Underground mining is an inherently difficult and risk-laden profession. Modern innovations and improved technologies have significantly improved the safety of mining operations, but often new technologies go unnoticed for some time. One of the most significant modern technologies available to underground mining operations is a remote network.Remote networks have been deployed in mines by using on-site remote servers for quite some time, but recent innovations have dramatically increased the capabilities of mining server technology.
Whenever a new underground mining technology becomes available, mining operators must assess whether or not the improvements are valuable enough to justify the cost of upgrading. Unfortunately, server and network technology can be difficult to assess without technical expertise, old technologies often remain where new ones would be beneficial. Below we’ll highlight just a few major benefits of adopting new network technology.
1. Track Mine Layouts
Mining networks rely on multiple server nodes placed throughout the mine layout. As a mine expands or changes, a sufficiently advanced network can dynamically track the changing layout. Digital layouts can be made available to workers in the mine by tapping into the network. With a digital layout, it becomes possible to effortlessly input important information, such as equipment locations and where specific equipment can be safely mounted.
2. Miners Can Be Located In The Network
One of the most significant advancements a modern network can provide is superior connectivity. Miners can use their smartphones or other network-enabled devices to tap into the network and reap all of the benefits it can provide. Once connected to the network, workers are provided with interconnectivity to every other worker in the mine, as well as a personal means of contacting workers on the surface. Additionally, digital layouts and information on specific locations or tasks are easily made available.
Network connectivity also provides a mine operator with a reliable means of tracking where each employee is located in the mine. Mine operators can use the interconnectivity to communicate important information to miners, easily coordinate specific tasks, and as an evacuation tool in the unlikely event of an emergency situation.
3. Equipment with Connectivity
It may seem strange at face value, but mining equipment is now designed with network connectivity in mind. Mining safety helmets are an obviously vital part of any miners outfit and with good reason. Safety helmets provide not only protection but often light in areas where sufficient lighting is not yet available.
In order to further improve the protection features provided, network connectivity has become commonplace. By equipping helmets with simple network capabilities, they become capable of receiving and confirming evacuation calls, requesting assistance, and providing an additional means of keeping track of miner locations.
4. Modern Networks Improve Safety Across The Board
Network connectivity provides each employee in and around the mine with the ability to quickly and effectively communicate. For employees who choose not to carry a smart device, helmets are available which can automatically tap into the system in order to utilize its safety features.
A powerful network provides a degree of security that was once unattainable for mining operations. If a disaster strikes, an evacuation notice can instantly be sent through the network, and miners can quickly respond to emergency protocols. In events where rescue operations are required, miners can be easily located by tracing their current location on the network, or in the event of a failure, their last known location.
A modern mining network provides not only improved security features, but enables superior search and rescue operations, and improves day to day efficiency through interconnectivity. With just those benefits in mind, it’s easy to see where the increased value is in new network technology.