US-based Westmoreland Coal Company has deployed a Zebra wireless (WLAN) AP 7161 access point from Zebra Technologies at its open pit Wyoming Kemmerer mine.
The mine has over 70 pieces of mining equipment spread across 13,400 acres which need to be constantly connected to the mine's WLAN network.
Kemmerer mine is a 13,400-acre surface mine complex and produces coal in three active areas from 12 primary seams and their splits.
By enabling remote monitoring and maintenance, connecting the equipment and fleet management system, and extending internet access to all workers and contractors, Westmoreland aims to improve the profitability of the mine.
According to Zebra, the AP 7161 can be installed on vehicles such as shovels and backhoes to obtain information from the equipment and improve day-to-day management.
The installation will enable a reduction in shovel repair costs as well as increase in equipment uptime.
Further all processes would be streamlined and the life expectancy of the equipment can be increased.
Network administrators use the technology to monitor all users and traffic on the wireless network to prevent any unauthorised use.
Westmoreland Coal Company Kemmerer IT director Don Rily said: "We chose KNS Communications Consultants and Zebra for their experience and the reliability and superior bandwidth of the WLAN solution.
"It was the best option available for a rugged environment, and we are extremely pleased with the performance and cost savings offered by this solution."
Zebra Technologies Enterprise Networking Communications vice-president Imran Akbar said: "Our WLAN infrastructure has improved the mine's operational efficiency, productivity and profitability, and it has given their mobile workers increased connectivity needed to excel in a tough environment."
Image: The AP 7161 can be installed on vehicles such as shovels and backhoes. Photo: courtesy of worradmu/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net