Hitting the Ground Running

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By Sean McClary,  3D-P’s Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Travelling is just part of the job, but this year has been intense.  As 3D-P’s global expansion takes us to more installations worldwide, we find ourselves country hopping most of the time. We are definitely in the hire mode and have experienced, but new support personnel, hitting the ground running almost on a weekly basis.  We will be increasing our sales and support staff by 20% to meet our astonishing growth.

We have new support and product managers in Canada and Australia, and are looking for others who are experienced in the technical-end of the mining space.  3D-P’s goal has always been to not just meet customer expectation, but to exceed expectations.

By Categories: Uncategorized

3D-P Expands to Meet Demands of Global Growth

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Sales and Support Workforce to Increase by 20% over the Next Few Months

3D-P, the leading resource for technologically-advanced onboard open-sourced computing platforms and wireless networks, announced today that they are ramping up personnel in key global locations.

“Rapid expansion as well as another significant global agreement with a major mining company is allowing us to increase our sales and support staff,” said Al Lehman, President and CEO of 3D-P. “As always, our motivation is to provide exceptional customer service, and increasing customer support staff will allow us to continue and exceed the service our customers have come to expect,” Lehman continues.  “3D-P’s phenomenal growth is running with projections for 2012, and as the industry grows, we are laying the groundwork for not only geographic but product expansion to meet the future needs of the mining industry.”

About 3D-P

Since 1996, 3D-P was brought customer-driven solutions and world-class technologies to mining and natural resource industries. 3D-P products increase productivity and decrease costs through the implementation of technology that is proven, reliable and cost effective.

3D-P’s team of experts includes Mining Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Telecommunications Engineers, Consultants and Software Engineers that have decades of experience developing advanced technology systems. They bring that experience to work every day solving mobile application and wireless network challenges. Visit online to learn more http://www.3D-P.com.

By Categories: Uncategorized

Our Customers Show Our Strength

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The problem with a great product that has next to zero maintenance and delivers steady, consistent service day-in and day-out is that you begin to take it for granted.  That is what happens to us sometimes.  We know our products are work horses that have virtually no competition, so we forget to toot our own horn. That’s why when we receive letters like these, we sometimes just file them away, but today, we want to say a BIG THANK YOU to our customers. We are proud to service you and look forward to a great future together.

Comments from Valued Customers:

Top 5 Global Mining company adds 3D-P, Inc – “We have added 3D-P to a list of Global Suppliers due in large part because of the flexibility that 3D-P provides to our mining operations with regards to wireless technology and the management of both the wireless technology and the applications looking to live on the network.

Prinicpal Advisor AssetsMine Monitoring and Control Technology and Innovation

“We contracted and consulted with 3D-P after an exhaustive 12 month search. We selected 3D-P because they took and active participation in not only understanding our current goals and objectives but at the same time designed a system that would cover any need we may have over the next 4-5 years. Providing us with technology that will always allow us to have “best of breed” at both the applications and wireless network layer were unmatched by any other vendor. We went live June 2, 2010 and have had superior up-time and reliability of the entire network. 3D-P appreciates that the key to co-operation between client and vendors is to troubleshoot and never point fingers and work together to look for solutions.”

Jesse Gage, Mining Manager, AngloGold Ashanti (Colorado) Corp.

By Categories: Uncategorized

3D-P Australia Honored with LAN-1 Motorola WNS & Cambium Networks Outstanding Channel Partner of the Year Award

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 Mal Jones, Manager of Australia Pacific Region accepts the award for 3D-P Calgary

LAN-1, value-added distributor of Motorola Wireless Network Solutions and Cambium Networks, awarded 3D-P Australia channel partner of 2011. The award recognizes the outstanding performance and overall excellence of 3D-P Australia.

“The award was given to our most valuable outdoor wireless partner in 2011, which is 3D-P Australia for their continued support and commitment with LAN-1. We are hoping this year to grow the business stronger, and that 3D-P Australia will win the award again,” said Justin Kumulia, Lan-1 Channel Account Manager.

“I am honored to accept the award, and look forward to a strong relationship with LAN-1 and Motorola in the years ahead,” commented Mal Jones. “3D-P focuses on customer-driven solutions and has been a leader in mining technology in Australia, as well across the globe.”

About 3D-P

3D-P was formed in 1996 with a goal of bringing world-class technologies to mining and the natural resource industry. The company’s products increase productivity and decrease costs through the implementation of technology that is proven, reliable and cost effective. The team of experts includes Mining Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Telecommunications Engineers, Consultants and Software Engineers that have decades of experience in the Natural Resource industry developing advanced technology systems. The company brings that experience to work every day solving mobile application and wireless network problems. Visit the new web site at www.3d-p.com. For technical solutions visit 3dpglobalmining.wordpress.com, and follow @3DPMining on Twitter.

By Categories: Mining Technology Solutions

3D-P Meets, Greets and Brings Mining Technology Solutions Globally

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Sean McClary, V.P. Global Sales & Marketing

These next few months are extremely busy for our sales team. As I write I am sitting in beautiful downtown Seattle at the SME Conference.  With me are Jerry Lott and Vivien Hui. After Seattle, I will head out to Perth, Australia for Mine Site Automation on March 1 & 2.  3D-P is lead sponsor of this thought-leadership conference.  3D-P’s AsiaPac Sales Manager, Mal Jones will be presenting:

 “Designing a future proof solution to manage and support what we know today and ensuring we can integrate tomorrows unknown.”

His talking points include:

• What is application management and network integration

• A snapshot of the current and future state mining application landscape

• The value in implementing an “Open Source” on-board computing and networking platform onto your mobile equipment.

• Minimizing technology creep in the cab while leveraging all the latest and best in class technologies

• Optimizing investment and maintaining flexibility of choice of production and safety improvement applications throughout the life of mine operation

As lead sponsor we will be hosting a happy hour after the first day of the conference.  We look forward to meeting and greeting all who are planning to attend.

From Perth, Mal Jones travels to Brisbane, Australia where he will be presenting a segment on automation for Mines at the Mine Site Automation in Brisbane on March 12-15.

Then in April, we will be attending CIM in Edmonton, Canada.

We hope to see old friends and make new acquaintances in our travels and presentations.

By Categories: Mining Technology Solutions

3D-P Launches Plans for Industry Expansion and Diversification

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Leader in Mining Technology Solutions set to expand into Oil/Gas, Railway and Seaports.

3D-P a leader in mining technology solutions launched a new website today purporting its intent to diversify the company’s industry focus. For well over a decade 3d-p, headquartered in Canada, has successfully deployed ruggedized networking and open computing platforms in mines across the globe and has established field offices in Australia, South America and the US.

“We’ve known from the beginning that our solutions would work extremely well in other industries. Our open source, “plug and play” technology is both needed and has been sought after by industries unrelated to mining for quite some time,” said Sean McClary, Vice President of Global Sales. “Our new facility and additional personnel provide ample infrastructure for aggressive growth. The time is right for us to begin the diversification.”

About 3D-P

3D-P was formed in 1996 with a goal of bringing world-class technologies to mining and the natural resource industry. The company’s products increase productivity and decrease costs through the implementation of technology that is proven, reliable and cost effective.

The team of experts includes Mining Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Telecommunications Engineers, Consultants and Software Engineers that have decades of experience in the Natural Resource industry developing advanced technology systems. The company brings that experience to work every day solving mobile application and wireless network problems. Visit the new web site at www.3d-p.com.

By Categories: Technology Solutions

Hire an expert. Get an SLA

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By Greg Bazar, Managing Director, 3D-P

Wouldn’t it be great if your Doctor could guarantee that you would be healthy 99.5% of the time? “Just eat an apple a day” he says. Too bad you consumed the extra cheeseburger instead! Too bad that your Doctor is always doing a post mortem on your health. You visit because you have a cold, your ears ache, you fell down. The point is that you are already broken. You would be much better off if you went to the gym once a week or just took the stairs at the office.

Your technology needs the same type of focus and attention.

The latest trends and best practices focus on proactive monitoring for better ROI. The success of a project may have everything to do with planning and implementation, but the long term return on investment is directly tied to maintenance and up-time.

In the world of technology almost every company implements a project with the best intentions. Returns have been carefully calculated, costs estimated and budgeted. The project gets implemented, signed off and then starts a slow decline until the next upgrade cycle. But it shouldn’t be that way.

Service Levels Save Money

Technology needs an SLA or a Service Level Agreement. It is the gym membership for your investment. It is the apple a day that can keep the system crash away.

Heavy equipment has regular proactive maintenance. More and more companies are turning to equipment vendors like Caterpillar to perform all service under a contract with guaranteed up-time. While there are certainly costs associated with vendor performed maintenance, the long term returns are clear. More up-time equates to more profit. So many costs are fixed that the extra 3% equipment availability falls right to the bottom line.

In the network and computer technology industry this ongoing proactive maintenance is called Managed Services. The vendor manages the service, performs the service and proactively makes sure the equipment in the field keeps working the way it was designed. Your staff IT guys are paid to fix things that are broken and really like their warm cozy offices. It is hard to get them into the field, get their boots on and fix that busted antenna on the dozer that is ripping overburden in the back 40. Your Managed Service provider however is incented not only to get that antenna fixed, but build a schedule of antenna replacement and proactive upkeep. After all, the contract rewards up-time, not office chair time.

An additional benefit of Managed Services is that the vendor has multiple customers. They can spread the cost of the Cisco engineers and wireless engineers and spectrum analyzers across multiple accounts, meaning that you get more expertise for less cost.  This of it this way: If you have a budget of $250k you can hire a couple guys and get a truck. They will take constant training and won’t have any of the tools pre-developed to make them successful. Everything starts out on the ground floor.

For the same money you can pay an army of experts to spend 10% of their time on your project. With their tools and systems they get more done in less time using better techniques. They are experts. They handle the ongoing training internally, the HR issues internally. All you see is contract guaranteed up-time.

The same concept works for fractional jet ownership. You really want a jet and can see how it will save you all kinds of time, but the pilots, the jet, the hangar really add up. And once you have them you spend extra just to justify keeping them. A fractional jet ownership however gives you access to planes anywhere in the world ready to go. Sure you pay a little more per hour, but the long term benefits are pretty stellar.

So, hire an expert, get an SLA and eat an apple!

By Categories: Technology Solutions

Network Design for Mining Technolgoy

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By Ron White, 3D-P Vice President of Technology


The Evolution of a Network

In real-world outdoor deployments of wireless networks, most infrastructure deployments begin with a network design covering primary areas of coverage, and allowing overlap to secondary areas. As the client’s coverage and throughput requirements mature beyond the initial scope of the network, network black spots and areas of weak throughput are typically found. New infrastructure is often deployed to cover these holes. These new infrastructure devices effectively increase the noise floor in the network coverage area. This increased noise floor reduces the fade margin to the point that the performance of individual client radios is reduced rather than increased, particularly in areas where distance to AP’s is great, or multiple AP’s are visible. This shows up as new coverage issues (fade margin has eroded to the point that signal strength is less than noise floor) and performance issues (fade margin is low enough that high data rates are no longer available).

Adding higher gain antenna’s and amplifiers on the clients, and the addition of even more infrastructure is typically the attempted solution for these problems. These solutions again increase the noise floor and actually cause additional coverage and performance issues, typically showing up in slightly different areas of the network. A vicious cycle has begun.

Solving the Coverage and Throughput Problem

The solution to this problem involves reducing the coverage areas of individual access points, and reducing the power on individual clients. These solutions are both quite the opposite of the typical solution. Individual coverage zones for each AP must be designed. Terrain, antenna selection, and output power should be utilized in the building of these coverage zones. Individual coverage zones should have an overlap at the edges of each zone, but should not completely overlap each other. This way a client traveling between the two zones will have a single AP which is the obvious choice for communication. When the unit leaves this coverage zone, there will be an overlapping zone where the device will be able to see both AP’s, and as it continues on it will switch to the new coverage zone. While working in one coverage zone, the noise from the others is reduced by the terrain, antenna, and power masking that is utilized to define the coverage zone. Utilizing this design, the units within the zone obtain good performance. Coverage is ensured through multiple coverage zones. It’s just important to ensure the size of the zone is designed and maintained, through the use of power, terrain, and antenna selection. If those zones are allowed to creep and overlap each other beyond the design, the network will soon be right back where it started, and that vicious cycle begins again.

By Categories: Technology Solutions

3D-P Upgrades Endpoint Manager Product Line, EPM v1.3

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By Ron White, 3D-P Vice President of Technology


3D‐P, a leading provider of technology products for the mining industry, is pleased to announce the latest upgrade to the companies Endpoint Manager Product Line, EPM v1.3.

Endpoint Manager allows customers to configure the powerful networking and integration tools included on the Intelligent Endpoint product line from a web based GUI. Endpoint Manager 1.3 includes a new, more powerful network configuration feature which makes it
possible to configure bridges and VLAN’s on the Intelligent Endpoints without opening a terminal and manually editing configurations.

EPM 1.3 also includes the ability to configure some of the latest Intelligent Endpoint integrations, such as controlling the
Digital IO features and HDD Downloads directly from EPM, as well as the ability to configure the latest additions to the 3D-P Intelligent Endpoint product line such as the 802.11n capable e55 and dual radio e57, etc. EPM 1.3 is an upgrade to the Endpoint Manager product line, and as such, existing EPM customers on a 3D-P Support Agreement will receive the upgrade at no cost.

Along with EPM 1.3 3D-P is releasing a new version of firmware on their Intelligent Endpoint products. This version 110715 firmware is available for all 3D-P Intelligent Endpoints, and is required for interoperability with EPM 1.3.

Customers who are using the current 3D-P product line (e30, e55, e56, etc.) and upgrade to version 110715 will also find the new EPMOnboard feature of this firmware extremely useful. EPMOnboard allows the customer to configure the basic networking functions of the Intelligent Endpoint directly from a web page on the Intelligent Endpoint itself. This makes it very easy to get a new Intelligent Endpoint up and talking on the network. EPMOnboard also includes diagnostic information about the Endpoint, making it even
easier to maintain your 3D-P Intelligent Endpoint. EPMOnboard is even available to customers of legacy 3D-P equipment such as the e50 product line for a small charge.

The upgrade to the 110715 firmware requires an over the air patch, and in some cases, some re-configuration of the Intelligent Endpoint after upgrade. It is highly recommended that 3D-P support personnel be utilized onsite for this upgrade to ensure minimal
downtime and maximum availability of your critical networking equipment.

For more information on these upgrades, please contact your 3D-P Account Manager, Service Representative, or any of our helpful staff at 1-800-955-93DP (9337).

By Categories: Technology Solutions

The significance of downstream processes to support new technologies

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Author: Vivien Hui, 3D-P Mining

In recent years there has been a boom of new technology both for on-site and office applications. Often times everyone gets gung-ho about bringing in and implementing new technologies and/or techniques, with the hopes of creating a more efficient and effective operation. Unfortunately after the technology is bought and paid for and introduced with great fanfare it is too often left to wither away unused or misused. This phenomenon could be attributed to everyone going 90 in a 45with mineral prices soaring (again), trying to do more with less, high employee turnover rates prompting a culture of short term, or a variety of other reasons. Whatever the reason is  there seems to be an overall lack of attention, structure, governance and/or training that needs to be put into place for the downstream process  to facilitate the change that is about to take place at the operation and the other process changes that should take place as a result of the new technologies introduced.Technologies could include a new in-pit wireless network, fleet management system, drill guidance solutions, semi-autonomous or fully autonomous mining, real time condition monitoring and more.

How many projects do you know of, whether it was a corporate or site initiative, that have failed because nobody used the technology available? Or nobody was trained to use it? Or nobody knew about it?

For example: Your mine is planning to install a tool for real time condition monitoring on their truck fleet, the fancy new network will allow you to see the sensor’s information with milliseconds of delay; but how would you make sure that the implementation grabs hold and becomes a part of the operating culture? First and foremost, you need a project champion that has support from upper management to drive the project. Before you even start installing the first hub make sure to involve any and all stakeholders for their input. Then you will need to have the procedures written and personnel trained to accept the inflow of information that will be coming and coordinate between mine ops and mine maintenance to handle this information. Changes in management (I like to call it transition handling) also plays a significant  role but I will save that topic for another soap box session.

If I told you your right-hand exhaust and left-hand exhaust have a 20% differential in temperature but you have no procedure to either: down the truck for an inspection,  send a mechanic out during shift change,  save it for the backlog, or identify that it is a faulty sensor, then how are you justifying your million dollar implementation? All this process development, implementation, salary for a champion and training may cost you in the tens or hundreds of thousands, but last I checked – a rebuild on a 60L engine was about 250K, –  not to mention the downtime costs of about $1000/hour in truck revenue.

It’s often the simple philosophies that we forget. Put a process in place that addresses the new system and have the properly trained people to support it before you go live. Remember: On-Board Systems –> Data –> Software & Applications –> Reports –> Action

The Action that takes place at the mine ops/maintenance level due to the new information is how you payback the cost of the systems to start with. Don’t forget what you built your decision upon in the beginning. I would also recommend setting a baseline KPI  or two prior to implementing these technologies, whether is cost/ton or cost/hour, and checking periodically on what the system is achieving for you.

By Categories: Technology Solutions