Mining equipment has come a long way since the days of mule-drawn carriages for haulage, and canaries or Davy lamps for safety.
In terms of high-voltage equipment, large AC and DC motors are still at the order of the day, but with increased sophistication. Load-haul-dump trucks operate in hazardous environments without a driver on board. Sophisticated Motor Control Centers now house Variable Speed Drives and soft-starters, and the motor control equipment is often networked via Ethernet.
It is, however, on the low-voltage side where the developments are almost breathtaking. In certain parts of the world all mines in the region are monitored centrally on a SCADA system, with backhauls (fiber and wireless) to all mines in the region, forming a large Wide Area Network.
At the mine sites Ethernet networks, both wired and wireless, are at the order of the day both above and below ground level. Leaky Feeder wireless systems are still to be found, but nowadays they support Ethernet and TCP/IP, making them suitable for voice and data. IEE802.11 wireless (a.k.a. Wi-Fi), suitably adapted for the mining environment, is making vast inroads into mining operations. Wi-Fi-based systems are used for both data and voice (VoIP), and with suitable Radio Frequency ID interfaces they also provide the infrastructure for monitoring personnel and vehicle movement. Some 802.11-based systems can even be configured in mesh topologies, delivering military-grade reliable communications between moving personnel and vehicles in an open mine environment.
Industrial field buses such as HART, AS-i, Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus and DeviceNet are widely used in the mining industry. As is the case with most other electronics, they are increasingly moving towards a co-existence with Ethernet, and augmentation with wireless. And, of course, some of them can perform safety functions as well as operate in intrinsically safe environments.
SCADA and distributed control is at the order of the day, and data from these systems are used as inputs to expert systems. These systems are used for various purposes such as providing data for optimized mine management, safety, and advanced process control. It is, in many cases, not even necessary for control room staff to understand anything about PID control in order to optimize a given control loop; the advanced process control system will heed their ‘operator’ inputs and optimize the process on their behalf.
Personal safety has not lagged behind. For example, ground radar can detect sub-millimeter ground movements, UWB and Wi-Fi systems are teamed up to avoid collisions between people and vehicles, and integrated headlamps for miners not only have built-in radio communications facilities, but also Ultra-Low Frequency ground-to-surface pagers for emergency location.
So, in short, the mining industry is attracting the best of the best cutting-edge commercial and industrial electrical and electronics technologies. The question is are you capable of dealing with it? Welcome to the EIT Advanced Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation (E & I) Engineering in Mining.
IN THIS INTENSIVE PART-TIME 18-MONTH LIVE ONLINE PROGRAM YOU WILL GAIN:
- Skills and know-how in the latest electrical and instrumentation technologies used in mining operations all over the world
- Practical guidance from mining experts in the field
- 'Hands-on' knowledge from the extensive experience of the instructors, rather than from only the theoretical information gained from books and college reading
- Credibility as a mining expert in your firm
- Networking contacts in the industry
- Improved career prospects and income
- An Advanced Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation (E & I) Engineering in Mining
Next intake starts April 13, 2015.
There is still time to apply and limited places available.
Who should complete this accredited qualification?
This program would be ideal for you if you are seeking to gain know-how and expertise in the mining industry and are an:
- Instrument and process control technician or technologist
- Instrument fitter
- Mining engineering supervisor
- Sales engineer
- Chemical, mining or mechanical engineer
- Electrical engineers and electricians
- Maintenance engineers and supervisors
- Design engineers
- Project managers
- Consulting engineers
- A recent graduate electrical, instrumentation or mechanical engineer
Even if you are highly experienced you will find this a great way to become familiar with mining technology as quickly as possible.
This program is composed of 19 modules, covering 5 main streams:
- Power Engineering
- Analytics and Management Systems
The modules will be completed in the following order:
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering Drawings
- Electrical Power Distribution
- Circuit Breakers and Switchgear
- Power Systems Protection
- Fundamentals of Professional Engineering
- Motor Control
- Data Communications
- TCP /IP and VOIP
- Terrestrial Microwave and Satellite Communications
- Leaky Feeder Systems
- Wireless LANs
- Wireless Mesh Networks
- Field Buses
- SCADA Systems and OPC
- Process Control Systems
- Programmable Logic Controllers
- Distributed Control Systems
- Analytical, Management and Personal Safety Systems and Devices