Mining network technology is moving fast, now with a lot of private LTE interest and with 5G waiting in the wings, while WiFi solutions including mesh still remain dominant. Paul Moore, International Mining Magazine’s feature on Mining Networks & Connectivity, looks at technologies, projects and applications.
Maestro advances Plexus PowerNet
Maestro Digital Mine says it continues to work with global underground mines to address the challenges associated with traditional communication backbone solutions resulting in their Plexus PowerNet™ – last mile communications solution; a Gigabit network providing both power and data using flexible coaxial cable.
Maestro designed a communication network that simplified the installation, extension, and maintenance, while enabling high bandwidth, low latency, low jitter data and endpoint power using tried-and-true coaxial copper cable. The termination process now becomes easy and cost effective, utilising basic tools. A termination can be completed by any tradesperson in less than 5 minutes.
Michael Gribbons, CEO and Co-Founder told IM: “By applying this enabling backbone technology to an existing fibre network, the entire mine infrastructure can have a new life. In a mine, fibre has its place but needs to be well protected from the high traffic areas where LHDs and trucks can damage the cable. The Plexus PowerNet™ is typically added to either the existing fibre patch panel or network switch located on the level entry. The durable coaxial cable is the most effective at providing data to the face of the mine. The Plexus PowerNet™ simplifies the advancement and repair of the network. When the communication cable is damaged by the either the mobile fleet or fly rock, a simple splice repair can get the network up and running saving precious production time. Having both power and data on single coaxial cable reduces advancement time as well as multiple trades reducing both CAPEX and OPEX. Bringing data to the surface allows short interval control that improves both production rates and miner safety.”