IoT in Mining Safety Starts with Great Connectivity

IoT health and safety technology can proactively monitor and report on hazardous work, but it relies on a flawless network for ground, underground, and mobile communication.

Mining is one of the most dangerous industries, and mining companies steadfastly focus on improving operational safety as a prominent objective. Mining industry leaders are moving quickly to explore technology initiatives that bring about improved safety and situational awareness by providing tools and smart solutions to increase awareness, prevent injury, and react to incidents. Technology like IoT In mining safety initiates immediate behavioral changes to help teams go home safe and move the operation towards the goal of a zero-incident workplace.

IoT technology represents the new horizon in innovation for eliminating risk at jobsites. One way IoT in mining safety can help to provide more secure operations is by aiding leaders in making the right safety decisions in real time through increased surveillance capabilities. An example of this benefit can be found in wearable tech, where mining organizations can monitor the safety of their workforce with real-time sensor information. Through gathering biometric data, organizations can safeguard worker safety by responding to things like high pulse warnings or man-down alerts.

Another way IoT in mining safety benefits mining companies is by providing preventative and predictive data with sensors, cameras, and drones to generate actionable insight through a control system. For instance, IoT sensors collecting information in an unsound shaft can alert managers to necessary modifications before a breakdown. Or, through the monitoring of ventilation and toxicity levels in underground mines, an IoT solution can ensure timely, efficient evacuations.

An organization fully embracing IoT in mining safety will have the best possible evacuation procedures and rescue operations if an accident does occur. A fully-implemented monitoring system can even enforce virtual exclusion zones and regulate unauthorized access to unsafe areas with geo-fencing applications. From groundwater and rock bolts checks to predictive maintenance and after-blast monitoring, IoT in mining safety enhances a worksite by providing real-time location of people and assets in risky geographies.


The Challenge

Although the benefits of IoT in mining safety are clear, there are network-based obstacles to such an asset intensive implementation. Limited or unreliable connectivity is not an option, which poses a major challenge, especially in remote locations and deep underground mines. And it can’t just be any network. The network must be able to collect data from multiple points in and around the mine, including smart sensors monitoring operations and blind spots. The communication system required must be able to do several things. First, it must provide a reliable signal for constant visibility. Second, it needs to deliver high capacity and low latency to maximize efficiency. Third, it needs to be rugged enough to withstand the rigors of an active industrial jobsite to avoid downtime. Fourth the network needs interoperability between devices and machines that use different protocols or have different architectures. As technology continues to fuel the growth of the industrial IoT, there will be a greater load of data that will be able to be assimilated.

The Redline Solution:

Redline’s comprehensive portfolio of iLTE and Virtual Fiber products are purpose-built for industrial needs to meet the requirements of Iot in mining safety application scenarios. Redline Communications’ fit-for-purpose technology, coupled with detailed operational knowledge and a means to demonstrate innovation and capabilities, is a key competitive differentiator to assist mining companies in digitizing their operational processes with IoT. In addition, the ability to lower operational costs, improve productivity and availability of critical information can be realized from our industrial LTE network and virtual fiber. Mining companies will be able to implement a purpose-built, ruggedized, secure solution with complete control over their QoS.
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Private iLTE

Redline iLTE is a compact, complete LTE system that can be rapidly deployed anywhere. Redline iLTE is a comprehensive suite of private LTE products and services that combine to deliver security, flexibility, scalability and durability to the mobile network. iLTE provides a turnkey approach to private LTE with its rapid deployment and ease of management.
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Virtual Fiber®

Redline’s award-winning Virtual FiberTM wireless access products are built for extreme reliability and performance. These products can be used in the toughest environmental conditions, rated to operate between -40° to +75°C for fixed point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communications and nomadic applications. They provide secure and reliable high-speed connectivity in these challenging, isolated locations, and over rough non-line-of-sight terrain.
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RedCare is Redline’s portfolio of warranty, protection and support plans and is available with each of our offerings, designed to safeguard service continuity for Redline solutions and give our customers the peace of mind knowing your Redline products are being kept at optimal performance.

IoT in mining safety can provide comprehensive situational awareness with full visibility of people, assets and infrastructure. However, mining companies must first overcome the challenge of obtaining reliable, high bandwidth connectivity for collecting, transferring, and analyzing data.