The mining industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need to enhance safety, improve productivity and control costs, and the growing importance of technologies such as automation, 3D mapping and geomodelling, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies can improve the success of exploration activities, reduce the environmental impact of mining, improve productivity of operational mines, and, in the case of tunnel ventilation systems, enhance both safety and efficiency. In the last three years alone, there have been over 62,000 patents filed and granted in the mining industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in mining: emergency rescue systems. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 70,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the mining industry, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Emergency rescue systems is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
The advancement of sensors has enabled devices, buildings, and clothing to become smart and connected. IoT solutions benefit all branches of emergency services in different ways. Mining operations use risk assessment processes to identify potential emergency events and circumstances. The mining site will need to consider the types of emergency equipment that can be used to mitigate the emergency as part of this process.
Emergency rescue equipment includes breathing apparatus, work at height equipment, confined space equipment, firefighting equipment, gas detection, rescue chambers and vehicles, and personal protective equipment to support the specific emergencies.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 100+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established mining companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of emergency rescue systems.
Key players in emergency rescue systems – a disruptive innovation in the mining industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to emergency rescue systems
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|China Railway Group||45||Unlock Company Profile|
|State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|Guangzhou Metro Group||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sandvik||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Henan Energy and Chemical Industry Group||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Communications Construction Group||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Epiroc||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|China State Construction Engineering||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tian Di Science & Technology||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Xi'An Kuoli Machanical and Electrical Technology||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Atlas Copco||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tian Di Science & Technology||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Changs Ascending Enterprise||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hunan Gold||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sanwa||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shandong Energy Group||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Jinneng Holding Group||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Korea Expressway||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Chengdu Tengyue Technology||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|POSCO||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Shipbuilding Industry 750 Test Site||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Chongqing Mas Sci and Tech||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shanxi Tiandi Coal Mining Machinery||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|China National Railway Group||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Xi'An Zhongzhi Huize Photoelectric Technology||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Changzhi Qinghua Machinery Factory||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing LongRuan Technologies||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Yankuang Group||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Tongguan Mine Construction||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shandong Kangwei Communication Technology||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shaanxi Coal and Chemical Industry Group||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Huaneng Yunnan Diandong Energy||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Railway Construction||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Huainan Mining Group||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|State Grid Corporation of China||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shaanxi Star Coal Mine Safety Equipment||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|China National Offshore Oil||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Railway Group||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Wuhan Dameng Database||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dongguan Lianzhou Intellectual Property Operation Management||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Communications 2nd Navigational Bureau 2nd Engineering||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Henan Inst Engineering||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|State Grid Hebei Electric Power Supply||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Railway 11th Bureau Group Electrical Engineering||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Seoyoung Engineering||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Uni-President Enterprises||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Foshan Jinjingchuang Environmental Protection Technology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shandong Tangkou Coal Mining||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Xuzhou Jiangmei Technology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Zhengzhou Souqu Information Technology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Sandvik, Epiroc, Atlas Copco and POSCO E&C are some of the leading patent filers in emergency rescue systems. POSCO E&C created the Smart Safety Solution, a safety management system that incorporates Industry 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, IoT, and virtual reality. The company is ensuring early detection and rapid response to on-site safety accidents through smart safety management, which it has implemented at various industrial sites, including steel plants, and is also reducing accidents by 30% by preventing unsafe behaviors and conditions. The company’s smart safety technologies include gas sensor, work location control, thermal CCTV, smart CCTV, smart ball, safety bus and safety vest. POSCO's Smart Safety Ball is the world's first technology, which detects the presence of harmful gases by throwing the ball into the enclosed workspace before workers enter. Meanwhile, the Safety Bus is a vehicle created specifically for Posco subcontractors. A large LED screen attached to the outside of the bus displays safety information for workers entering steel mills. The most versatile method of delivering precautions and details on the current safety status is through the LED screens. The bus also has two televisions inside to convey information without regard for time or space, promoting effective and efficient learning.
Meanwhile, Atlas Copco’s Automatic Monitoring and Extinguishing System employs smoke and heat detectors through a voting system to first shut down the engine or prime mover and when necessary, extinguish the source of the potential hazard with CO2.
In terms of application diversity, Epiroc leads the pack, while Guangzhou Metro Group stood and China Railway Construction stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Sandvik held the top position, followed by Epiroc and Sanwa.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the mining industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Mining.