First Version of the Reference Architecture for the Digitization of Mining Sites

The project has completed the first version of the its reference architecture for the digital transformation of mining sites. The reference architecture has been developed considering:

  1. Standards-based industrial architectures such as the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA) of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) 
  2. Architectures for the Digitalization of Mining sites proposed by industrial services vendors like CISCO and Rockwell
  3. Industrial architectures introduced by prominent EU funded projects like FIWARE and Arrowhead

The specification of the Reference Architecture has derived from the analysis of Mining Operations (e.g., exploration, extraction, mineral processing and waste management) and supply chain management operations, as well as from their alignment with digital technologies for mining processes. INNOV-ACTS had a leading role in the specification of the Reference Architecture. The architecture will be updated and enhanced based on feedback from field deployment and operations in the mining sites of the consortium.

One of the Project major goal is to design a framework for the development of digitally enabled mining solutions. At this end, Innov-acts team played a key role in developing the Reference Architecture, providing the structuring principles to integrate different technological solutions in end-to-end mining application.

The proposed Reference Architecture leveraged the top-down and bottom-up approach, and the 4+1 views Methodology. The latter provides multiple architectural perspectives to ensure comprehensive software design. Therefore, the logical view of Architecture was designed, providing a layered structure of all the components.

Initially, the top-down refinement took into consideration the relevant Architectures of similar EU projects (FIWARE, Arrowhead) and the industry standards-based Reference Architectures (IIRA, RAMI, Rockwell). These resulted in the design of the Reference Architecture, including core industrial functionalities and networking infrastructure. Furthermore, the bottom-up synthesis approach has considered and analyzed the requirements of the Use Cases, as well as the deployment needs of the technologies. The specification of the Reference Architecture has derived from the analysis of the Mining Operations (e.g., exploration, extraction, mineral processing and waste management), the Support Activities (e.g., predictive maintenance, smart sorting, SROI, etc.), the Supply Chain Operations (supply demand matching, production optimization, performance forecasting, etc.), as well as the supplementary mining and non-mining relevant technology solutions.

Eventually, this dual approach converged to establish the High-Level Reference Architecture, largely applicable to the digital transformation of the Mining Industry. Consequently, the Use Case’s Architecture has been drawn, showcasing its detailed features, and following the overall approach of the HLRA.

The specification of the article is included in deliverable D2.2 that is accessible here.

You might be interested in …