The concept of hard coal mine in the perspective of Industry 4.0

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For the Polish economy, hard coal is the basic raw material for the production of electricity and heat, guaranteeing energy security. To ensure safe and effective work in underground mines, the most modern technical solutions are implemented. Innovative achievements of production automation are increasingly being used. Introduction of the Industry 4.0 concept elements is an opportunity for: improvement of coal exploitation processes, use of IT tools supporting decision-making processes and ensuring real-time process management. However, the specificity of the mining environment poses many barriers, for example limitations resulting from geology, extent and volume of excavations, device mobility and telecommunications. The article describes mining threats and limitations as well as the current technical condition of Polish mining. The latest trends in mining development are described in line with the ideas of the fourth industrial revolution. The main goal of the article is to analyze the feasibility of implementing Industry 4.0 concept solutions for underground mining. The analysis was performed with a tabular descriptive method, based on the conducted mining documentation, own observations, surveys and literature research. The indicated limitations and recommendations developed can serve as a guide to further scientific research and implementations in this area.

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