Minetec, a division of Codan, has introduced a comprehensive suite of communications products aimed at improving safety and productivity in underground and surface mining operations. Minetec’s new core product lines include SMARTS™ mine management and control (MMC); SafeDetect™ collision avoidance and proximity detection; Trax+Tags™ II Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) for vehicle and personnel position reporting and tracking; and ELF (Ethernet-over-Leaky Feeder) infrastructure.“With the commercial introduction of Minetec’s communications product suite, the company is building on expertise based on more than a decade of providing services and technology as a partner to the mining industry. “With the commercial introduction of Minetec’s communications product suite, the company is building on expertise based on more than a decade of providing services and technology as a partner to the mining industry,” said Andy Sheppard, Executive General Manager, Minetec. “The Minetec product lines have been developed from technology that is rapidly becoming a standard in mining operations worldwide and has been designed with input from our numerous customers and partners in underground and surface mining. By integrating SMARTS™ with the ELF™ communications network, SafeDetect and the Trax+Tags II tracking system, Minetec provides a comprehensive, enterprise-wide solution for underground mining operations.”The Minetec SMARTS mine management and control (MMC) system provides a combination of applications to plan the day-to-day task allocation of resources in the mine, allowing mine managers to focus on driving efficiency, safety cost and quality.Minetec’s SafeDetect proximity awareness system has been developed based upon the needs of the modern operational requirements and tempo of today’s underground and service mining operations and offers an integrated and overarching functional safety solution. Comprised of four key components, including a transmitter, receiver, warning display and personal protection device, SafeDetect allows heavy vehicle operators to detect the presence of light vehicles and personnel early, well before any interaction occurs, even when clear line-of-sight is not possible.A scalable system, Trax+Tags II can be implemented cost-effectively to address the accuracy and investment requirements of the mine at different stages of operation by building up the system with modules over time. Far superior to existing technologies, the electronic Minetec Tag Board, a component of the Trax+Tags Suite, provides an efficient and cost-effective system to visually display assets based on their current location. Using the tags worn by personnel, the Tag Board displays the occupancy of zones, alarm conditions and entry/exit events.Trax+Tags II incorporates the WASP (Wireless Ad-hoc System for Positioning System), a revolutionary technology, developed by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, to address challenging tracking and navigation applications not addressed by current technologies such as GPS or WiFi. “By integrating WASP into Trax+Tags II, Minetec offers a highly accurate, cost-effective solution specifically designed for underground environments with large possibility of expansion in above ground use,” said Sheppard. “WASP is clearly a revolutionary technology that is critical to modern underground mining, and will significantly improve productivity, lower operational costs, and reduce health and safety issues for mining operations.”“We are delighted to have partnered with Minetec to deliver a wireless solution that will have a real impact on productivity and safety in the mining industry,” said Professor Jay Guo, Research Leader of Smart Secure Infrastructure at CSIRO’s Digital Productivity and Services Flagship. “We’ve integrated WASP into the Trax+Tags II system to provide critical location information in underground environments where global positioning systems cannot operate. Based on Time-of-Arrival (TOA) technology, the system improves the accuracy of tracking vehicles and personnel positions to sub-meter level in environments such as an underground pit or tunnel.”The Minetec ELF provides Ethernet and IP-based connectivity over traditional leaky feeder-based, voice communication systems. Minetec provide both VHF and UHF digital ready underground leaky feeder products and all Minetec products offer a migration path to ELF system supporting technologies such as IP cameras, VOIP phones and other Internet access products.