Features, Features, Safety, Technology

Bringing Worldwide home

Strata

Global mining communications specialist Strata Worldwide has its eye on making the Australian mining sector safer.

Those who have dropped a call driving through a tunnel may begin to understand the unique challenges underground mining communications present.

But with heavy equipment hauling rocks in tight spaces, unreliable connection in an underground mine can have bigger repercussions than hanging up on a family member – in fact, the consequences can be deadly.

It’s a challenge Strata Worldwide is familiar with. The company specialises in taking mine-critical technologies and developing them to function underground.

Strata has a range of communications and networking products it either developed from scratch, brought on through acquisitions, or distributes from its sites across Australia.

One such product is its Vernetzen WiFi over Coax technology, which Strata globally supports and distributes.

Operators receive real-time data alerts with Vernetzen.
Image: Strata Worldwide

This is backed by the Veto range of network analysis tools, which enables a mine’s network to be assessed for operational technology compatibility.

“These products ensure the network performs optimally for remote underground operations, including automated mobile plants,” Strata managing director and chief operating officer Tony Napier told Australian Mining.

“It allows operators to maintain throughput on automated vehicles and ensure networks suit the growing range of high speed, mobile data requirements that underground mines have.”

Solutions like these form the backbone of major mining communications and work together with Strata’s other systems like its vehicle management software suite to craft comprehensive control across entire mining operations.

One of these vehicle management software solutions is Strata’s short interval monitoring and control (SIMAC) cloud-based information platform.

By installing Strata’s partner Nerospec SK’s data-logging hardware on mining trucks, information is sent from the machines to the SIMAC platform in real time.

The platform then allows operators to get tailored, on-the-ground data they can use to make immediate changes to boost worker safety and improve machine reliability and productivity.

SIMAC has been implemented at a host of major mines overseas with what Napier said has been resounding success.

“The technology has been proven in other countries and now we’re bringing it to Australian shores,” he said. “The implications go beyond site safety, with operators seeing an increase in efficiency and productivity as well.”

Strata electronics general manager Phil Jones emphasised the company’s dedication to ensuring all its staff are experts in every facet of the digital mining space so they can effectively bring these technical solutions to Australia’s mines.

“We have a growing team of technicians and a dedicated research and development team of engineers, meaning we’re able to be proactive in bringing solutions to our customers and providing them a long-term premium customer experience,” Jones said.

From installing cables to offering discrete data breakdowns, Strata is committed to keeping miners informed of every aspect of their operation – a strategy that has led Strata to work with some of Australia’s largest mines.

“We have an extensive range that enable us to customise our solutions to meet any requirement,” Napier said. “We can create a bespoke solution or integrate our products with existing infrastructure, it all depends on the customer’s needs and what they want to get out of their system.”

Once a solution has been implemented, Strata strives to keep its customers supported in the long-term with team of expert technicians.

Jones said customer support and service has always been central to Strata’s practices, going hand-in-hand with its mission to keep Australia’s miners safe.

“When Tony and I started out years ago a big focus was our customer service and support, and that commitment got us where we are today,” Jones said.

“We’re keen to keep ramping up our capabilities and ensuring we offer that ongoing customer support to our growing Australian base into the future.”

This feature appeared in the July 2024 issue of Australian Mining.

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