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Rob Daw, Chief Innovation Officer, Hexagon’s Mining division, Discusses Digital Reality Solutions, Helping Mines to Autonomously Connect, by Integrating Critical Workflows, Ensuring a Scalable, Sustainable Future

on 4/29/2022
We spoke with Rob Daw, who is Chief Innovation Officer of Hexagon’s Mining division, a global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software, and autonomous technologies, to help mines to autonomously connect, by integrating critical workflows and ensuring a scalable, sustainable future. Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) is putting data to work, to boost efficiency, productivity, quality, and safety, across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, public sector, and mobility applications. Hexagon employs approximately 22,000 people, in 50 countries and posts net sales of approximately 5.1bn USD. Hexagon’s Mining division solves surface and underground mine challenges, with proven technologies for planning, operations, and safety. Vale, Rio Tinto, and BHP are among Hexagon's clients.

Rob Daw, Chief Innovation Officer of Hexagon’s Mining division.

Hexagon won Mining Magazine’s 2021 Fleet and Equipment Award, for its autonomous mission management system.

Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor-in-Chief of Metals News, talking with Rob Daw, who is Chief Innovation Officer of Hexagon’s Mining division. Rob, could you give us an overview of your Company and talk about the services that you provide to mining?

Robert Daw: Do you want me to go in at the Hexagon AB level? Or would you like me just to focus in on the mining division specifically?

Dr. Allen Alper: I would say the mining division, specifically. The people who read our articles are primarily geologists and engineers, who work for mining companies. We interview over 150 mining executives every year, and we've been doing it for 20 years.

Robert Daw: Hexagon is a digital reality specialist, leveraging software sensors to create solutions, to enable all sorts of industries, around the world, to get a better handle on what they're trying to achieve, to be more efficient, to be safer and more reliable. What we're able to do, within the mining division, is take that same philosophy and execute against the different strategies that our clients have. We have offices, all around the world, to help service our clients.

What we focus on, in the mining division, is everything from the exploration and planning operations, safety, through to autonomy and analytics. We provide solutions for our different clients, around the world, in those different spaces, as well as geotechnical monitoring. What we've done recently, is we've started to bring these different types of technologies together and to create the power of one. It’s a platform for us to be able to leverage all of these solutions and data that's generated, to provide better insights into the mining industry.


50+ years of solving design and scheduling challenges.


At work in 125+ sites globally, by more than 33,000 miners.


A holistic safety solution protects 40,000 vehicles and drivers.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent. Could you elaborate and give us examples of how you aid mining companies?

Robert Daw: I think there are a number of different opportunities, where we work with clients around the world. Within the mine planning space, we've done a lot of work leveraging strategic solutions and short-term tactical solutions. We've started to work, with several clients now, in how we use traditional mine planning tools, to be able to address some of the common topics that we have, in the mining industry today. So, things like ESG, how do we actually plan for that? How do we track that? I think once we start to look at how we can optimize our mines. We've always been very focused on tons and grade and how we move that most efficiently. Now we're starting to look at how we use that to be able to forecast and track carbon. And how we address ESG and these sorts of things, in the mining industry, so that we can schedule for it. Once we actually track it and understand it, then we can improve it. I think that's the one area that we're doing a lot of work on, with our clients.

Obviously, that feeds into fleet management. And how we use our fleet management systems, using optimization engines to be able to optimize the equipment to reduce those carbon footprints, to be able to get more efficiencies, with our safety solutions as well, which we've just released this week, our CAS 10 Solution. And that's really enabling us to level seven, level eight, level nine solutions to make sure we protect our people and our assets, out in the field.

We work with a lot of the major mines, all types of mines around the world, to be able to make sure that we do protect those assets and bring people home every night. That then also becomes part of our sensor ecosystem. So, leveraging the GPS and other sensors, in that particular unit, for things like fleet management and fatigue and a few other areas that we provide to the industry as well.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds very good. Could you give our readers/investors a few examples of some of the Companies, for which you have worked and have served?

Robert Daw: Yeah, I think all the major Tier 1, Tier 2, into Tier 3 mining companies leverage some form of Hexagon technology, across the board. You can go through and talk about the Vale’s, Rio's, the BHP, the Teck, FMI, these sorts of companies, all leveraging either one part of our solution stack. We’re starting to get several clients now, with the messaging around Power of One. We're delivering that ecosystem of software and sensors, which is becoming really attractive to a lot of mines around the world now, to be able to partner with Hexagon on a more holistic level and so we're starting to see a big uptake in that as well.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds very good! Could you tell our readers/investors and mining engineers and explorers a little bit about your background and your Team?

Robert Daw: I started out in the mining industry, in the early 2000s, in the Goldfields in Western Australia, doing some surveying work out there. Then working underground operations and Southern Cross, I got some international exposure in the Philippines, in West Africa, moving up into the mine management aspect and technical services. I actually founded a company that was eventually acquired by Hexagon and then continued, with the Hexagon brand, since 2017, working on strategy vision for the group.

Across the board of Hexagon’s Mining division, we have people, with industry experience for 20-plus years, all the way down to graduates and bringing people in, as soon as we can, through graduate programs, to get exposure to different aspects of mining and mining technology. We have geologists, engineers, surveyors, over different technical services. People that help support, as well as people who can help fit the equipment and the hardware, so auto, electricians, field techs, these sorts of people, who are able to go out and work and assist, with our different clients around the world. They are able to install some of these solutions and create the value out of these solutions, with our clients and work with those clients on that front.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sound very good. Rob, could you tell our engineers and geologists some of the reasons they should consider working with Hexagon.

Robert Daw: Apart from the traditional toolset that we have, within the mine planning space, where we have geological modeling capabilities all the way through to pit design tools and our short-term and strategic planning tool sets - over and above that, we're trying to create that ecosystem, for the operation to be able to measure and do better. We look at how to share our data better, across the mine site. How to leverage the information that's contained in the block model, not just in the mine planning space, but how do we use that in analytics or in fleet management? How do we tie all of these different data sets and systems together, to create an ecosystem for the operation to be able to improve?

Our focus has been working heavily, with our clients, to understand what those connection points are. And then how do we actually deliver solutions, better and faster for our clients and for the engineers and geologists out there? One of the primary things that we can look at, is our SME, which was based on feedback from our clients and how we capture our data better, out in the field and get the information back sooner?

We've just released GeoSlate, and that is a tablet-based application that enables geologists to log holes, out in the field, and get that information validated, streamlined and back to the office faster, so that we can get the modeling process and that loop happening a lot quicker. Those are the innovations that we continue to work on and also focusing on the core of our technology, which is around how we make it easier to use better performance and ultimately a better result for our clients.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that sounds excellent. Rob, is there anything else you'd like to add?

Robert Daw: You've heard a little bit about what the different technologies are. A couple of other things that have happened, at the start of the year, we brought Minnovare into the Team. So, we're really excited, on that front, to be able to broaden our underground capabilities. We see that as a critical move in the industry, as mines and ore bodies are getting harder to access. We want to continue to look at how we can expand and help our clients in that area. It’s been a fantastic opportunity to work, with that group of people and bring them into the Hexagon family, to be able to accelerate some of those solutions that we want to provide.

We also announced this week, the Phoenix Drill Group, being able to come into the Hexagon side of things and how we can continue to add, and advance, the autonomous solutions in the drilling space. So, we’re looking forward to working with that group, to be able to accelerate that. We have MRL on the autonomous, road train, platooning solution, where we are taking the prime movers, with a number of trailers and looking at how we can automate those solutions. We are creating unique opportunities, to access geographically remote and disperse ore bodies that we've never been able to access, because of infrastructure, or capital to set up that infrastructure.

There are some of the different technologies, some of the different solutions that we're looking at and working on with clients, to be able to deliver in the industry, to add value, and ultimately be able to change the game, in terms of the mining industry, and leverage that technology to be able to accelerate some of these types of industry solutions.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that sounds excellent! We’ll publish your press releases as they come out so our readers/investors can follow your progress.

For more information, please contact:
Neville Judd, Communications Director,
Hexagon’s Mining division,
604 505 6154,

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