SME 2014: Technology Update

Posted by on Mar 15, 2014 in Favorites, Technology | 0 comments

SME 2014: Technology Update

Dear Readers,

I am back! Yes it’s been more than a year and I have the same ‘ole excuse of being busy. I just got back from SME and felt inspired to do a quick technology update for everyone. Even though I haven’t been diligent about new posts, my readership (source: Google Analytics) has remained consistent and has even grown! So thank you to all for your support.

For those of you who have not been to SME, it is the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (US-based) and we meet every year in February. We have great tech sessions and the exhibition is a fun way to find out what new companies are up and coming. The next show in Feb 2015 will be in Denver and I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Here are some companies that I want to mention with just a bit of details to get you interested and go check them out. (Thus start the disclaimers: (1) No, none of them are paying me for it so these opinions are purely my own and do not reflect 3D-P or anyone else. (2) If you work for a company below and you want to correct an error or ask me to remove anything, my contact info can be found on this page here. and (3) I have personally never used or tested any of the systems below.)

1. Autonomous Solutions Inc (ASI) – traditionally, OEMs such as Cat, Komatsu and Hitachi have been the ones designing, testing and commercializing “Autonomous Haulage.” As such, it is not fleet agnostic nor is it fleet management system agnostic. ASI came out of the Agriculture and DOD world and recently a few years ago, they came out with products for both remote control and either a semi or fully autonomous solution. On the autonomous bit – instead of selling you an entire truck, they have a retrofit package (the cost is comparable to a new 60L engine) that can be compatible with any dispatch system (so I’m told). Currently they have their system running on two (2) trucks in South Africa with more on order and are only integrated with Leica Jigsaw.

2. Motion Metrics – what a finely engineered company plus they’re situated at my alma matter (UBC) so that’s a plus plus. Motion Metrics has a flat level of reporting so there’s more work done and less layers of management. Check out their new product PortaMetrics – real time rock frag and slope sensing using a hand held device.

3. Global Mining Standards & Guidelines (GMSG)– This is a group that I’ve previously discussed on here to get involved. (full disclosure: I sit on the executive council of this non-profit group, who is currently housed under the Canadian Institute of Mining)

One of the working groups put up a unified display prototype at the booth where they are running 4 different mine management applications on 1 display to increase situational awareness and reduce the operator distraction. Here’s a picture of the booth with our booth babe Peter Wan from Teck.

They are currently running an underground communication infrastructure survey. If you work underground and you can help us, please go here.

4. Deswik – Holy Moly these new guys on the block [company was formed in 2008] employe 60+ mine engineers?! To put this in perspective, I graduated with 8 other people in my year. Not only does Deswik provide mining engineering and geology consultancy, they also have a full suite of software products including mine planning, scheduling, haulage design and much more. It takes an integrated approach and also integrates with your legacy systems.

5. Peck Tech – If you are in mining, you are at MOST a 2 degree of separate from someone that works at Peck Tech. They are the leader in applying and integrating technologies to meet business objectives including increased productivity and safety. Word on the street is that they’re coming out with a new underground product. I don’t have the details to give away here but if anyone has seen Prometheus, think of the lasers without the squawking noises.

Lastly, at both SME and through LinkedIn some of you have asked what I do. In a nutshell, I am in sales for 3D-P who is a leader in the design, deployment and support of wireless networks in open pit mines. We also manufacture a radio-agnostic unified hardware platform that is essentially your central middleware hub on mobile equipment (such as trucks, shovels, etc.) We just launched our new website where you can download a bunch of white papers so come visit us here.

That’s all I have for now. Feel free to get in touch or comment below. Did anyone else see something they want to share from SME?

P.S. I realize I still need to write the 3rd of the 3 part series on tire life and maintenance… I will endeavor to get to this soon!