Wireless Connectivity in Open Pit Mining

As conventional hydrocarbon reserves decline, oil and gas companies worldwide are sustaining growth and maximizing profitability by building out rugged and reliable broadband wireless solutions for communications. In today’s mining operations, the challenge is in providing the required Wireless Broadband IP bandwidth to support everything from remote office infrastructure and SCADA to autonomous hauling, M2M, GPS and security. Traditional legacy Mesh Networks and wireless solutions have become outdated and offer insufficient bandwidth to operate at the required levels needed to support new applications.
As we move into the next phase of cost saving virtualization in mining scenarios, platforms like LTE and 5G will play a much larger role in allowing the Network Architect to design systems to take advantage of applications that will provide cost savings and increase Safety and security. Interoperability between vendors will be crucial, as multiple applications can share an IT backbone. With superior physical security, five 9s reliability, and scalable performance options, broadband wireless communications create secure, affordable communications that can be deployed quickly to solve connectivity issues and to improve overall operational capability.

Considerations when designing and extending private networks must be made for the systems dealing with some or all the following:

  • SCADA systems monitoring heavy equipment like shovels, haul trucks, conveyors, slope stability, water systems, remote pump sites, etc.
  • Vehicle dispatch and autonomous hauling
  • GPS location services (specifically that provide collision avoidance)
  • Drilling and blasting safety and security.
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Overall mine management
  • Real time perimeter video monitoring and exception reporting
  • Eliminating leased line costs by extending private networks to areas where fiber installation costs are prohibitive or no rights-of-way exist.

When you’re designing the IT infrastructure for your mining operations, feel free to contact me personally, or any of the system design and integration experts at Westcan, to ensure you are receiving the level of experience, expertise and engineering your specific project requires. We carry a full line of wireless technologies for several industry leading vendors. You can reach me through the form below if you have any questions or concerns.

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