Experion has signed a deal with an international manufacturer of construction equipment to build an IoT-based comprehensive fleet management system for optimizing mining operations.

The client, who is also a global truck manufacturer and a major supplier of mining equipment was hit by skyrocketing fuel prices and increasing operational costs. Tracking the trucks in real-time for optimum utilization was the key to their profitability.

As hazardous work environments, mines require the highest level of safety measures implemented to ensure not just the safety of the personnel, but also to ensure maximum efficiency. Most tracking systems in the market work on GPS, which doesn’t work well underground and consistently fails in the mine environment, leading to several inefficiencies. To combat these challenges, the client required a GPS-free geo-positioning system for fleet tracking in mines, to reduce their operational costs, improve safety, fuel efficiencies, and transportation timeliness.

Experion proposed an IoT-based solution using LoRaWAN to solve the connectivity challenges in mines. LoRa (Long Range), a spread spectrum non-cellular modulation technique for communication over LoRaWAN, uses low power, has a long-range (up to 15km in rural areas) and higher bandwidth (in comparison with other IoT technologies), making it a powerful technology in geolocation-based applications, and the right fit for the client’s requirements.

The solution is envisaged as comprising of two hardware components: end nodes & gateways and a monitoring application. This fleet management system will not only provide a way of tracking trucks in a mine environment but will also help establish a communication channel between the drivers and the mine operator, improving operational efficiency and reducing the overall fleet fuel consumption and operating costs for the client.

Experion has currently completed Phase One, with the successful execution of the POCs; Phase Two is set to begin shortly.