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Wireless Health Status Monitoring for Mining & Construction Vehicles

A major mining and construction vehicle manufacturer needed a range of wireless M2M solutions for remote in-vehicle monitoring of health status data.

A major mining and construction vehicle manufacturer offers its customers a complete package of product, service and support. On large sites, such as remote mine sites, they install a Resident Technician to maintain the vehicles and safeguard the performance of their equipment.

In order to effectively monitor the health status of the vehicles while in use, the vehicle manufacturer approached Madison to provide a range of wirelss M2M solutions that would allow remote in-vehicle monitoring of health status data while vehicles are in various environments and situations in the field.

The industrial wireless communication devices are used to extract in-vehicle health status data from the vehicles at a number of different work sites. Each site necessitates the use of different wireless technologies to allow reliable and effective communication to and from a moving vehicle in varying landscapes and site structures.

The vehicle manufacturer required the communication solution to address three particular challenges:

1.     The solution must withstand extreme environmental conditions, particularly vibration and dust ingress associated with operation at a mine site.

2.    The device must adapt to a range of different landscapes including above and below ground monitoring.

3.     The solution must be able to connect via multiple network configurations such as existing mine site wireless infrastructure, Telstra’s 3G network and via their own wireless infrastructure.

The team at Madison Technologies put together a range of rugged wireless solutions to suit the various scenarios confronted by:

1)       The Moxa AWK4121 Wi-Fi access point was deployed on those mine sites that offered an 802.11 infrastructure.  The AWK-4121 outdoor wireless AP/Bridge/Client with Turbo Roaming is ideal for industrial applications that are hard to wire, too expensive to wire, or use mobile equipment that connects to a TCP/IP network. This model also has an IP 67 rated metal housing for hazardous environments.

2)       The Cybertec 2000 Series 3G modem router is practical for communication over Telstra’s NextG network. With a wide operating temperature range and support for 2G, 2.5G, 3G & 3.5G networks, the Cybertec Router was ideal for those situations where the Telstra NextG network could be utilised. Due to unexpected interference while mounted inside the vehicles, the Madison Industrial Design team constructed an IP67 enclosure for the modem.

3)       The Alvarion Extreme 802.16e WIMAX product range was ideal for those circumstances where a complete solution including the wireless infrastructure is required by the customer.

Results

The vehicle manufacturer found that any one of the devices discussed could offer reliable and robust connection with their vehicles while being able to operate constantly and consistently with the harsh environmentally conditions presented on a Caterpillar vehicle.

The manufacturer continues to deploy these devices regularly as and when new industrial vehicles are sold or existing vehicles are upgraded. The low failure rates and reliable communication links are testament to the robust reliability of the solution.