Tag Archives: MineStar Detect

Caterpillar launches new Connected Worker system for extra layer of mine site safety

Expanding the Cat® MineStar™ Detect portfolio, Caterpillar has launched Connected Worker, a Guardhat™ developed safety and productivity solution for surface mining operations, at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas.

The Connected Worker system combines smart wearable technology with the power of analytics to deliver an added layer of protection against a variety of safety risks at the site.

Scalable to accommodate both small and large operations, Connected Worker improves safety by alerting all connected workers of hazardous situations in real-time, delivering up to a 50% reduction in lost-time reportable incidents, according to Cat. The system’s ability to track worker location plus enhanced communications through audio, video and image transmission also help to increase mine site productivity. A range of safety, productivity and benchmarking reports, customisable to fit the site’s needs, boosts operational efficiency, Cat says.

The worker safety system consists of three major components: the wearable hardware; software that captures and reports data; and the Internet of Things (IoT) platform that receives reports from the field and pushes out potential safety risks to workers.

Creating a safer working environment, Connected Worker helps to detect and report hazardous areas at the mine, unsafe exposure to environmental elements and communicates alerts to affected workers. The system communicates evacuation orders, fall detections, SOS signals and geofence violations, the company added.

There are three wearable options available to communicate with workers. An alternative to PPE, the HC1 Hardhat delivers real-time positions through an embedded global navigation satellite systems chip. With the use of Ultra-Wideband at the site, the hardhat wearable increases situational awareness indoors by offering 3D-tracking – longitude, latitude and elevation – helping to quickly locate a worker in an emergency. The hardhat features video and audio call, push-to-talk, and offline geofence and recording capabilities.

The TA1 wearable tag delivers tracking GNSS and Bluetooth tracking outdoors. It provides SOS, evacuation and social distancing alerts as well as notifies workers of geofence breaches. Workers can capture images and videos to report hazards, which are automatically shared with the safety control centre, so teams can quickly develop geofences around the hazard to boost worker safety.

A companion hardware for hybrid deployment, the smartphone app for Android™ devices offers a solution for managing and monitoring team members in an outdoor environment. The app allows field managers to communicate with workers, issue SOS alerts and can be used to capture images and video of hazardous areas for reporting.

Offering a deeper level of communication and reporting than other systems, Connected Worker creates a safety ecosystem at the mine site, where actionable data is captured and stored for analysis, Cat says. The SCC allows managers to view worker location and data in near real time to quickly communicate unsafe situations to workers in the field. All data is captured and stored on a local server or in the cloud, depending on the mine’s preferences.

A broad range of customisable reports allows mines to review, analyse and predict hazardous situations to prevent future safety incidents. Among the system-generated reports are: overview reports of selected events; zonal reports of violations and emergency evacuations; location reports with heat signatures designating highly travelled areas at the mines; and sensor reading reports that include temperature, noise, humidity and pressure of the working environment.

Connected worker will be commercially available in the March quarter of 2022.

Caterpillar and Guardhat collaborate to improve surface mining safety

Caterpillar says it is collaborating with Guardhat to offer its proven safety solutions to surface mining operations through Cat® dealers.

The two companies are also developing a new system, Cat Connected Worker, which will use wearables to provide added protection for people. The new system will also deliver event-based monitoring and mapping to aid analysis and enhancement of the mining environment, Cat says.

Bill Dears, Cat MineStar™ Solutions Marketing Manager, said: “Leveraging Guardhat technology, proven in challenging industrial settings, will speed development of a comprehensive, digital solution sought by mining customers. As a component of Cat MineStar Detect safety capabilities, Connected Worker will provide insight that will enable managers to create safer operations ‒ and to respond quickly if an incident does occur.”

Indranil Roychoudhury, Chief Operating Officer, Guardhat, said: “We are pleased to work with Caterpillar to deliver ‘smart’ technology to enhance miners’ safety. Our safety monitoring and data analysis system is a multi-product, feature-packed intelligent safety and productivity system that integrates cutting-edge wearable technology and advanced proprietary software. It is equipped to detect, alert and help prevent industrial work-related incidents, and it is designed to collect and analyse data to support and improve worker safety and productivity programs.”

When developed, Cat Connected Worker will provide precise location of all workers to the mine monitoring system, and it will allow communication between individuals, teams and sites, according to the company. Data will enable monitoring personnel to understand the environment workers are facing in near real time, which will facilitate decision making.

As part of Cat MineStar, Connected Worker will be supported by Cat dealers worldwide. The same Cat dealers are equipped to supply current Guardhat technology to surface mining operations of all types.

Connected devices in the Guardhat line include hard hats, personnel tags, asset tags and smartphones using Guardhat applications. The system is Wi-Fi and cellular compatible for communications with the Safety Control Center.