Newly merged, the company is settling into its position at the forefront of innovation for the digital ecosystem
Metso and Outotec: as separate companies, both have been the go-to, comprehensive supplier of processing solutions for miners across the globe. Now combined, Metso Outotec's presence is larger and wider than ever, and its state of the art Performance Centers and the soon to be introduced new cutting-edge Metso Outotec Innovation Center facility for digital collaboration and ideation are bringing together efficiency and safety with unmatched technical advancements.
About the merger
Since July 2020, Metso and Outotec have been one and the same - combining two complementary product portfolios to offer more comprehensive solutions to customers worldwide.
According to Stephan Kirsch, President of the Minerals business area, the offering of the two legacy companies is very complementary. Whilst both legacy companies provided offerings for example in grinding and filtration, crushing and pump offerings were added from the Metso side, and flotation, thickening and process automation offerings came from the former Outotec.
"Now we offer complete solutions across the entire minerals processing and metals refining value chain. Our involvement in the overall process is even more comprehensive. Our customers can rely on one partner to deliver solutions," he said.
A digital transition: the beginning
The name and logo of Metso Outotec were not the only things to change in 2020. The combined company immediately took to its shared commitment to mining digitalisation and to the evolution of its own digital portfolio of technologies.
Prior to the merger, both Metso and Outotec had their own journeys in terms of digitalisation following similar paths of research and development to offer customers the best available solutions when it came to optimising their plants, processes and assets.
On its own, Metso had its own storied history of optimising processes for customers with Advanced Process Controls (APCs), reliability engineering and maintenance management programs and tools. From that effort grew the introduction of Metso Metrics in 2018, its predictive maintenance and conditioning monitoring platform utilising artificial intelligence and algorithms.
Early the following year, Metso expanded its capabilities with the acquisition of High Service Service (also known as A&CA) with a remote maintenance team providing worldwide operations with electrical specialised services as well as remote monitoring with the help of augmented reality tools for gearless mill drives.
In April 2020 came the company's Performance Centers. Starting with two locations, one in Santiago, Chile and one in Changsha, China, Metso launched its hub of remote services and performance offerings to the mining community no matter their location.
Meanwhile, Outotec was doing a significantly parallel work. As its future merger partner, Outotec concentrated on state of the art online mineral analytics, process control, optimisation and digital twins. It launched its operations support center in 2015 (now known as Performance Center Finland) to ramp up its connected services for operation and maintenance customers. It also unveiled its Asset Analytics platform and service in 2019.
Today, Metso Outotec have integrated Connected Analytics services with Metso Metrics and Asset Analytics and have three Metso Outotec Performance Centers in action.
"The goal of the Performance Centers is to use the insights from the remote data gathered at the customers sites and use it to complement the company's other offers such as their Life Cycle Services (LCS) agreements. By combining the data with technical expertise, benchmarking, and process optimisation under a long-term LCS service contract, the company can help customers to improve their overall productivity," explains Soledad Barbera, Director of the Metso Outotec Performance Center in Santiago.
The next step: Metso Outotec Innovation Center
The vision of Metso Outotec for its future is clear: to move more towards holistic services, customer partnerships and full plant optimisation capabilities by expanding its technology portfolio and expanding its footprint - both in networking capabilities and in concept.
Enter the company's next foray into the mining industry of tomorrow: Metso Outotec Innovation Center. The new game-changing lab for ideation and collaboration will add another element to the problem-solving equation: improving how customer challenges are solved by offering the unduplicatable expertise of its technical experts to anyone, anywhere, from the cutting-edge environment.
As designing mining processes and operating them is becoming more and more digital, the need for an environment in which to do that - and do it well - has become paramount. Add to that a demand for optimisation, efficiency and sustainability, and there is no better time for the Metso Outotec Innovation Center than now. The Metso Outotec Innovation Center brings together the whole comprehensive value chain and digitalises it from ore to metal.
If a site's processes need troubleshooting, a flowsheet update, or simply a review against operational goals, the historical response was to interface with the customer and have an exchange of ideas, which was largely done physically. With the addition of the Metso Outotec Innovation Center platform, this mission speeds up the innovation cycle and makes that collaboration possible in a space that is both physical and digital.
"Metso Outotec Innovation Center offers specific solutions for specific purposes," said Veli-Matti Järvinen, VP Automation and Digital Solutions PG, Minerals, from the Metso Outotec Innovation Center space in Espoo, Finland, which is now being commissioned for use with any customer across the globe. When online, the facility will have versatile capabilities to offer demonstrations digitally, host training and workshop sessions on a number of topics, demonstrate services and technologies, display three-dimensional digital twins in accurate form while protecting data and sensitive content securely. The Metso Outotec Innovation Center facility enables more holistic ideation, enhances collaboration and speeds up the innovation process as well as time-to-market.
"The space is designed to leave a memory mark on visitors, remotely and in person" Järvinen said of the facility, which also includes a small editorial for in-person classes.
"Metso Outotec Innovation Center is a new way to collaborate for success with our customers. Adding value to our customers processes, ensuring reliable processes, and safety for people - all are key. All of these targets we're setting - and which our customers are also setting to themselves - are either all or part of the overall vital sustainability criteria."