connectivity matters
mining wireless network September 24, 2012

Taming the Mining Data Tsunami

As MINExpo International 2012 kicks off this week, we’re reminded of just how much an old, established industry can change in just a few years.  Looking at the list of exhibitors and the abstracts for educational sessions at the conference, it’s not hard to see how the role of data has grown and assumed a central role in mine operations.

Data in the mine has grown exponentially since the last MINExpo, with new applications, sensors and interfaces contributing to the flow.  Mines face constant pressure to increase productivity, ensure compliance, and enhance safety.  Maintenance can no longer be reactive, but pre-emptive and proactive – with the ability to identify emerging issues before they become problematic.  It’s all about the data, and leveraging it as actionable intelligence.

The problem lies in the consolidation of data.  To be fully useful, this snowballing mass of data must be consolidated and leveraged in a relational manner – providing a true ‘big picture’ view of operations and maintenance.  Unfortunately, the sheer volume of mine data is forcing many operators to deploy multiple networks, operating in parallel, in order to satisfy growing bandwidth requirements.  The physical separation of data sources, however, defeats the goal of actionable intelligence and only adds to the infrastructure and maintenance costs associated with the networks.

Rajant’s experience with large mines in such situations has taught us valuable lessons.  A single network solution is entirely achievable – with ample bandwidth to accommodate applications.  And the switch-over to a single network architecture can be completed without sacrificing availability.  It requires time, multiple frequencies, and a degree of creativity, but consolidating on a single network for all voice, video and data traffic empowers operators to realize the true value of all that data.

We’re looking forward to sharing some of these experiences at MINExpo this week in Las Vegas.  Stop by booth 21077 in the South Hall to learn more.

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