MacLean Engineering’s newly upgraded Ducky test mine in Sudbury, Canada, is growing in size and capabilities. Donna Schmidt finds out more about the facility.
In September 2020, MacLean Engineering announced its collaboration with Maestro Digital Mine for the placement of a connectivity network at the Ducky lab in the form of Maestro’s Plexus PowerNet gigabit network for data and power. The coaxial cable-based system is a high speed, low-latency digital communication network offering PoE+ power to access points (APs), cameras and other internet protocol (IP)-based devices.
Plexus PowerNet can be installed and maintained internally, the company said at the time of the announcement, and utilised with or without a fiber optic network. “It supports existing underground mine infrastructure and provides network connectivity to new IIoT [Industrial Internet of Things] devices and automation technologies for digital mines, such as the MacLean R&D facility,” the companies said.
The Ducky lab now has just one cable for its network connectivity, and the system’s EZ Advance nodes help to terminate, troubleshoot and deploy connected devices via an embedded network switch. “Collaboration up and down the supply chain is critical to making innovation happen in the under ground mining sector at home and around the globe,” marketing and communications VP Stuart Lister points out. “It will be backbone of our automation product development [at the facility].”