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Case Studies

IMDEX uses HINDSITE® to scale expertise globally for BLAST DOG™

Nathan Field
Head of Customer Marketing and Brand

This article is one of our favourites from around the web. We've included an excerpt below but do go and read the original!

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  • August 8, 2023
  • Case Studies

Gearing up for commercialisation

With an impressive 40-year legacy in the mining and exploration industry, IMDEX has continuously demonstrated innovation. The Brisbane-based Australian division of IMDEX has recently achieved a remarkable feat: developing an award-winning technology known as BLAST DOG™.

The innovation, created in collaboration with Universal Field Robots, is a semi-autonomous robotic machine that offers miners real-time, multi-parameter measurements. It delivers an accurate understanding of underground material characteristics, empowering miners to enhance blast outcomes through immediate data-driven decisions, which in turn augments the safety and precision of blasting.

IMDEX's BLAST DOG™ product has already received international acclaim.

Currently, the BLAST DOG™ product is undergoing its commercial prototype phase and has been successfully trialed in mines globally. As IMDEX gears up for its commercial debut, they are leveraging HINDSITE to amplify local expert knowledge using Guided Work Instructions for their frontline teams.

“As we progress and we get more BLAST DOG™s out there working, we’re going to need more and more people. We don't have capacity to train each of those people around the globe in person. So HINDSITE is going to play a massive role in assisting us with that”, remarks Adam Cooper, Mining Technology Operations Superintendent.

The product development team have worked for years on ensuring BLAST DOG™ is ready for mine sites.

Scaling expertise to match demand

Even before its full commercial release, BLAST DOG™ is already seeing rising demand from mines worldwide. But with IMDEX’s expansion plans comes the potential risk of a disconnect between the local Queensland team and global operators.

Brendon Lilly, IMDEX’s General Manager of Mining Products, foresaw this challenge. Recognising that the limited number of product experts would be a bottleneck in scaling BLAST DOG™ operations, he chose to retain experts locally while ensuring their expertise reaches global sites. The solution? HINDSITE.

Local expert knowledge is critical to the successful scaling of BLAST DOG™.

Thanks to the HINDSITE Visual Content Library, the know-how and best-practice advice of Brisbane's experts is centralised, enabling swift deployment of training and troubleshooting through HINDSITE Workflows.

Now, technicians handling BLAST DOG™s globally can access expertise instantly, either through content-rich Workflows or Remote Expert Assistance. This approach not only multiplies the work efficiency of each local expert but also gives operators a personalised support experience. This results in the time and value of experts being upheld, whilst frontline technicians get a 1:1 experience based on the task in front of them.

HINDSITE QR codes are scanned on the BLAST DOG™ unit to access best-practice content and workflows.

"With HINDSITE, you can watch a video of how tasks are done. You can have an operator walking you through, speaking to you about how to do the task, giving you tips on how to do the task. You can put subtitles on in different languages, so it's a much easier way of explaining a task than just having it on paper,” says Adam Cooper.

The accessibility of HINDSITE content, available by scanning a QR code on any part of BLAST DOG™, breaks down language barriers, supporting over 70 subtitle languages. Case in point: Australian technical experts can share English videos to assist the IMDEX Chilean team, who can view procedures with Spanish subtitles the very next day, eliminating time zone hassles and ensuring understanding in their native language.

Guided Work Instructions ensure high service quality

As BLAST DOG™ pioneers new blast practices, upholding an exemplary service quality is crucial. With HINDSITE's approach to guided bite-sized video content, a rich blend of knowledge, techniques, skills, and cultural insights is conveyed to new technicians from their first day.

The team at IMDEX in Brisbane, Australia demonstrate how to use the BLAST DOG™ simulation machine for training.

This video-based training, usable alongside hands-on machine work, equips new technicians to execute tasks with the proficiency of seasoned professionals.

According to the dual-coding theory proposed by Paivio (1971), humans process and retain visual information differently than textual information, suggesting that visual demonstrations can enhance understanding and memory retention. Adam Cooper agrees, noting, “The younger generation [of technicians] get a lot more value out of seeing something being done rather than having to read it.’

“Rather than make a phone call, read procedures, and get really bogged down in the situation, they can see a QR code, they’ll put their phone up and it’ll take them to the HINDSITE page for that particular problem.” he adds.

A range of operation and maintenance activities are captured on HINDSITE and made available to global teams to watch in the context of Workflows.

Collaborating with HINDSITE at this nascent phase of BLAST DOG™'s roll-out promises rapid expansion potential. “‘To think in five years how many BLAST DOG™s are going to be around the world is really exciting’, expresses Cooper.

“With new technology comes challenges; getting something from concept, into real life, and into the mine. We want to be part of the mine, part of business as usual.” says Adam Cooper.

HINDSITE is multiplying the effect of local experts to a global frontline.

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