Increasing Underground Mining Productivity with Mobile Equipment Telemetry (MET)

Mobile Equipment Telemetry Underground

When it comes to underground mining, safety and productivity are the two major areas that technology companies focus on because they have a lot of potential for improvement. However, these two words can mean different things to different people, and in this series we want to address them from the point of view of Mobile Equipment.

Making sustainable changes with an impact on safety and productivity is a big challenge, especially for underground mixed equipment mining fleets.

In this series, we will address the intricacies of implementing Productivity solutions such as Mobile Equipment Telemetry systems specifically in underground hard rock mechanized mines.

— Challenges in Underground Mining —

There are many challenges that must be overcome in underground mining. Sharing information can be complicated and face delays. Underground mines have had to find new way to use technology to improve:

  • Communication
  • Location and tracking
  • Machine maintenance
  • Operator practices

Jean-Phillip Bouchard, VP of Product Management here at Newtrax believes, “All of these challenges equal opportunity.” There are areas that we know lack efficiency, which gives us the chance to implement new innovative solutions to achieve greater success and transparency. By taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies, our industry has the ability to become substantially more effective and profitable.

— What are MET solutions? —

Mobile Equipment Telemetry (MET) solutions provide mine operators with essential information and indisputable data that is pulled directly from mining equipment. The ability to access this data empowers mining companies to understand the precise manner in which their machines are being used, how well each individual machine is functioning, and can offer predictive suggestions to increase both productivity and profit.

There are many different ways to use Mobile Equipment data to improve overall productivity, and here we will outline a few important ones.

— Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) —

A common equation that is often discussed when companies are trying to figure out their return of investment on MET solutions is the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

Availability % ✕ Utilization % ✕ Efficiency % = OEE

OEE is the gold standard for measuring manufacturing productivity. Simply put – it identifies the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive

— Automated Real-Time Monitoring of Productivity —

MET solutions can also enable managers and supervisors to monitor, in real-time:

— Overall Face Utilization Efficiency (OFE) —

Being able to monitor the mine Face and the efficiency of its utilization is also crucial to help improve overall productivity.

Having access to an Overall Face Utilization Efficiency (OEE) report enables you to use data transmitted directly from the Face through a wireless battery-powered network to make immediate decisions.

— Overall Haulage Efficiency (OHE) —

With the availability of cycle reports made accessible through MET solutions, mines can now improve their haulage efficiency.  By adding the “Right-of-Way” feature to vehicles, traffic underground can be greatly improved and ensure optimised productivity at every shift.

These are a few of the reasons we believe Mobile Equipment Telemetry (MET) solutions can drastically improve mining operations and the safety of people working underground.

In the next blog post, we will dive a bit deeper on Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) and how it is applied to underground mining equipment specifically.