Remember when mobile phones first came out and all they could do is make phone calls? Now with a smartphone you can also do video calls, take photos and videos, check the time, see a map with directions of how to get to where you want to go, access the internet, use it as compass, tape measure, and much more. Well the same thing has happened with mine trucks. Initially mine trucks were put online with just basic tracking systems, but now the list of online applications has grown almost as much as smart phones. Online mine truck apps now include:
- Full Fleet Management Systems (FMS) that not only track location but also what the truck is doing (loading, hauling, queueing, dumping, travelling, waiting, spotting, etc.)
- Collecting real-time production data (loads, cycles, tonnage, material)
- Engine performance data in real-time giving key engine readouts
- Operator/Driver fatigue monitoring (sleepy, drowsy, attention diverted, smoking, on mobile phone, etc.)
- Operator/Driver performance (over-under speeding, hash braking and acceleration), out-of-bounds, overtime stops, etc.)
- Truck status (active, down, delay) and the reasons
- Tire monitoring with real-time pressure and temperature readouts.
- Road conditions (roughness)
- Fuel levels and fueling
- Onboard video cameras (In-cab and front/forward facing)
The ultimate online truck is autonomous and doesn’t have an operator. A computer assigns and navigates for optimal efficiency – no driver required!
To make all of this “online” work, you of course need a robust and reliable communications network. Traditionally this has been with large private Wifi networks, but as 4G and 5G telephone networks become more common in mining areas, other options have become available.
And as an example of how one technology change leads to another, the emergence of the “online truck” has resulted in a massive increase in the amount of production, equipment and operator data that is collected. This has led to “Big Data” analysis. Sometimes this is just simple reporting, but it can also be done with artificial intelligence to uncover hidden correlations. This has led to predictive maintenance, where engine problems are identified long before they would normally appear. Another example, is the correlation between road design and conditions with productivity, maintenance, and operator fatigue (accidents).
SNCTechnologies is leader in all of these and can help you to take advantage of the latest mining technologies. Give us a call, or send an email or WhatsApp, and start to increase your productivity.