Maptek aims to build on underground tech platform

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Maptek CEO Eduardo Coloma at Austmine 2023 in Adelaide, South Australia

Leading private mining software company Maptek aims to make a bigger push into the growing underground mine management technology market on the back of this month’s launch of a new vehicle proximity alert product, VisionV2X.

Maptek CEO Eduardo Coloma, who launched the product at the recent Austmine 2023 event in Adelaide, South Australia, told VisionV2X was a reliable, self-contained, robust and mining-rugged safety technology but also a dynamic mesh digital communications platform.

So as well as meeting an increasingly highly regulated industry need, VisionV2X was “part of a larger play into a mine management platform”.

“Underground miners are reaching out for this technology in Australia and internationally,” Coloma said.

“[The market is] large and growing, due to the stepping up of regulations either in play or slated in many countries and the increasing development of large and complex underground operations.

“Incidents in Australia are already reviewed in the light of all reasonable and practical means of avoidance and this will increasingly necessitate a proximity detection capability in place through the operation.

“V2X is a winning technology with 100m vehicle-to-vehicle range and 60m vehicle-to-pedestrian range detection including beyond line-of-sight ability around corners in the underground mining environment and it will keep working at this level of performance in the worst of heat, dust, mud, dark and vibration.

“Other systems that focus on higher resolution detection close to vehicles are solving the problem too late, and invariably use technologies that are either expensive or lack resilience.

“The Maptek technology is ready after clocking up over 1.5 million vehicle-operation hours at our initial full-scale deployment site.”

The international mining industry’s Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT) push for improved mine vehicle reaction control technologies over the past decade has created industry-standard design and interaction (including with other technologies in use in mines) guidelines.

Coloma said VisionV2X enabled users to increase their EMESRT level of action from level 7 to level 8 “to level 9 in time” in line with their operational requirements.

He said: “No level 9 underground solution is presently satisfactory so there is work to do here by the industry as a whole.”

“Maptek’s safety system measures the time it takes digital data packets to fly through space from node-to-node hence it dynamically ranges to all members of the network in real time – the key component of the safety system – without caring what data is in the packets,” Coloma said.

Hence the usefulness of the underlying platform in supporting haul cycle detection and tracking, material movement analysis, control room decision support, and equipment tracking.


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