30-31 March 2021

New Horizons

Building the Recovery


Wednesday 31 March

With many other industries already embracing the digital revolution, now is the time for the mineral extractives sector to realize the full potential of digital and automation technologies. Whether it’s using drones, pioneering 5G machine-control technology or cloud-based remote monitoring systems, digitalization is changing the way people work in the quarrying industry. There is no doubt that new technological innovations such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can help aggregate producers deliver greater levels of business and operational efficiency, safer working practices and enhanced collaborative working.



Clearly, digitalization is no longer a choice, but an imperative.

Hillhead Digital will bring high-profile industry speakers and online delegates together remotely to learn about new technologies, share innovative ideas and begin to understand how digitalization and automation will transform the sector for decades to come.

Scroll down to see the full schedule.




Zoe Kleinman

The day will be hosted by Zoe Kleinman, a leading technology journalist and presenter with a passion for all things tech and 20 years of broadcasting experience.

From cybersecurity to artificial intelligence, Zoe makes tech news accessible to a mainstream audience of millions across national and international BBC Radio, TV and online outlets, including Radio 4’s Today programme, BBC World TV and the UK’s most-watched news shows.

Read more

Zoe Kleinman

Sessions include

  1. What was once just a vision is starting to become a reality – the ‘digital quarry’. Driving this transformation are technologies such as 5G, GPS, LiDAR, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Whether it is the evolution of fully autonomous trucks and loaders, the remote control and monitoring of on-site plant and equipment, or the use of drones for face and stockpile surveys, digitalization will continue to transform the way people work and the roles they play in the quarry.

  2. Session introduction by Zoe Kleinman
  3. Survey technology and techniques developed fairly slowly in the 20th century. The pace of evolution now is very rapid with the focus on rapid and increasingly automated data collection. Point cloud data from multiple sensors is becoming the norm and we are moving towards virtual reality in our presentation of this data. Remote sensing now extends well beyond simple measurement. The challenge now is how we manage this data to make our operations as efficient, economic and sustainable as possible. 
  4. With over 200 years of history in surveying Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, would like to share with the audience how the journey to autonomous plant is evolving. What are the first steps on this journey what does the future digitally-led construction site look like? How we put the data to work to provide autonomy on the job site. How we integrate the learning from the mining industry into a modern construction site. The importance of understanding big data, what does this mean to the people on the ground? How to demystify the future of the digital construction job site.   
  5. The presentation discusses the use case of how AI and autonomous remote-sensing camera devices can be used to generate near real-time 3D digital twins of a quarry face for drill and blast surveys. Further AI algorithm is used to generate an accurate drill plan and the data is transmitted to smart drills or autonomous robot-guided drill hole layouts wirelessly which enables GPS precise drilling. With AI-guided drilling, the measure while drilling (MWD) data is incorporated in machine learning models to execute the blast based on controlled explosives loading to achieve perfect fragmentation and desired tonnage.  
  6. Partnering with some of the world’s best and brightest technology companies, the development of Flexco Elevate was driven by real-world customer challenges – identifying their pain points to deliver a cutting-edge solution to solve real issues. Flexco Elevate belt cleaner monitoring lets operations remotely gather critical data and perform real-time analysis to boost efficiency, with intelligence that grows over time. Its predictive, data-driven engine lets customers move from traditional methods of monitoring cleaner performance to a new way that empowers operations for the future. 
  7. Connecting assets to the cloud is a first step in unlocking the insights hidden in big data. However, you determine its value. Machine Learning (ML) algorithms identify data anomalies within the vast amounts of generated data. By automating ML, these algorithms can easily scale to analyse and identify early failure patterns in data from critical assets. Automated Machine Learning (AML) uses AI algorithms to choose the best ML models for analysing different datasets and is continuously evaluating its own performance. AML enables SKF Enlight AI to offer a predictive maintenance solution that is simple to scale, deploy and act on.  
  8. Break / Explore the exhibition
    Break and browse the exhibition
  9. Advanced automation and control systems have already made huge inroads into the quarrying sector over the last two decades, but with ever-increasing growth in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud-based technology, machine connectivity and the remote management and monitoring of plant, machinery and processes, what will the next 20 years hold in store for industrial automation and control? Clearly, digitalization is no longer a choice, but an imperative.

  10. Session introduction by Zoe Kleinman
  11. Join the specialists from SITECH UK & Ireland and digital technology advocates - Mike Meldrum, WM Donald and Ben Johnson, North East Earthworks - as they discuss the evolving world of connected sites and the endless opportunities and benefits digitalisation brings. We’ll examine the facets of digitalisation – how it has and will shape the future, revolutionise field to finish solutions and provide the ability to manage, record, progress check and seamlessly run end-to-end solutions for customers. Making intelligence-led decisions second nature. With speed of delivery, efficiency gains, data capture and up-skilling across sites, technology isn’t replacing people, it’s empowering them to do more.  
  12. ‘Internet of Things’ solutions have been available in manufacturing for about a decade. However, the slow adoption of potentially game-changing technologies in sectors like materials processing is arguably due to the lack of a ‘win-win’ business model in which smart equipment suppliers show tangible added value for the plant and subsequently monetize it. In this presentation from Martin Engineering Robert Whetstone (vice president) and Valeria Zimenkova (head of sales and marketing) will share their journey towards adopting IoT solutions and creating a business model.
  13. Tamtron as a forerunner in weighing and weighing data management, has brought wholly a new ‘One Cloud’ into the market including: on-board scales with remote support and automatic updates, SaaS-based truck scale software compatible with all weighbridges, and One Cloud environment where you can connect all scales and integrate them with your ERP etc systems. 
  14. Digital technologies in the form of telematics has transformed the construction industry, enabling crushing and screening equipment owners to monitor work progress, manage logistics, access critical machine information, and perform remote operator support. Data is great, but value is created when data is transformed into information that can be used by businesses to optimise performance and mitigate downtime. Molson and Terex MP would like the opportunity to present on the T-Link telematics system, showing case studies of how telematics has improved their business and enhanced the customer experience with improved and measured parts and service delivery and customer support.   
  15. This paper will discuss the current trends and challenges around remote telemetry, control and monitoring for dewatering pumping applications in construction and mining, which include improving health and safety, reducing risk, supporting regulatory compliance, lower emissions and sustainability, and the operation of new Stage V engines. The paper will explore the benefits, with examples, of remote telemetry and control to improve asset utilisation, such as increasing uptime, and reducing costs through optimisation of servicing and maintenance. Future technologies and applications such as predictive maintenance, artificial intelligence will be highlighted and how they are beginning to transform the industrial pumping sector.  
  16. How do you maximise wash plant up time and performance? This session will look at the role technology can play in maximising the performance of wash plants, with a presentation on CDE CORE, a suite of smart technology solutions for wash plant owners. The presentation will show how technology can help owners and operators better understand their plant optimisation with real-time performance and utilisation data, along with highlighting the role tech can play in resource management and planning for maintenance and monitoring your operations activity.

  17. Break / Explore the exhibition
    Break and explore the exhibition
  18. The way quarry companies operate and do business away from the digging area is being transformed by digitalization. From automated, autonomous surveying and material calculation, pre-planning of drilling and blasting activities, to back-office developments and business software, enhanced technology is helping to deliver greater levels of operational and commercial efficiency. New customer relationship management (CRM) systems and the growing use of electronic proof-of-delivery (ePOD) systems both contribute to increased productivity and profitability throughout the supply chain.

  19. Session introduction by Zoe Kleinman
  20. In today’s ever-changing environment, customers want to work with companies that make transactions easy, efficient and hassle free. They expect to be able to access their account information at any time of day or night and they don’t want piles of paperwork. Learn about how Tarmac is meeting these requirements by going paperless with ePOD (electronic proof of delivery), providing 24/7 access to account data via their new ‘Connect’ customer portal and adopting a partnership approach to address the needs of particularly digitally conscious customers. 
  21. It is now possible to digitally measure, store, and analyse data throughout the entire drill and blast process, from surveying and design, to measuring the resulting blast performance. Use of drone photogrammetry surveys, cloud-based storage of digital blast specifications, applications to record infield drilling and explosives measurements and the ability to perform fragmentation analysis based on post blast drone surveys, allow for a fully digitized blasting process. This presentation will explore how a digital quarry, alongside mobile plant telematic systems, can make a significant impact on productivity, effectiveness, and safety – as well as cost savings of the blasting process.   
  22. There is still a significant potential of improvement for operational efficiency and performance within the industry. The production processes are at various stages of digitized maturity. Further potential is expected along the entire value chain from extraction through to the shipping logistics. Great development potential is still traceable via the cross-process step, comprehensive analysis and usage of data. And therefore, an end-to-end industrial IoT concept based on Siemens MindSphere could be the basis to generate value added for the industry with technologies for the digital twin of performance like AI, anomaly detection or machine learning.  
  23. Digitalization is changing the way people work in the quarrying industry and this digital revolution will see paper tickets become a thing of the past for operators. In this session PODFather, a leading industry supplier of earthworks electronic ticketing software, will take you through why now is the time to make the move to running a paperless operation and how electronic ticketing gives you full time visibility and real time accountability of what’s going on across your operation. It also speeds the flow of data through an organisation leading to better use of resources, faster invoicing, and better customer service. 

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