Monday 10th Aug, 2020

Online technology keeps miners connected

A global pandemic has not slowed down Control Systems Technology, which is finding new ways to implement its digital machinery.

A global pandemic has not slowed down Control Systems Technology, which is finding new ways to implement its digital machinery.

COVID-19 has seen major changes implemented across businesses around the world to help halt its spread. Core among these changes are policies that encourage physical distancing.

The Australian Government’s Department of Health has ordered all workplaces in Australia to develop a COVID-19 plan in line with the Safe Work Australia National COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles. Some of the methods of doing this include reducing travel and avoiding in-person meetings.

Ian Burrell, Managing Director of Control Systems Technology, says the restrictions have highlighted the importance of remote connectivity in the bulk handling sector.

“Mobile phones and internet connectivity have become commonly available and used almost everywhere in our day to day lives,” he says. “Which is why our latest developments apply aspects of this to mining application.”

Related stories:

Control Systems Technology is a manufacturer of conveyor belt weighing equipment for the Australian mining industry. The company was founded in 1984 in response to a long-standing industry need for accurate, reliable and durable in-motion weighing equipment.

One of the key focuses for the company has been to use the latest technological developments that are common in other sectors and apply them to material weighing applications.

“Connectivity has always been a part of our offering, and now it’s even easier to achieve,” Burrell says.

“Typically, we now can add a 3G or 4G modem to any of or electronics, allowing them to connect to the internet through a virtual private network. This enables us to connect to belts in some of the most remote areas in the world as we were there in person.”

Because of this, the company has been able to provide remote assistance for mines in Australia, but also around the world, including Thailand, Peru and Mongolia.

One aspect that Control Systems Technology has begun to offer during the pandemic is remote installation supervision. A trained operator would be able to direct a person on site to act as an avatar during the installation. Using a web-connected camera, the remote assistant can walk the person through the entire process to ensure the equipment is correctly installed and calibrated.

Digital calibration has also been used to help save miners money. Burrell uses the example of an Australian mine site that needed to recalibrate the sensors after a new belt had been installed on the system.

“Typically, this would have been a one-day job, but because we were able to do the work remotely it got the customer a faster result and saved them money.”

With more than 3000 active installations, the company has developed a significant presence in the Australian and export markets.

“Our team includes many employees who have chosen to stay with us for more than 10 years. Which has been invaluable in assisting and maintaining our relationships with our customers, many of whom have been faithful customers for the life of our business,” he says.