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Novel IIoT mining instrumentation receives industry funding
Remote monitoring specialist Omniflex and engineering firm AMOG Consulting, who have collaboratively developed Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) oversize detection instrumentation for the global mining industry, have received new funding from industry growth centre METS Ignited as part of a $2.5 million funding initiative.
Omniflex and AMOG collaboration backed as part of $2.5 million funding initiative to support innovations in the METS sector.
The funding is aimed at backing companies that have successfully commercialised technologies under previous METS Ignited funded projects in the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector.
Mines often operate by blasting mine and pit faces with explosives, producing rubble of various shapes and sizes, from small pebbles to metre-wide boulders. This is then loaded onto large haul trucks and transported to an ore crusher. When oversized rubble reaches the crusher, it can block and damage it, halting production while blockages are removed, or parts are replaced.
Omniflex and AMOG have collaboratively developed IIoT instrumentation to boost oversize detection capabilities for the global mining industry. The system uses sensors to detect the size of ore rubble as it is loaded into haul trucks to be carried from the blast site to the crushing plant. This information is wirelessly communicated in real-time to the driver, mine operations and/or remote data storage for later analysis.
“The sensors, designed jointly by AMOG and Omniflex, detect signals onboard the truck as ore is dumped into the tray,” explained David Celine, managing director of Omniflex. “The data is processed using machine-learning techniques to estimate the size of the rocks as they are dumped into the truck. This information is then communicated wirelessly through a gateway on the haul truck to the driver and to mine operations to notify them of the oversize ore load before the truck departs after being loaded.
“The technology has demonstrated a detection accuracy of above 80 per cent, which is a vast improvement on common detection methods that are estimated to be less than 5 per cent accurate. Notably, the technology does not rely on visual detection or cameras and so works in almost all conditions. It is also simple to retrofit and is expandable to numerous other high value applications”
The initial technology creation was possible thanks to METS Ignited Collaborative Project funds. Based on the success of the first pilot projects, this new project aims to accelerate the scaling up of the business to meet global industry demand. This includes expanding production, testing capabilities, certification, enabling rapid adoption of this innovative digital technology.
In six years of operation as a government-funded industry growth centre, METS Ignited has invested more than $13M in 26 projects, with over 60 industry participants. This latest round of project funding is focussed on scaling commercialisation. The other companies backed to scale their technologies include MyPass Global, ZERO Automotive, Safescape, Universal Field Robotics and 3ME Technology.