Modern mining operations rely heavily on data to make the right decisions to drive safety, productivity and operational excellence. In this tough, competitive market, it is critical that every effort is made to improve margins and bottom line performance using the best operational intelligence based on real time data gathered from multiple sources across the mining operation. Modern ‘Big Data’ platforms can assimilate vast amounts of real-time structured and unstructured data from multiple sources. These, in turn can derive real-time predictive and prescriptive analytics to drive operational excellence. In order to achieve this, the vast amount of data collected must be managed via converged data networks in an Enterprise approach to support modern ‘Big Data’ mining.
PacStar designs and manufactures networking products to transport data from the edge to the enterprise network. Highly ruggedized, small form factor networking solutions can be fitted directly to mining platforms at the extraction point in ‘last mile’ applications for underground mining, where network access has not been possible before. PacStar also partners with best of breed solution providers in wireless, video distribution, routing, firewalls, and WAN optimization.
Supported applications include:
Telematics, telemetry and remote machine operation
Mine Management & Control (MMC)
Safety systems including collision avoidance, life support and situational awareness
Fleet management & dispatch
Environmental monitoring and energy management
Underground “Last Mile’ Applications
‘Last Mile’ operations are the most difficult operations in underground mining. ‘Last Mile’ refers to the operational area between the extraction point (face) and the furthest point of fixed infrastructure. There are a number of challenges in this part of mining where fixed infrastructure is not supported and the only means of communication is via RF/wireless technology. Problems encountered with ‘Last Mile’ RF-based communication include restricted space, close proximity of machines/vehicles and resulting RF interference, reflection, absorption and multipath issues. These issues combine to make the communication of meaningful data very difficult and create a choke point to mining operations. PacStar has developed solutions to overcome these challenges extending the data network from mine face to the control room. Specific applications include the support for telematics, telemetry and remote machine management/operation.
PacStar’s integrated mining solutions can host a number of monitoring tasks where large amounts of data must be continuously collected and analyzed. These solutions enable continuous monitoring of priority systems and metrics such as gas levels, air flow, ventilation fans, water pumps and power status. In addition, PacStar solutions can support the collection of data for micro-seismic analysis to monitor rock mass response during mine excavation. The PacStar solutions support open interfaces and third party sensors to be utilized for continuous monitoring and immediate response to critical and essential mine safety functions.
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