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Autonomous Haulage Systems are raising the stakes for reliable wireless infrastructure. These systems represent a step change in the criticality of your wireless network and the spectrum they run on. Any gaps in coverage or issues with latency, jitter, or dropped packets can bring the haul trucks to a stand still causing substantial production losses. As more and more critical systems rely on excellent connectivity, understanding the importance and impact of a reliable and robust wireless infrastructure, and proper spectrum management, is critical to ensuring effective realization of the ROI these application can provide. Is your wireless network up to the challenge?

Which direction to follow when it comes to the performance of your mining operations

Don’t just monitor your network. Assess it as your heavy equipment sees it.

So you have deployed a wireless network that meets the wireless requirements for autonomy, how do you ensure its performance overtime? You will likely deploy a network monitoring tool of some sorts.

But will that be enough to proactively ensure your network won’t let you down? What should matter most to you is ensuring the reliable connection between each of your autonomous heavy equipment and your wireless network consistently as the equipment travels through the mine. Autonomy won’t allow for a missing coverage spot.

Imagine now you could monitor the performance of your wireless network as your mobile equipment sees it travelling through the mine. Your data would be collected directly on the mobile equipment providing a true representation of each mobile client’s experience on the network. The collected data would be geo- and time-referenced. This level of information would not only show you where the network is under-performing but also provides you with so much more contextual information that you would be able to troubleshoot and proactively manage the performance of your wireless network, preventing any downtime and corresponding production loss.

At 3D-P, we call this solution NPAT (Network Performance Monitoring Toolkits).

Prepare for autonomy.

Deploying an autonomous fleet has a significant cost. Add the design and implementation of an extremely reliable wireless network on top of it and the cost becomes intimidating. But if you start planning your technology roadmap ahead, you can not only reduce the implementation cost but also the impact it will have on your production.

In a case study we recently published, we showed how we were able to help a customer upgrade their network from MOTOMESH Solo to Rajant Instamesh® with minimal impact on production while providing high bandwidth for additional applications, and self forming and self healing capabilities.

The solution started as early as deployment of the previous network when a dual MOTOMESH/Wi-Fi radio option was selected to be installed on board most of the mine’s heavy equipment. When time came to upgrade the MOTOMESH Solo network, 3D-P and the customer agreed on taking a staged-approach with implementation of a hybrid network until all infrastructure and equipment had been fully transitioned to the new technology.

The benefits of this approach, applicable to most mines, are numerous:
– Lower CAPEX for the new wireless network
– Minimal to no impact on production
– Improved installation resource management
– Re-use of previous infrastructure

If you want to get autonomy ready or find a partner that will help you plan your wireless network upgrade, contact us.

By Categories: Autonomy, Surface Mining, Wireless Technology