Electrification of the transport sector and supply constraints are fuelling commodities demand for copper globally. The mining industry is looking at how to meet this demand in the most sustainable way. IntelliSense.io has developed artificial intelligence powered real time decision support optimisation software that improves efficiency of the mining value chain from mine to market. Support from Digital Catapult and the UK’s Department for International Trade has helped IntelliSense.io to win contracts in Kazakhstan and Chile, helping to build an export market for its innovative AI solutions.
IntelliSense.io wanted to help the mining industry become more efficient and sustainable by harnessing the power of AI
The mining industry is characterised by variability: the environment, rock and its properties are constantly changing. This variability increases costs and drags productivity down. If processes aren’t adapted quickly as variables change, energy and water can be wasted. Traditional operations technology cannot handle dynamic conditions, so IntelliSense.io is focused on using advanced digital technologies to create a platform that can predict varying conditions and is, therefore, far more responsive to change. With a specific interest in artificial intelligence (AI) IntelliSense.io wanted to explore how it could be used to develop an application to control thickeners, which are the machines that separate metal from waste rock using large amounts of water.
Optimising the control of thickeners would provide three key benefits:
- Less water would be needed to complete the process
- More water could be recycled resulting in less waste
- Less power would be consumed as less water would need to be pumped into the thickener
All these benefits lessen the environmental impact as well as having a business benefit.
With great opportunities in Kazakhstan and Chile IntelliSense.io needed access to compute power and expertise
Support from the Department for International Trade enabled IntelliSense.io to initiate a project in Chile and be successfully selected for a joint venture with the Government of Kazakhstan.
As geological data is a national asset in Kazakhstan, the IntelliSense.io platform needed a multi-cloud architecture so that it can be configured as a local platform and deployed with a local data centre partner to fulfil the requirements of the venture.
IntelliSense.io needed to analyse three years’ worth of data from six thickeners each measuring roughly 800 different metrics collected every minute. This represents a volume of data that would only be possible with a significant amount of compute power and specialist expertise. Its existing systems were taking too long to train the AI models.
Participating in Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage provided expertise, access to the AI ecosystem and essential compute power
IntelliSense.io applied to join Machine Intelligence Garage, Digital Catapult’s AI programme that helps businesses access the computation power and expertise they need to develop and build machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions.
As part of the Machine Intelligence Garage programme, IntelliSense.io received access to cloud compute resources on AWS, including the latest GPU technology for machine learning. Making use of this compute power enabled IntelliSense.io to develop and train larger models on huge data sets, something that would not have been possible without Digital Catapult. The ability to train models much more quickly, significantly decreased the time to market.
IntelliSense.io also tested the deployment of its entire platform on AWS and developed a highly interoperable and flexible system that can work across different hardware platforms. This interoperability was essential to fulfil its obligations to the joint venture with the government of Kazakhstan.
Participating in the Machine Intelligence Garage also helped IntelliSense.io to attract high calibre technical talent to join its team. New recruits were keen to work for an organisation with the compute power to develop cutting edge solutions.
IntelliSense.io delivers a world-first AI controlled thickener
As a result of its hard work and the support that it has received both from the Department for International Trade and Digital Catapult, IntelliSense.io has successfully created a world-first solution that ingests 800 variables each minute and uses AI to predict how thickeners will operate an hour in the future. This invaluable knowledge will make mining more efficient and sustainable, and provides optimum operating condition recommendations to maximise output
Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage helped IntelliSense.io grow its business and become more productive
Participating in Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage, IntelliSense.io has increased productivity, sped up its development time, approximately doubled headcount and expanded to three offices across the world. As a result of this support, the company has successfully developed an AI-enabled solution that will help grow the UK’s export market.
The company can only be successful if its data science and machine learning are productive. It is currently testing a framework that will allow it to automatically train models, a significant step to help it become even more productive which would not have been possible without Digital Catapult.
The Machine Intelligence Garage programme provided access to a broad network of market and technical expertise. It also provided access to wider business skills support, an invaluable resource for a small business that is not in a position to hire expensive business consultants.
Working with Digital Catapult has enabled IntelliSense.io to achieve all this without the need to raise finance, allowing the company founders to keep control of the business and focus on the long-term rather than needing to serve shareholders.
“Companies like IntelliSense.io are transforming the way we extract our valuable natural resources. In an industry characterised by unpredictability, promoting sustainable development in the UK mining industry is vital. Thanks to support from my department and through collaboration with Digital Catapult, the business has been able take the
first step in its exporting journey for its AI solutions, reaching markets such as Kazakhstan and Chile. The Department for International Trade will continue to support likeminded businesses through our Export Strategy as we look to drive exports as percentage of GDP to 35%.” – Dr Liam Fox MP, International Trade Secretary, Department for International Trade
Building an export market for UK AI solutions
Boosted productivity by allowing parallel training of models
Significantly enhanced the ability to train new models and therefore speed up the development of new products
Solved interoperability challenge to successfully deliver joint venture with Kazakhstan Government
Demonstrated its claims to be a cloud-agnostic platform
Approximately doubled headcount to 35 employees
Expanded to three offices across Latin America, Kazakhstan and Spain