The success of a project that makes it possible to digitalize operations in mines has inspired the partnership behind the project to take the next step. The ultimate goal is to increase safety and efficiency in the rugged underground mines.
It started in the Kankberg underground mine in Boliden, Sweden, where the latest technology for mobile communications was installed to test its endurance in a rough rock-and-metal environment where network glitches and downed communications could turn into a matter of life and death.
That was called the PIMM project, or Pilot for Industrial Mobile communication in Mining. It now goes into a new phase, the PIMM Digitalised Mining Arena (DMA) project. The participating partners in PIMM DMA are ABB, Atlas Copco, Boliden, Ericsson, InfoVista, RISE, Telia, Volvo Construction Equipment and Wolfit. The common ambition is to enable mining operators, maintenance personnel, equipment and machines from different suppliers to be connected and share data. That will further increase safety and productivity in the mine. The partnership believes it is an innovative way of thinking that enables new services that can be used in other industries as well.
“The ambition in this project is to develop the technical ability with associated ways of working and processes to be able to interact in a digital, connected ecosystem. We hope it will be a catalyst and inspiration for new thoughts and ideas on how to create value through digitalization in a variety of industries,” says Magnus Leonhardt, Strategy and Innovation Manager, Telia Sweden.
He explains that the project creates conditions for the development of new smart services that enable further automation and remote control. That in turn contributes to more efficient and safe mining. In essence, machines in the mine are connected through the mobile network and can communicate and share data. In addition, new machines, systems or businesses can easily connect to the network.
Telia, Ericsson and InfoVista will be responsible for further developing and optimizing the mobile network built in the mine and test technology that, in the future, can be used in the next generation mobile network, 5G. Telia is also responsible for developing and testing the technical platform that is the hub of the digital ecosystem in the mine.
“This is a project in the forefront of technology, with participating partners from major Swedish companies, and we see the project as a beacon,” says project manager Eilert Johansson, at RISE. “We hope that the results will inspire other Swedish actors to work with digitalization in their industries. We also expect increased competitiveness for Swedish companies.”
PIMM DMA (Pilot for Industrial Mobile communication in Mining, Digitalised Mining Arena)
The project is the continuation of the PIMM project. PIMM DMA will bring the innovative ideas and funding from the PIMM project to a maturity level where industrialization can start and business relations can be initated.
It will create understanding of how to specify services level agreements between involved suppliers and users, and of solutions for localized core network, supervision and control of various machinery, connected sensors and distributed control center to empower mining operators, all enabled by mobile network connectivity.
Telia, Ericsson and InfoVista develops the mobile network built in the mine and test technology that, in the future, can be used in the next generation mobile network, 5G. Telia is also responsible for developing and testing the technical platform that is the hub of the digital ecosystem in the mine.
ABB will work on solutions to via mobile communication connect operation and maintenance personnel in the mine to process data from the production system 800xA.
Atlas Copco and Volvo Construction Equipment will connect their products and solutions to the mobile network.
To digitalize mining, increasing the industry’s safety and efficiency. To leverage project in other industries.