We are asked nearly every day, ‘so what about LTE? Do you have it, how much is it and can we get some?’
I reply, yes we do, but do you know why you are asking for it? Stunned silence, blank look, blink-blink, err… well it’s the latest wireless technology and it does everything!!
I’m being cheeky here. There is an awful lot of hype and excitement about the use of LTE wireless in mining today, and indeed, there are many valid business cases for it but it may not be the answer for everyone and indeed, it may not even be possible where your mine operates or practical for the size of your operation.
We live in a wireless world. Technology is constantly evolving. New and improved connectivity is always right around the corner. Appropriately, every application vendor seems to have a wireless technology that they recommend for their application.
How do you determine if that technology best suits you and your business requirements today and tomorrow? Is that technology the best technology for you? Or is it the best technology for that application vendor and their business needs?
Asset Health, IoT, Fleet Management, Productivity Monitoring, High Precision GPS, Safety, Security, Asset Tracking, Communication, Connectivity. There’s a lot happening on your wireless network. It seems the request for more data and more access is nearly non-stop.
How do you scale your network to handle this constant increase in scope?
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?
We all have been through this, looking for direction. No matter if it’s driving the family to a new vacation destination or utilizing technology in mine operations to improve efficiency and safety. It’s all the same, we are looking for direction.
While it’s often a desire, there is rarely one technology that fits all. And wireless technology is no different in this context. Selection of the right wireless technology to meet the demands and scale of your environment, applications and data requirements really need to be considered before one starts looking at technology for your business.
This is a process that we typically break into 3 stages. The first stage, the discovery process, covers 3 main specific aspects about your business.
So you want to build a wireless network to support your industrial applications? Easy, right? Just get a nice high powered Access Point, shove it up high in the air, and make sure you cover as much of your desired coverage area as you can.
There you go, job done! Actually, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) allows businesses to create value by adding intelligence to objects and connecting them to a system that proactively monitors, analyzes and produces valuable outcome.
Since your mine relies on real-time access to production and asset-health data, the reliability of your mine’s wireless network is critical. And wireless networking in the mining environment presents a unique set of challenges.
With the low hanging fruit gone, collaboration is becoming essential to achieve the next wave of productivity improvement. Microsoft, 3D-P and Snowden have recently started a pragmatic and innovative technology collaboration dedicated to address the common Internet of Things (IoT) challenges faced by the mining industry.