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Mobile Computing Changing The Mining Industry
The mining industry is in a period of transition, with a huge emphasis on eco-friendly practices and reducing the carbon footprint of a number of businesses in the sector.
As a result, a number of technological advancements are taking place in terms of the equipment that is being produced and the way businesses operate. One of the ways in which technology is impacting the industry is through the implementation of mobile computing, and here, we’re exploring how this element of technology is beginning to revolutionize the industry.
A key aspect of mobile technology in the mining industry is the introduction of driverless vehicles and equipment, all of which can be managed and run remotely.
With crushers which can be automatically controlled for performance management purposes, to vehicles which can be driven around an operation day and night in order to improve overall efficiency, there are a number of advantages to this type of technology within the mining industry.
These autonomous vehicles aim to make operations run far more seamlessly, and while many may be concerned that their jobs are set to be taken over, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, driverless vehicles are actually designed to improve the way the operation is carried out, reduce human error and provide assistance for the workers on-site.
Higher Volume Data Transmission
The first integration of mobile computing in the mobile industry came during the shift from VHF to digital radios, which enabled ventilation and traffic control to be better integrated within the mines.
With the demands of a mine meaning infrastructure for wireless and mobile communication is difficult, the modern mining industry began to demand a new type of communication level.
With WLAN technology being implemented in order to ensure that all vehicles and equipment’s paths were effectively transmitted without as much interference, the use of mobile technology already helped to streamline the industry and how many businesses operate.
Nevertheless, there were still a significant number of issues such as signal quality, meaning a more prevalent option was needed in order to further improve overall communication. The increased amount of data that can be accessed within a business, the smarter the solutions to problems can be, helping to improve overall sustainability and also costings of the operation.
Mobile Computers In Every Vehicle
Mobile computing doesn’t necessarily refer to mobile devices as we know it, and instead refers to technology which can be easily and simply moved around to different areas seamlessly.
In order to battle the signal quality issues which occurred with the digital radios, ruggedized laptops were introduced and installed into every vehicle which entered the mines, for some businesses. This helped to develop a centralized approach when it comes to giving instructions, while also enabling the computers to withstand some of the toughest environments in the world.
Communication In Mines
A key evolution in the mines is the increased level of communication which individuals can experience. Due to the underground nature of mines, mobile signal is difficult to come by, and as a result, messages can be mislaid and communication can also be cut off completely.
This can result in a number of errors in the job which needs to be done and can also cause a significant risk for the individuals within the mine. However, mobile technology in the form of laptops within the vehicles and the increasing availability of signal and extenders which can ensure that signal within the mines is available will help to streamline processes even further.
A number of drones are able to be controlled through a mobile device, further streamlining the utilization of this technology.
Drones can be used for a broad number of reasons in the mining industry, including the ability to collect aerial data with a new level of insight, which was previously undiscovered with traditional site review methods.
Drones are able to carry out a significant amount of reconciliation within a short period of time, while also being able to detect any landscape changes. Drones can also be used for security and surveillance purposes, all of which can be controlled by a single mobile device.
This simple and effective method of surveillance and terrain mapping can help to replace manual inspections of new mining sites while providing far more data than ever before.
Mobile technology and automation go hand-in-hand, and in the world of mining, this is particularly evident when it comes to reporting.
With regulatory bodies and governments increasingly scrutinizing mining companies around the world, reports are needing to be far more in-depth than ever before in order to be compliant.
Mobile technology allows companies to be far more accurate with the data that they are producing, with the likes of drones and helps to make this information instantly available, further enhancing the efficiency of the mining company when it comes to remaining compliant.
Connection With Cloud Technology
When all members of a mining company a in-mine equipment able to provide better readings than ever before. Mobile technology alsore able to access information from one place with their mobile devices, whether they are underground or in a completely different continent, workplace efficiencies can be streamlined.
Cloud technology is just one example of how businesses can integrate mobile technology into their processes in order to provide their workers with a quick and easy way to access the information that they require. The only downside to this type of technology is the threat of cybersecurity.
A mining company is likely to have a large number of confidential documents, which will need to be secured against the threat of hacks and viruses, as well as unwanted visitors such as old employees.