IMS, a complete mining network platform
Rajant and FTP finalize a system for total interconnectivity Metal Tech News – June 9, 2021
Last updated 6/8/2021 at 5:57pm
Leading network management system supplier FTP Solutions and Kinetic Mesh wireless network provider Rajant Corp. have collaborated to implement FTP's Integrated Management System, a complete platform for visualizing, tracking, and categorizing data from virtually everything and anything at a mine.
Australia-based FTP Solutions has partnered with industry leaders such as Caterpillar and Komatsu to deliver future-proof end-to-end technology-based products, services, and guidance. Founded in 2012 as FTP Solutions Pty Ltd., the company merged with True North Solutions in 2019 to bring the newly created FTP Solutions Inc. its unique insight and skillset to the Americas.
Rajant Corp., a leading industrial wireless network provider utilizing its patented Kinetic Mesh technology, is a pioneer provider of one of the most adaptable, scalable, and readily deployed fully mobile networks on the market today. Based out of Pennsylvania and founded in 2001, Rajant has partnered with nearly 30 leading companies, including Microsoft and DeWalt.
"FTP partnered with Rajant to incorporate its BreadCrumb radios into our IMS platform because Rajant technology is the most dependable and reliable network for mission critical applications like autonomy, according to our customers," said Scott Mills, FTP technical director and the person who built IMS. "The mining operator benefits from a leading fit-for-purpose radio couple with a single-pane-of-glass monitoring system. The deep integration of the FTP IMS platform with Rajant Kinetic Mesh makes possible previously unattainable visibility into the high level of performance that a Rajant network enables at a mine."
Kinetic Mesh works through a combination of Rajant's BreadCrumb wireless network nodes and InstaMesh software. By creating a kind of spiderweb of relay points, it is capable of continuously routing data via the best available path and frequency.
From any Wi-Fi or ethernet-connected device, the multitude of nodes can deliver low-latency, high-throughput data, voice, and video applications across the self-sustaining "meshed" network, hence the name mesh networks.
"FTP is in the forefront of reporting network health for the entire OT (operational technology) mining network, and they do it in an agnostic way when it comes to radio technologies including Rajant, LTE, and Wi-Fi," said Rajant Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing Geoff Smith. "FTP's IMS platform reports on the health of the entire mine network to all relevant parties, which is critical when it comes to having a truly automated operation. Rajant technology can work with any backhaul, including LTE, to provide seamless connectivity through a mine site regardless of pre-existing infrastructure."
By combining the best of both worlds, each company's technologies have supplemented the other in the most ideal way –a complete monitoring system and the method to transmit that data seamlessly throughout a mine site.
The IMS already featured GPS tracking of assets and device states 24-7 in real-time; seamless historical playback of any significant events; real-time alerts via user-friendly functionality; one-touch radio frequency planning; and custom polling engines for obscure devices, meaning it can cross-reference similar data and use preset configurations without starting from scratch.
All of that now has the capability of a fully integrated living network, as Rajant calls it, providing one of, if not the most comprehensive operating system for the mining industry. If operations were like MS-DOS before, this is possibly akin to the advent of Windows featuring a graphical user interface for the mining sector.