Smarter mining

August 2012 Integrated Solutions, Mining (Industry)

As the volume of customers seeking high level integration solutions in terms of access control and workforce management escalates, EOH Intelligent Infrastructure Technologies is striving towards developing and nurturing smart ways of using technology to influence productivity and improve health and safety.

“A start-to-end solution, based on a single configurable database that is capable of talking to an entire platform and incorporating all of the essential technologies, such as biometrics, asset tracking, surveillance and so forth, is the main focus of our activities,” explains EOH Intelligent Infrastructure workforce technology lead, Glen Baptiste. The EOH solutions are designed to boost profitability, manage costs, synchronise supply chain processes and ultimately enhance customer relationships. With technology mutating so rapidly and continuously becoming more sophisticated, big businesses have begun to shy away from outright purchase commitments and are moving towards rental agreements.

“We are seeing a growing trend indicating that the market expects the availability of a full-support rental option on almost all of our equipment and systems,” says Baptiste.

One of the key industries that can benefit from these turnkey solutions is the mining sector. With its massive labour force and remote, process driven operations, mining contains many elements of control and regulation that can be streamlined with the right combination of technology, dedicated support and specialised knowledge.

EOH Intelligent Infrastructure recognises that the requirement for swift information transfer is becoming more prevalent, particularly in the mining arena. The days of a single purpose time and attendance system that simply controls payroll and offers no further advantages are long gone, integration has become the buzzword of the hour. Biometric technologies are no longer just for tracking, they are now being linked to accounting systems; surveillance cameras are being used for stock control and modest reports in the form of pie charts and bar graphs are being replaced with 3D visual representations.

EOH Intelligent Infrastructure Technologies has recently introduced a number of new products specifically intended to improve the safety of mine workers and to add value to mining or manufacturing operations. The first of these additions is the manning board featuring third-party interfaces. This board functions as an organisational tool that allows complete groups to be assembled before the start of production and then serves to manage and control these units during the process.

Secondly, EOH Intelligent Infrastructure has identified radio-frequency identification (RFID) as an excellent health and safety tool. RFID involves the use of a wireless non-contact system that employs radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object, for the purpose of automatic tracking and identification. In the mining environment this has countless applications. For example, RFID can be used to ensure that miners have all of the required equipment before entering the work site or during the extremely dangerous blasting process, when up to four different technologies are used to ensure that shafts are clear.

Another valuable innovation involves the linking of a smart mobile device to a fingerprint reader. This creates a mobile reader containing biometric and cellular technology that is not only capable of being used to accurately pinpoint the whereabouts of workers but also for bio-directional communication. This product has a market in any organisation that is responsible for mobile staff, such as in the instance of security guards or miners. In remote areas where a lack of sufficient infrastructure is a particular challenge, mobile, self-contained systems can mean the difference between success and failure.

“EOH Intelligent Infrastructure believes that synchronisation is the key to providing an effective, comprehensive solution. There is no margin for error when lives depend on technology,” concludes Baptiste.

For more information contact EOH Intelligent Infrastructure, 0861 500 500, sales.ii@eoh.co.za, www.eoh.co.za




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