Tag Archives: Kim Valade

Meglab and Bell to collaborate on Canadian mining Private LTE/5G network projects

Meglab is to integrate Private LTE/5G network solutions into the Canadian mining sector in partnership with Bell, setting, it says, a new standard for operational efficiency and technological advancement.

The offer for private mobile networks for the mining sector allows the secure transfer of large quantities of data at very high speeds. With these capabilities, mining companies can use artificial intelligence in their daily operations to automate and evaluate decision-making processes to maximise productivity. They are also able to perform preventative maintenance and create a more secure working environment for their employees.

Meglab’s experience in the mining sector is complemented by its specialised workforce, not only capable of operating in remote locations, but also skilled in the deployment of advanced telecommunications technologies in underground mines, it says. Combined with Bell’s private mobile network expertise, Meglab is set to power mines with connected equipment, people and processes that will advance mining operations in Canada.

“We are so proud of this partnership,” Kim Valade, General Manager of Meglab (owned by Epiroc), said. “This unique collaboration will enable us to offer the very best in private mobile networks for the mining industry.”

The partnership not only enables the use of industrial IoT and artificial intelligence, it also actively supports the automation of mining vehicles, Meglab says, adding that this is a crucial step towards modernising mining operations. This integration ensures a seamless flow of data, videos, images and voice communications. The Private LTE/5G networks are specifically designed to handle the heavy data demands and exacting operational reliability of the mining sector, thus ensuring security and speed in data transfer, and facilitating the sophisticated processes of automated mining.

Costa Pantazopoulos, VP Product, Bell, said: “Bell is proud to partner with Meglab to help bring together the diverse ecosystem of mining partners together with our private mobile network to support the digital transformation of the Canadian mining industry.”

Meglab goes remote with new flexible MicroGuide system

Quebec-based Meglab says it has launched a versatile remote operation system for mobile machines that can adapt to any type of vehicle.

The company’s research and development (R&D) team has, for many months, been working on the manufacturing of this remote operation system. The challenge – as the team saw it – was to build on one of its existing products, the MicroGuide™, which already supports short distance remote operation, and adapt it to allow remote operation over a longer distance or from the surface.

“Our workshop tests were conclusive and our real-world testing of the prototype in an underground mining operation at the Beaufor mine (owned by Monarch Mining Corp) confirmed that the product was ready for production,” Roger Ouellet, R&D Manager at Meglab, said.

What sets Meglab’s technology apart is the ability to customise the system according to each mine’s preferences, or according to the type of vehicle used, the company said.

Ouellet explained: “We tested the prototype on a Caterpillar-branded LHD owned by the mine. However, the MicroGuide Pro Surface Edition can be installed on any brand of vehicle. Also of interest is the wide range of joystick options available to control the machine.”

The pandemic is accelerating the adoption of remote operation by encouraging a reduction in the number of workers on mining sites, Meglab says. The MicroGuide Pro Surface Edition offers the ability to operate from anywhere, as long as broadband connectivity is available.

Kim Valade, General Manager at Meglab, said: “We have already started discussions with companies that want to expand their use of remote operations. This certainly increases the efficiency of operations, but the greatest area of impact we are seeing is on the safety of workers. Risks are reduced when workers can operate from the surface, or even simply from a greater distance underground.”

The MicroGuide Pro Surface Edition has several safety features, including a barrier system that shuts off the vehicle engine when a potential hazard is detected. The system works on existing telecommunication networks installed in the mines, provided they are powerful enough.

Valade added: “Our specialists can audit and analyse existing telecommunication networks. They can also make recommendations and/or install new infrastructures to ensure that customers can fully benefit from the MicroGuide Pro Surface Edition’s many features.”

The company concluded: “Today, mining companies are rapidly developing and adapting their processes to provide added value such as real-time decision making, increased travelling efficiency and greater worker safety. The implementation of remote operation with the MicroGuide Pro Surface Edition contributes to the successful achievement of these objectives.”

Meglab extends its mine network reach with Rajant partnership

Meglab says it has extended its mining telecommunications service offering through a new partnership agreement with Rajant Corp.

Underground telecommunication is one of the main areas of Meglab’s expertise. With the addition of the Rajant connectivity solution for open-pit mines, the mining industry telecommunications needs can now be fully met, Meglab says.

Rajant provides fully mobile, mission-critical data, video, and voice communications networking for open-pit mines as well as underground mining.

Meglab explains: “As the shape, depth, and configuration of mines are continually changing during the extraction of ore, the mining equipment and infrastructure must be moved, which means network coverage must adapt also.

“Rajant provides Kinetic Mesh®, a wireless network that autonomously adapts to operational and environmental changes. The unique nature of their networking architecture allows open-pit and underground operations to easily introduce, relocate, or remove network infrastructure – without causing any network downtime – to deliver highly adaptable coverage and continuous connectivity.”

Kim Valade, VP Sales for Meglab, said: “We are proud to work with Rajant. The reliability of their products meets the highest quality standards. As integrators, we are a one-stop-shop that offers installation and commissioning of a complete telecommunications solution, from underground to surface.”

Darrell Gillis, Rajant Sales Director – Canada, said: “Rajant welcomes Meglab as a channel partner servicing the mining industry. Open-pit and underground mines, like many industrial environments, depend on autonomous mobility for improved efficiency, safety, and profitability. Our BreadCrumb® nodes can be mobile, and create a mesh between stationary and moving equipment, working peer-to-peer to form a multi-radio Kinetic Mesh network.

“These nodes can be deployed on fixed infrastructure or moving assets, such as trucks and loaders, uniquely enabling vehicle-to-vehicle communications between mobile equipment.”