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The Challenge

An open-pit coal mining operation in Latin America containing many pits with varying coal quality over time needed to optimise a product portfolio across a long-term planning horizon of 10 years. The operation involved washing of a fixed proportion of material placed onto ROM stockpiles and crushing activities. Exported coal is transported to the port via railway and the operation has an annual production capacity of over 31 million tonnes. The product portfolio consisted of many products based on fixed CV ranges. The operation presented a challenge for optimisation because the highly constrained complex blending problem presented minimal flexibility in delivery of alternative products or adjusting quality specifications. Additionally, product portfolio mix had to align with the frequency distribution of the grade of mined coal.

The Solution

Using BlendOpt the client modelled numerous stockpiles, blending decisions and product portfolio distributions over many years. For our client's subject matter expert, this manual process was very time consuming and prone to mistakes, despite their intimate knowledge of the operation. BlendOpt was utilised by the operation as a value chain solver for integrated operations by optimising the blending decisions while satisfying the product distribution and operational constraints.

The Value Unlocked for our Client

With BlendOpt our client tested multiple "What If" conditions to ensure robust planning of different product portfolios, in order to discover an optimal plan for their long-term planning problem. BlendOpt's user friendly UI and data validation ensured provided transparency and confidence in the generated result. Our client reduced the time taken in planning activities by an order of magnitude, allowing users to spend more of their time on critical tasks such as day to day operations. The data-integration and reporting functionality of BlendOpt also allowed the operation to utilise BlendOpt as a single point of truth for discussion with other stakeholders within the organisation.

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Make high-quality decisions

BlendOpt value-chain optimisation platform

  • Does your product portfolio represent the value that can be delivered to market?

  • Do you find your current short, medium, and long term planning could be more effective?

  • Do you spend too much time reconciling actuals with forecasts?

  • Do your planning and scheduling tools support multi-disciplinary coordination?

  • Do your planning activities allow you to analyse opportunities and implement changes that unlock additional value?

  • Do your scheduling activities allow you to co-ordinate and synchronise up and downstream?

  • Does your business have the best tools to synchronise planning processes with operations?

  • Are you able to effectively reconcile short term plans with the long term?

  • Do your planning activities allow you to de-risk operational bottlenecks and capacity constraints?

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What can BlendOpt do for you?

  • Automatically explore thousands of scenarios.

  • Generate forecasts and measure their value based on tonnage, revenue, cost reduction.

  • Digital Twin your operation and optimise schedules and plans based on a multitude of constraints and objectives, and formulas.

  • Optimise for any defined objective.

  • Satisfy all of your hard constraints.

  • Prescriptive actionable analytics and understandable plans that make sense.

  • replace your spreadsheet planning and scheduling with a web-based multi-user application with configurable dashboards.