CVRD Inco, a premier mining and metal company and the second large producer of nickel, has selected Ekahau as its vendor of choice for underground asset tracking technology.
The Ekahau RTLS Real Time Location Systems will be used to track production vehicles in the company’s mines in Ontario, Canada.
With the real-time location capabilities, Inco employees will easily be able to find their equipment during scheduled shift changes. And, through specialised reports generated by the Ekahau RTLS solution, mine management will be able to gain better visibility into operations in order to improve productivity.
"We evaluated a number of location tracking solutions, but only the Ekahau RTLS demonstrated how we could maximise the investment in our existing in-mine Wi-Fi networks to quickly and efficiently locate our production equipment underground," said Richard Howes, Manager of East Mines at Inco.
"By using the Ekahau solution to provide asset visibility from the surface, we are able to better manage daily mining operations and make changes without delay to maximise performance."
Offering the industry’s reliability and location accuracy, the Ekahau RTLS is the only non-proprietary real-time tracking solution that can be implemented entirely over standard, open Wi-Fi networks.
It does not require the addition of any complex proprietary sensors, exciters or other infrastructure, as is the case with other RTLS systems.
Using purpose-built tags and standard wireless connectivity, the Ekahau RTLS can track objects or people with an accuracy of as little as three feet across large production facilities or multi-campus enterprises.
By doing so, it provides a single centralised solution that delivers enterprise visibility across all assets.
In addition, Ekahau and St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M have teamed up to bring innovative RTLS solutions, along with 3M’s materials expertise and strengths and knowledge of the mining industry, to suit the needs of mining customers worldwide.
"Ekahau’s proven RTLS is ideal for underground applications whether tracking assets or ensuring worker safety," said Antti Korhonen, president and CEO of Ekahau.
"While Inco is initially using the solution to improve operational efficiency, it can easily be expanded for use in tracking the location of miners.
Should an unfortunate accident occur underground, the Ekahau RTLS can provide users with the last known location of the miners, taking the guesswork out of the rescuers’ job."