NLT receives Australian approval for underground tracking solution

NLT Australia, a subsidiary of NL Technologies (NLT) in Canada and known throughout the mining industry for product innovation, has received certification of Intrinsic Safety (IS) from Test Safe in Australia for its integrated Tracking Cap Lamp.

NLT’s underground tracking solution uses standard wireless networking technology with WiFi and RFID tags to offer immediate and accurate tracking of personnel and equipment for improved safety and efficiency (IM, May 2006, pp40-45. NLT integrates tracking tags into its Northern Light® cap lamps to eliminate the need for tag battery replacement while reducing the number of devices workers have to carry.

Location information is managed through NLT’s Tracking software. The software divides the mine into zones and allows users to search for specific workers or assets and view assets in a particular area from any Web browser in real-time.

According to Tim Haight, Managing Director of NLT’s Centre of Excellence for Intrinsic Safety in Brisbane Australia, there is a huge push for IS-certified product in the coal industry. “The coal industry sees the benefits of digital communication systems and applications and is ready to move forward. Tracking offers immeasurable safety benefits- it will greatly enhance mine rescue operations by enabling visibility underground.”

Tracking and other communication systems are currently available from NLT. In addition, NLT is moving quickly to secure IS approval in the USA. These approvals are expected in the third quarters of 2006. Northern Light Digital™ Mine systems will be compliant with the new rules recently established by the MINER act.

NLT has been designing and manufacturing equipment for the underground mining industry for over 20 years. In 2004, NLT leveraged its expertise to launch the Northern Light Digital™ brand, which designs underground tracking and communications systems aimed at improving safety, efficiency and preventing mine emergencies.