Deployment of an out-of-the-box fleet management or asset health solution is not always an option for smaller operators. Add the cost of the application to the cost of deploying a full scale wireless network and many are unable to justify the ROI on their project, and remain stuck in the manual collection of their data.
The applications traditionally have requirements for relatively high cost hardware and software, as well as a network requirement for full coverage throughout the site. That doesn’t make it the only solution.
Cost and coverage: Challenges of the smaller operations
Access to digital production and asset health data can be game changing. The costs of accessing that data, whether the cost of traditional Fleet Management Systems, or the full site coverage networks required to support them, can however be daunting.
Traditional alternatives, even the proven pencil and voice radio solution, may seem the only available solution.
Facilitating access to your data through a complete near real time solution
The good news is technology is continuously evolving. Along with it come opportunities for reduction of dependency on individual hardware packages for each on-board application, and in some cases, reducing the need for 100% network connectivity.
As an example, 3D-P’s Intelligent Endpoint (IEP) is more than a rugged radio. It can not only provide connectivity to an available network, but can operate as a data-logger, capturing all the required on-board production and health data. When coverage from a mine-wide network isn’t available, the IEP can store that data for later delivery.
That delivery can occur as soon as the device is back in coverage, or as in the case of shovels and other equipment that may not travel back and forth between coverage hotspots, the data can be automatically passed to a more mobile peer, such as a haul truck or supervisor vehicle that travels back and forth frequently between coverage areas.
That shovel data is then delivered to the office the next time the truck comes back into coverage. The solution not only reduces hardware clutter and costs on-board, and the cost of extensive network infrastructure, but allows operators to begin utilizing on-board data in a cost effective manner, while providing scalability to more real-time solutions as requirements grow.
A solution that grows with you
The biggest advantage to starting with this type of deployment is that scaling up from this point is easy and can be accomplished as budget or requirements dictate. The model reduces your mine’s barrier to entry to technology, you can get a lot from a little at the start and enhance your network as time goes on. Adding nodes and coverage areas becomes a simple task that on site resources can accomplish.
This also allows you to add additional features to your network down the road as well; supervisor remote access, device monitoring (pumps, wells, generators, battery backup systems, etc.), camera systems, driver alertness systems, tire pressure monitoring, or any other thing you can dream up.
It can all start by deploying the 3D-P Intelligent Endpoint as a data-logger to your fleet, giving you the first near real time look at your data for a cost far less than what you’d expect a full coverage wireless network, fleet management, and asset health system, and sets you on a path to digitize your small to medium size mine.
To learn more about our digital solutions for smaller mines, contact us today.