Case Studies

Mining

Mining
Wireless Monitoring and Remote
Management of High-Value Assets

 

Challenge

One of the world’s largest mining companies, at an open pit iron ore mine located in Australia, needed a machine-to-machine (M2M) solution to remotely locate, monitor and operate mobile lighting towers, as well as improve asset utilization.

 

Labor productivity is an ongoing challenge in the mining industry. The mine operators sought a solution to help them identify, locate, monitor and wirelessly control more than 40 mobile lighting towers and more than 100 high-value physical assets including cranes, generators and welding units.

Oil and Gas
Safety and Security

Challenge

A large international oil and gas company needed a solution to monitor their CO2 recovery plants tracking over 1,000 workers in the Permian Basin of Texas. The facilities are dispersed across hundreds of miles and range in size from a couple of acres to nearly a hundred acres. Due to the ever-present risk of flammable gases, these facilities are rated Class I, Division 1 and 2 hazardous areas (similar to IECEx and ATEX Zone 0).

THE PRECYSETECH SOLUTION:

Partnering with CSC (NYSE: CSC), for phase one of this multi-phase project, PrecyseTech accentuated its solution’s ability to both communicate with and manage high-value assets. The customer is using the solution to automatically track and manage high-value assets throughout the 40 square mile (100 square kilometer) mine.

Leading system integration and implementation responsibilities, CSC combined the capabilities of PrecyseTech, mobile lighting towers manufacturer Brightforce, and engine control systems manufacturer Connect Source to deliver a total solution to one of the world’s largest mining companies. Maintaining continual knowledge of the location, physical, environmental, and technical status of high value assets is an operational imperative. The PrecyseTech solution leverages proprietary algorithms and software to identify, locate, sense current state of, and communicate with (or otherwise control) physical assets in real-time.

 

Additional Key Components of the Solution Include:

  • Remote Entity Awareness and Control (REAC):

    • REAC goes beyond transitional RTLS by incorporating patented assisted GPS (A-GPS) and proprietary Active RFID to identify locations and the status of high value assets.

  • Streamlined process to meet demands of the mine:

    • Integrated control panel machine interfaces, on-board sensing capabilities, and long-range and robust wireless communications to track and monitor equipment in the large-scale mine.

    • Empowered with these remote management capabilities, the mining customer can reduce operating and maintenance costs while enhancing capabilities to support the mining operations.

  • CAN bus protocol:

    • PrecyseTech’s Vehicle Agents, a type of Smart Agent, employ a CAN bus protocol developed in conjunction with Connect Source to remotely turn lighting towers on and off, adjust lighting levels, monitor engine hours and set lighting schedules.

  • Cost effective and scalable infrastructure:

    • The scalable, lightweight infrastructure and flexibility of the PrecyseTech solution enables cost-effective operational efficiencies with the mobile lighting towers and other high-value assets.

    • The PrecyseTech industry-leading communication distances maximize coverage areas (minimizing the number of devices needed), speed deployment and reduce installation time and cost.

    • The PrecyseTech data backhaul is conveyed via the customer’s existing wireless canopy point to point / mesh network.

 Benefits of the Solution

  • As the mine requires around the clock operations, the ability to remotely manage mobile lighting towers reduces the need for in-person physical interaction with the towers. It also enables immediate responsiveness to the mine’s lighting needs.

  • With more than 100 high value physical assets including cranes, generators and welding units, the ability to quickly identify and locate these assets drives improved asset utilization thus saving the mine time and money.

  • The solution empowers enterprises to increase operational efficiencies through improved asset utilization by maintaining remote connections to assets and automatically reacting to the physical, environmental and technical status of their critical physical assets.

The system drives significant improvements in labour productivity – which is a major challenge in mining. Precyse, in conjunction with OmniLocation® MachinEdge, will also reduce fuel costs and improve safety at this site. The whole system worked straight away when it was connected up, and it was a great success.

Jarrod Bassan,
Senior Consultant at CSC

Products Used

  • Patented technologies combining assisted GPS (A-GPS) and radio frequency (RF) communications in a single Smart Agent.

  • As few as 20 Micro Beacons allow for location detection across an entire site, including indoors and areas with compromised GPS. For this project, they are principally deployed to ensure reliable location accuracy in places with compromised GPS signals.

  • The scalable nature of the PrecyseTech solution allows for the deployment of a minimal number of Bridge Ports (the wireless reader and communication hub between network servers and Smart Agents) to cover areas of greatest interest. For this project, PrecyseTech’s Bridge Ports are installed on a combination of the customer’s existing mobile communications towers and fixed infrastructure including buildings, exterior staircases and elevated walkways.

  • The adaptability of the PrecyseTech solution architecture resulted in all hardware infrastructure (Bridge Ports and Micro Beacons) being installed on the mine’s existing structures without the need to erect new structures.  This solution flexibility and adaptability resulted in lower electrical and networking costs than typically associated with large-scale infrastructure projects. 

© 2016 by MS Consulting Group