Volume 52 Issue 12
Rethinking the use of new technology to improve operational performance
, 2000, Vol. 52, No. 12, pp. 39-45
In an effort to improve the performance of their production operations, mining firms often consider the installation of new technology. This can take the form of improved operating equipment — essentially an extrapolation of currently used production technologies — or entirely new processes, methods or equipment. In either case, existing production performance is perceived as both suboptimal and essentially fixed. Incremental gains from existing practices are believed to either have been realized or to be insignificant in scale. New technology is seen as offering improved profitability, through decreases in cost or increases in production volume or product quality. In most of these cases, the new technology is designed to improve the production process rather than change the product. Frequently, the improvement includes the elimination of the human operator.
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