Stephen Beckwith

Port Product Delivery Optimisation

In the delivery of mining product to customers via port operations, significant value can be realised through a modest percentage improvement in efficiency. Port operators are challenged to investigate every opportunity to reduce cost of operations and control throughput of product to customers to generate best revenue. Optika Solutions has been investigating approaches to port product throughput optimisation via improved control of the 0 to 7 day scheduling window and further into the sub 48-hour window. We have been investigating what level of more complete port autonomy, management of assets and sensor technology is necessary to facilitate such tighter controls and gain more consistent value realisation, incorporating:

  • Commodity price forecasting;
  • Linking predicted commodity price to short-term scheduling;
  • Live ship tracking;
  • Weighted direct route optimisation; and
  • Route selections.

Port operations must consider daily challenges and variabilities hence our work has included consideration of:

  • New route sequence determined on equipment failure;
  • Ability to run large numbers of ‘What if’ Scenarios in near real time; and
  • Ease of use operators to interact with prescribed solutions or the choice to allow a prescribed schedule to run autonomously.

Our work indicates an opportunity to realised 5-8% uplift in revenue via these approaches to Port Operations.

Dr Stephen Beckwith BEng(Hons), PhD, GAICD

Chief Operating Officer, Optika Solutions

Stephen is the Chief Operating Officer at Optika Solutions, a software and product solutions development company based in West Perth. He was awarded a PhD in Electrical Engineering in 1996 while working in the Artificial Intelligence and Power Systems research group at UWA. He has over 30 years’ experience in the design, provision and operation of SCADA and automation systems in the water, satellite, mining and gas industries. He was a Senior Manager at the Western Australian Water Corporation, working there for 23 years. In 2008, while Operations Technology Manager and then Head of Operations Centre, he established and managed a Data Analytics team in the Operations Centre of Water Corporation. He was a Senior Project Manager at Motorola and a Control Systems Engineer at InmarSat and PCT Engineers and a Lecturer at the University of WA from 1992 – 1996.