Blog

Software Year in Review

Our continued commitment to delivering innovative solutions gathered pace in the 2020 Financial Year. In total, we completed 68 software releases with many enhancements that will help drive ongoing productivity improvements for our global customer base. We review some of our major new software developments for the year that was.

Major releases

The first half of 2020 saw the continued modernisation of our financial modelling software with the launch of XERAS 3.0. The release marked a significant re-architecture of the product which included an updated user experience, improved database technology and enhanced enterprise capabilities. We also released a new version of our dedicated asset lifecycle costing software—AMT— designed to complement SAP’s Intelligent Asset Management offering. AMT4SAP utilises standards-based integration with SAP to deliver a complimentary add-on that maximises value of the ERP system. AMT4SAP utilises more than 20 SAP connectors adding additional value to SAP work management, the SAP solution and processes.

Scheduling enhancements

We made further inroads to increase the sophistication and functionality of our industry-leading scheduling tools, XECUTE and XPAC Solutions. We upgraded the product optimiser functionality within our short-term scheduling solution, XECUTE, with the inclusion of advanced stockpiling and haulage capabilities. Other significant enhancements to XECUTE included increased frequency of planning and improved automated data gathering and reporting.

The financial year also included the much-anticipated release of XPAC Solutions 3.0. As the biggest change to our scheduling solutions since their introduction, XPAC Solutions 3.0 introduced a paradigm shift in the way users manage the different components required for a scheduling cycle. The new feature, called Workspaces, gives mine planners more capabilities than ever before.

Simulation developments

The past 12 months was another strong one for simulation solutions, with an additional customer in the space of Caterpillar. There were also a number of new features added to the software at the request of the OEM’s. These features improved our product offering in the simulation space and allowed for the release of TALPAC-3D. TALPAC-3D combines the industry trusted Truck and Loader Productivity and Cost calculation with a brand new approach, allowing users to work across 3D road networks.

Mobile expansion

With mobile compatible software increasingly becoming a key component of the digital mine, RPMGlobal’s mobile solutions continue to expand across the horizons. Financial analysis (via XERAS Enterprise), short-term mine planning collaboration (via XECUTE), short-term interval control management (MinVu Shift Manager) and maintenance work management and inspections (via AMT) are now all mobile applications. This ensures real-time data is provided directly in the hands of the decision-maker regardless of their location. It also enables remote teams to collaborate with rich, accurate data to amplify their decision-making capabilities.

Enterprise integration

By utilising technology like our leading Enterprise Planning Framework (EPF), we bring a true enterprise-level capability to our solution stack. Coupled with integration with other third-party software (SAP, FMS systems, etc.), we can integrate with most industry solutions.

We continued to leverage our EPF platform to integrate not only our own solutions, but with other vendors. XECUTE can now publish short-term shift level plans to fleet management systems for execution. We have also collaborated closely with Modular Mining to integrate with their latest ProVision product as well as Wenco Mining Systems Wencolite product.

Automated intelligent design

We have made a lot of exciting progress on our design features over the last 12 months. Our cutting-edge solutions automate the design function, allowing engineers to rapidly compare strategic design options. As one of the first to incorporate intelligent design, our Underground Metals Solution now has its initial adopters and is progressing really well. It is still the only product that integrates the complex tasks of stope and development optimisation into a single, coherent process.

The launch of our first Underground Coal Solution for bord-and-pillar operations is imminent, and our next release will incorporate intelligent design for longwall operations. 

Customer service and software support

Alongside major software development, we continue to prioritise superior customer service. The second half of the FY was not without its unique challenges and we remain focused on providing the highest level of technical and operational support to our global customer base. The launch of our dedicated User Community during the year provides an online platform for customer engagement, enabling our customers to easily interact and stay up-to-date with the latest software releases.

What’s in store for FY2021?

At RPMGlobal, we are passionate about providing truly innovative solutions that allow for real change in the mining industry. FY2021 will reflect this commitment to innovation with a number of exciting product announcements and software enhancements planned. Some of the game-changing industry firsts in development include a service-based approach to haulage calculation, known as Haulage as a Service (HaaS).