their mining operation strategy. The tool will provide a list of working sequences with time stamps to guide the mining operator in performing their shift operation. The tool is equipped with a customisation function, which allows the mine operator to adjust the operation parameters such as truck availability, speed, and shift selection. As a result, a graphical representation of the pre-trained set of solutions is sorted according to the competing objectives and displayed to help the mining operator make a quick decision.

The outcome of this task will incorporate real-time data exchange between Brunel (Data Model) and ICCS (Data Warehouse). The production and assets data from the mine are subscribed from the Data Warehouse (near real-time) and further improve the MOO solutions. Once a new set of solutions is available, it will be published to the Data Warehouse using MQTT and consequently updated to the smart scheduling tool hosted by the Decision Support System (LIBRA) Business Intelligence website.

What has been done in Task 5.1?

The Smart Scheduling Tool, which is part of the Dig_IT Intelligent layer, will:

  1. Perform the mining optimisation using the selected phase-based evolutionary algorithm that balances convergence and diversity among different phases.
  2. Suggest a set of optimal solutions that work best with the mining operation after analysing the phase-wise optimisation problem (POP).
  3. Apply the phased-based optimisation algorithms to optimise digital mines’ optimal management and operation in near real-time applications.

Software and tools used

“PlatEMO” software package, also known as an Evolutionary Multi-Objective Optimization Platform, has been used to find the optimal solution for a problem. PlatEMO provides a variety of algorithms for solving optimisation problems in a black-box manner. This software package belongs to BIMK Group and is Copywrite only for research and educational purposes. The set of solutions model output will be updated in the Decision Support System (DSS) via the MQTT protocol that has been established between the CPU and the Dig_IT Platform.