The thought of upgrading your in-pit wireless network can be a bit daunting and nerve-wracking. Are you going to have to suffer through a fork-lift upgrade? What kind of downtime will be associated? Will that downtime be network wide, or only on a few items at a time?
A little planning, and the right technology choices can take all the fear and concern out of this significant event.
No matter the size of your operations, digitalization has become a requirement for any mine aiming at remaining competitive. The digital transformation process does however vary from mine to mine, and is influenced by a large number of factors including financial, environmental, operational and safety.
Autonomy can be seen as the ultimate level of a Digital Mine, where safety is increased and production is optimized. When the downtime cost of your equipment exceeds US$10,000/hour/fleet, success of the autonomous mine relies on successful deployment and ongoing management of your wireless network.
Between recent volatility of commodity prices and an increasingly competitive environment, real time visibility into mining operations through implementation of a ‘digital mine’ has become paramount. Almost every facet of mining operations has the ability to be digitally transformed, and the opportunity over the next decade is massive with almost all of the benefits tied to driving down cost per ton.
What some may forget however is that access to this data relies first and foremost on a reliable wireless network that has the ability to adapt as the mining operation changes, and supports the increasing amount of data required.
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?
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.