Exploiting digital connectivity opportunities from pit to port08. 07. 2022 Friday / By: Robert Denes / Industrial / Exact time: BST / Print this page
N okia's industrial-grade private wireless system helps connect critical machines, people and data points in a mining operation.
In many ways, the mine site functions as a living modular ecosystem, where scattered parts move in parallel to simultaneously extract, refine and transport raw materials. The larger the site, the more important it is to choose network technology that supports the features, connectivity, latency, and critical peer-to-peer communications essential to modern mining operations. Emerging Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics applications require wearable and non-wearable devices and sensors while dealing with massive amounts of data. These core capabilities are really only available with standards-based 4.9G and 5G mobile industrial wireless networks.
Nokia's industrial-grade private wireless system offers broad-spectrum connectivity between existing mining operations and provides a launching pad for future 5G capabilities. By connecting critical machines, people and data points on a closed, low-latency network, operations can improve efficiency, security and overall sustainability.
"The primary benefit of Nokia's private wireless solution is that only one network is required for all Mining 4.0 applications," Marc Jadoul, Nokia's global marketing manager for mining, told Australian Mining.
"“When we talk about mission-critical communications, it means being aware of everything that's happening without delay and seeing the flow effects of a piece of equipment in real time.
"“It also creates an environment where rapidly evolving technologies are possible in the mining space – from AI (artificial intelligence) and digital twin mapping to drone inspection and autonomous vehicles, even the introduction of digital PPE (personal protective equipment) for worker health to ensure. and security.
""With the fastest possible connectivity, these industry-changing applications suddenly become viable."
As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, i.e. Industry 4.0, automation is not yet possible at full capacity due to the transmission network. The systems left over from earlier stages of digitization are lagging behind, as the radio networks based on TETRA and P25 were not built for broadband data service or video communication.
"Perhaps the biggest advantage of deploying a private wireless network is that only one network is needed for all Mining 4.0 applications," said Jadoul. “A single infrastructure for fast, reliable and secure data, mission-critical push-to-talk and push-to-video communications, and real-time video transmission.
"“Wi-Fi was designed for office environments and business applications, not for challenging mining environments and mission-critical communications. Wi-Fi and proprietary mesh networks simply do not provide the coverage, reliability, mobility, accuracy or service priority required for modern mining operations.”
The differences between Wi-Fi and private wireless networks are extremely important in facilitating the upgrading of industrial-scale technologies. The primary drivers include wider bandwidth, better scalability and lower latency services that can integrate up to 800 unique links over a single small cell. Private wireless networks offer better performance and connection reliability, and require 5-10 times fewer antennas than similarly sized Wi-Fi solutions.
“A great example of the benefits of private wireless networks over Wi-Fi can be seen in our work with major mining players such as Komatsu and Sandvik. Most of Komatsu's AHS manufacturing sites are operated by Nokia on private 4.9G/LTE (long-term development) and the data from these sites shows remarkable progress,” said Jadoul.
"“Previously, problems with Wi-Fi communication equipment accounted for 15.13 percent of lost production time in a 24-hour period. This resulted in 79.7 lost production hours per year, i.e. 318,766 tons per year.
"“Before we switched to LTE, we observed that 802.11 packet loss was about four percent on any given day. The LTE deployment drive test logged only four lost packets.
""Thus, switching to LTE reduced the truck's communication errors per operating hour by 84.62%. This resulted in an annual production increase of 255,013 tons.”
Security is another critical aspect of a private wireless system, as it allows for a collection of sensors, cameras, and drones that was alec on any given day. The LTE deployment drive test logged only four lost packets.
"Thus, switching to LTE reduced the truck's communication errors per operating hour by 84.62%. This resulted in an annual production increase of 255,013 tons.”
Security is another critical aspect of a private wireless system, as it enables a collection of sensors, cameras and drones to provide 360-degree situational awareness at all times. By connecting to a high-definition live video stream, workers can get accurate visibility without being directly exposed to potential hazards. Sites can flag problems before they become catastrophic and monitor financial and material expenses for smarter resource allocation.Additionally, the ability to autonomously drill, load and haul opens the door to 24-7 operations, significantly maximizing performance and ROI when applying new software tools.
"With this state-of-the-art infrastructure, human dependency is reduced to a minimum, and device-intensive tasks can be carried out continuously, with safer, more accurate parameters," said Jadoul. "Closer monitoring of people, machinery, health and environmental conditions, and energy supply means fewer injuries, less downtime and maximum performance potential."
Being able to provide key stakeholders with in-depth analysis and proof of production value can ensure the future of continued operations of the mine site, enabling it to adapt to fluctuating investment trends.Via Link