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short-interval-control

NextGEN: Collaborative Planning through Short-Interval Control  

March 28, 2022

New Short-Interval Control (SIC) software in use at the Integrated Operations Center at our FishHawk Office in Florida displays real or near-time data from various operational systems on easy-to-read dashboards. Coordinators review these dashboards (including one for the weekly schedule shown above) regularly throughout their shift to check progress, look at future activities and stay in front of potential roadblocks that may arise. 

One official definition of Short-Interval Control (SIC) is “a structured process for identifying and acting on opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of production.” To those involved in implementing SIC in our North America Business, it’s about enabling our employees to take a collaborative approach to planning and executing our operations.   

SIC allows us to correct course quickly when needed – which leads to reduced risks for our people and equipment and more reliable, efficient operations.   

Real or near-time data from various operational systems is displayed on easy-to-read dashboards in our Integrated Operation Centers (IOC) at our FishHawk office in Florida and Esterhazy potash mine in Saskatchewan, Canada. Employees can then use this information to understand how our operations are performing at any given time and what is driving those results, then create actionable plans to help us stay on track.  

Software has been selected to support implementation of SIC in our Florida phosphate mining operations, and training is underway for Logistics Coordinators in our FishHawk IOC. “We’re using feedback from our IOC employees and others to optimize the software and gain maximum benefit from its capabilities,” says Chelsea Kucharsky, Sr. Manager, Operations – Mining West. “It will ultimately serve as a tool to take our planning process from life of mine all the way to the day of execution and allow us to plan out pit moves, repair days and area moves.”  

In Canada, the Esterhazy team is working on process mapping to define the scope of SIC for the entire Esterhazy site and how each individual area – K1, K2 and K3 – contribute to and benefit from the SIC process. “SIC is not just new software or a new computer program – it’s a process for managing day-to-day operations in our Integrated Operations Center,” explains David Steiger, Sr. Mine Manager – Esterhazy. “Just like integrated operations is not just a building or a room, but a change in our overall operating philosophy.”