Computerized vehicle dispatching goes underground

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 86, No. 967, 1993
Russell A. Luke, Modular Mining Systems,Tucson, Arizona
Abstract Modular Mining's computerized LHDposition monitoring and dispatching system commenced operation at the De Beers Finsch Mine in mid-1991. A sophisticated blend of proven and new technologies links the dispatcher at the workstation console on the surface with the LHD operators several hundred metres below. The dispatcher allocates each LHD to apriority tip and loading drive based on instructions provided by the miners and shift bosses underground. LHD operators receive tip and loading drive allocations on the vehicle computer console which communicates data via a Leaky Feeder radio network. The operators interact with the console to notify the dispatcher of delays, breakdowns, and changes in tip and tunnel status. The underground terminal displays allow shift bosses to monitor the progress of the LHDs as they pass infrared beacons (IRs) located in the tips, loading drives, and rim tunnel main haulage ways. The terminals also provide on-line statistics for the current and previous shifts. Future enhancements include optimized dispatching and interfacing to a PLC system controlling ventilation. Further, token ring-based loop UHF radios are being investigated as an alternative to the Leaky Feeder data radio network.
Keywords: Computer applications, Dispatching systems, Underground mining.
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