Wish to make mining operations productive and safe? Try ICP DAS’s solution applied in Australia
ICP DAS‘s WISE Intelligent IIoT Edge Controller Series receives information about temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and air quality detected by the DL series – air quality monitoring data loggers, and DLW series – mini weather stations. WISE series also obtains the data on liquid leakage, water flow, and water quality respectively from the iSN series – liquid leakage detection modules, flow meters, and water quality sensors.
Then, the WISE series sends all the data to the IoTstar cloud management software for data management and visualization. In the event of an emergency, the WISE series also distributes alarm notifications and activates related equipment, allowing management personnel to keep abreast of the work environment conditions of the underground mines at anytime.
Dark and poorly-ventilated mines are often filled with poisonous gases. To ensure workplace safety, good ventilation, drainage systems, and illumination must be done before implementing maintenance procedures and starting mining operations. At the same time, mining and mineral processing generate pollutants such as heavy metals and acid mine drainage. The contaminated water then spreads to other areas, seriously affecting the water used for domestic purposes and soil quality locally. However, in the past, environmental quality monitoring was not easy; thus, accidents happened frequently.
Environmental monitoring in underground mines is in great demand in Australia – one of the largest exporters of iron ores and coals globally. This case study illustrates how ICP DAS‘s environmental monitoring solution helps the customer monitor the concentration of various gases and detect liquid leakage in mines, as well as monitor drainage systems and water quality in pump stations, creating the safest and most comfortable work environment.
Building the safest work environment in underground mines: a holistic solution to monitor air quality & status of the pump, and detect liquid leakage
The architecture of this case study can be divided into three parts: air quality & environmental monitoring, water resource monitoring, and cloud-based data management & visualization.
For air quality and environmental monitoring in the underground mines, the customer installs the DLW-1243 Mini Weather Station to detect CO, CO2, and NH3. Besides, the client also employs the DLW-1200 Mini Weather Station to detect wind direction, wind speed, and temperature & humidity, the DL-303-IP65 Data Logger to measure CO, CO2, and temperature & humidity, and the DL-1050 Data Logger to collect information about O2, and temperature & humidity. For integration, the customer uses iKAN-116-IP65 Industrial LED Display to show environmental data and alarm notifications. The CA-LLD-DP100 Liquid Leakage Probe and the iSN-104 Liquid Leak Detection Module are also installed to monitor water leakage in tunnels. These data are then transmitted to the WISE-5231 Intelligent IIoT Edge Controller through the Modbus RTU communication protocol.
For water resource monitoring, the customer installs flow meters and water quality sensors at the pump station beside the underground mines to gather data on water flow, pH, copper, arsenic, zinc, cadmium, etc. The information is sent to the another WISE-5231 Intelligent IIoT Edge Controller via Modbus RTU communication protocol for pump control according to on-site needs. Once the data on water level or water quality shows anomalies, the WISE-5231 triggers the ALM-Horn-MRTU-BR Piezo Transducer Alarm Siren for on-site personnel to troubleshoot the problem immediately.
The customer installs the IoTstar cloud management software on the computer in the control center. The data visualization dashboard assists management personnel in remote monitoring and control.
The DLW-1000 series – mini weather stations measure meteorological data such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation amount, illuminance, atmospheric pressure, and sea level; It also measures air quality by detecting CO, CO2, O2, NH3, HCHO, H2S, PM1/2.5/10, and TVOC in real time. In addition, it supports Modbus RTU/TCP and MQTT communication protocols. In this case, the customer uses the DLW-1243 Mini Weather Station to detect CO, CO2, and NH3. Simultaneously, the client also uses DLW-1200 Mini Weather Station to measure wind direction, wind speed, temperature & humidity. The collected data are then sent to the WISE-5231 Intelligent IIoT Edge Controller that performs the functions of simple logic control and alerting.
The DL-300 series – data loggers provide a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) touch screen, and the product series measures and records the data on temperature, humidity, dew point, CO, CO2, HCHO, TVOC, NH3, and H2S with the date and time stamps included. It can store up to 450,000 downloadable records. Gas sensors of this series support various communication protocols such as DCON, Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP, and MQTT, which can be seamlessly integrated with HMI or SCADA. The management personnel can download the iAir App developed by ICP DAS on mobile phones to retrieve real-time data monitored by the DL-300 series at anytime and send messages to the LCD built on the modules. Besides, ICP DAS‘s iAir Utility – a free software – can be installed on a PC to use grouping for multiple DL-300 series and export CSV files for remote management personnel to check and manage the data conveniently. In this case, the client uses the DL-303-IP65 Data Logger to collect information about CO, CO2, temperature, and humidity and transmit the obtained data to the WISE-5231 Intelligent IIoT Edge Controller.
The DL-1000 series – data logger modules can be employed to measure the data on O2, CO, CO2, HCHO, NH3, H2S, TVOC, PM1/2.5/10, temperature, humidity, and store up to 180,000 records with date and time stamps. When the concentration of the gases and harmful particles is too high, the DL-1000 series will raise the alarm. In addition, this product series supports various communication protocols such as DCON, Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP, and MQTT. In this case, the customer uses the DL-1050 Data Logger to measure the O2, temperature, and humidity data and then sends the collected data to the WISE-5231 Intelligent IIoT Edge Controller.
The iKAN series – industrial LED displays supports ASCII and Unicode characters, which can display multilingual characters. Besides, the product series supports Modbus communication protocols, enabling system integration with various PLC, HMI, or SCADA. In this case, the iKAN-116-IP65 Industrial LED Display shows multiple environmental data and alarm notifications, allowing on-site personnel to keep abreast of the work environment conditions in real time.
The CA-LLD-DP100 Liquid Leakage Probe detects liquid leakage and water level in a specific location. The probe can be placed at the opening of drainage pipes, inside water storage tanks or containers, and at other sites with limited space. This device has two probes (sensors) at the base. Both probes must come into contact with liquid simultaneously to complete the circuit and trigger the alarm. For integration, the CA-LLD-DP100 has to work with the iSN-104 Liquid Leak Detection Module to transmit data to the WISE-5231 Intelligent IIoT Edge Controller.
ICP DAS’s WISE Intelligent IIoT Edge Controller Series is widely used for logic control and monitoring in various industrial applications. The built-in IF-THEN-ELSE statement provides the execution of automated logic stably and efficiently. The controller also performs the functions of calculation, scheduling, and alert messages sent via email and Line/WeChat/SMS. In this case, the client uses two WISE-5231. One receives environmental and liquid leakage information, while the other collects water flow data. Then, both transmit the data back to the control center via Modbus TCP, distribute alarm notifications when anomalies arise and activate the ALM-Horn-MRTU-BR Piezo Transducer Alarm Siren and related equipment at the same time.
The IoTstar is an IIoT cloud management software developed by ICP DAS. It enables remote control, management, and monitoring of ICP DAS IIoT controllers – WISE/PMC/PMD series, as well as I/O modules, devices, and equipment connected to the controllers. Through the IoTstar Dashboard Service, users can build customized & shareable dashboards showing compiled data based on their needs. The IoTstar Report Service provides statistics reports, and the information can be searched and reviewed. Besides, reports can be exported as PDF and Excel files.
The DLW-1000 series – mini weather stations, DL-300 series – data loggers, and DL-1000 series – data logger modules have RS-485, Ethernet, and PoE communication interfaces. Hence, they can be widely used for integration with various devices and systems, including HMI and SCADA.
The DLW-1000 series – mini weather stations adopt positive and negative pressure ventilation systems. The active ventilation system creates a difference in air pressure between the space inside the module and the environment that surrounds the module. The turbulent and evenly mixed airflow produced improves the accuracy of the obtained values.
The DLW-1000 series – mini weather stations provide IP54 protective design, and supply & exhaust fans. The design effectively prevents slanting rain caused by strong winds from entering the module. Besides, waterproof and protective connectors for RS-485 and Ethernet (with PoE support) are also provided to ensure proper functioning in extreme environments.
The DLW-1000 series – mini weather stations and DL-1000 series – data logger modules offer replacement filters. For regular maintenance, customers only need to replace the fan filter by themselves, significantly saving time and costs incurred by repair services.
DL-300 series – data loggers support UTF-8 with multiple languages available and are capable of showing multilingual characters on the display of modules. Users can configure messages displayed via Modbus commands, web browsers, or the mobile App.
The iKAN series – industrial LED displays provides various text message combinations and stores up to 128 sets of general text messages and 20 sets of emergency messages. It supports a 7-color text display to distinguish the levels of urgency. These features greatly improve the readability of messages on site. The iKAN-116-IP65 offers an IP65 protective design, and users don’t have to worry about equipment failure caused by environmental factors while placing the product outdoors.
The WISE series provides an easy-to-operate web interface to edit the control logic. No programming is required, and users only need to click the settings on the HMI to edit the control logic.
The WISE Intelligent IIoT Edge Controller Series can be used with XV-board series DI/DO expansion boards to meet various I/O requirements in different applications. To save space, users can insert the XV-board series DI/DO expansion board into the WISE series.
The built-in data logger of the WISE series provides data recovery that automatically transmits the data to the control center. These ensure complete data transmission, and users don’t need to worry about data loss.
Monitoring the real-time temperature of mining conveyor bearings with ICP DAS’s wireless temperature modules
When mining conveyors operate, thermal energy is generated by friction between the dust accumulated and the conveyor roller bearings. The more heat energy produced, the more the bearings have worn, which is proportional and vice versa. Therefore, monitoring the temperature of bearings helps management staff evaluate the wear and tear and estimate the lifespan of bearings. Hence, repair and replacement can be scheduled for preventive maintenance to avoid unplanned shutdowns caused by severe wear and tear, or fire accidents that lead to workplace accidents.
ICP DAS‘s iWSN-3020 series – temperature measurement modules provide a two-channel thermocouple for temperature measurement and support the use of the 433 MHz band for wireless radio frequency communication. Users can set 16 wireless channels and 4 group IDs, consisting of up to 64 RF sub-networks, facilitating the differentiation, management, and control of 433 MHz wireless networks. Besides, users can complete settings just through DIP switches.
In addition, the iWSN-3020 series also offers disposable lithium batteries for power supply, the IP65 enclosure for protection against dust and water, and an installation method of magnetic adsorption which reduces wiring costs. These features enable long-term temperature monitoring of the conveyor bearings in harsh environments such as mines and reduce wiring costs. In this case, the customer employs the iWSN-3020 series to collect the temperature data on conveyor bearings and regularly send the obtained data to an iWSN-200 series – data concentrators through 433MHz. Then, the WISE-5231 Intelligent IIoT Edge Controller will transmit all the data to the control center.
Mining operations can be divided into surface mining and underground mining. Each of the mining methods and procedures has different effects on the environment. However, all mining activities such as mineral extraction, piling, crushing, processing, loading & unloading, and transportation produce pollutants that adversely affect air quality. Thus, the environmental protection bureaus in each country set mining-related regulations to ensure the safety of the operating personnel in underground mines.
ICP DAS provides environmental monitoring solutions with flexibility in implementation. These solutions have previously been applied in various fields and places, including cleanrooms in the semiconductor industry, factories in the contact lens manufacturing, and the beverage industry. ICP DAS assists customers in building digital factories by monitoring temperature, humidity, gas concentration value, and liquid leakage. These realize precise environmental monitoring in plants and maximize production efficiency. At the same time, the client minimizes air and water pollution caused by businesses to achieve ESG goals.
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ICP DAS was established in 1993 and strongly focuses on innovation and the enhancement of industrial automation technology. ICP DAS continuously endeavors to develop a comprehensive selection of products ranging from remote I/O controllers, distributed I/O modules, I/O data acquisition boards, programmable automation controllers, industrial communication modules, web-related products, motion control systems, SCADA/HMI software to automation solutions for applications critical to energy management, motion automation, smart factories, intelligent buildings, and smart cities. Our ambition is to provide a wide range of high-quality products and versatile applications, together with prompt and efficient services, that can be implemented to assist in the continued success of our clients worldwide.
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