While we discussed last week best practices around selection of a wireless network monitoring solution for your mine, we didn’t get a chance to look at the impact the wrong solution can have on your network.
Access to your data in real-time is becoming increasingly critical. The more data you push over our networks, the more you need to apply the lessons of Smart IoT. Allowing a network monitoring solution, asset health solution, or just some remote “thing” you are pulling data from in your IoT strategy to utilize a majority of the bandwidth just isn’t acceptable, particularly if there is a smarter way to access that data while limiting the possibility of network disruption.
By definition, the connected mine requires connection to all your mobile and fixed devices at any one time. Monitoring of your wireless network to ensure its reliability and connection to all your devices is therefore paramount.
However, the unique environment in which miners operate, only allowing for a limited network bandwidth, combined with the criticality of the mining fleet applications quickly differentiate network monitoring solutions.
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.