Mine-wide information system development at Inco Limited

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 85, No. 960, 1992

G.R. Baiden, Inco Limited, Copper Cliff, Ontario, and M. Scoble, CCARM, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

This paper describes recent developments at Inco Limited, Ontario Division, in the field of information systems for automated mining. A CA TV cable network has been combined with a broad spectrum radio antenna system to allow the supply of voice, data and video services to underground mining. The system formed the basis of a field experiment at the Copper Cliff North Mine of the Ontario Division in 1990. The experimental information system was developed to supply underground mining with voice, data and video services to mobile and stationary locations. In order to test the communication system, telephones and radios were linked together with the outside phone lines for voice communication. Stationary data was implemented on a SCAD A (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system for mine monitoring and control using PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), while using personal workstations for the mine planning and engineering functions. Stationary video was installed in the experiment to observe crushing, conveyor transfer points and skip dumping areas. Mobile data and video were tested by the teleoperation of an LHD. The functions supplied to the vehicle were monitored through a computer, with control being maintained through a standard radio interface and real time video pictures for the operation of the machine. This paper discusses the field testing of the information system and results achieved to date. It concludes by discussing the options considered to be open to provide information systems for future automated mining.
Keywords: Inco Limited, Information systems, Automation, Future ORE MANufacturing, FOREMAN Project, Distribution Antenna Translator (DAT), North Mine.