Industrial Automation Group

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Industrial Automation Group

Mines Pay for Just What They Need With Remote Monitoring by Sierra Wireless AirLink® Gateways

Based in Perth, Australia, Industrial Automation (IA) provides customers inmining, manufacturing, utility, agriculture, irrigation, and shipping industries withinnovative solutions to meet their automation and control needs.


Working and digging in the vicinity of groundwater can be challenging formining companies. Massive dewatering pipes are used to extract water fromopen cut mine pits, with equipment rented at a daily rate. Unfortunately formining companies, they never know when they might hit groundwater, so theexpensive dewatering pipes are kept on-site – often sitting idle – in preparation for the unknown.

To alleviate the burden of daily fees for unused dewatering pipes, IndustrialAutomation was approached by one of its mining equipment customers tocreate a solution that would enable equipment usage tracking. This would allowthe equipment provider to charge a premium while also providing its miningcustomers with the satisfaction of paying only for the time the rented equipment was actually in use.


IA developed a remote equipment monitoring solution powered by the SierraWireless AirLink® gateway. The solution is installed on each piece of fi eldequipment to allow transfer of usage data back to a central location for accurate hourly – instead of daily – charges.

“It’s a breeze to integrate Sierra Wireless AirLink products with third partyequipment,” explained Henk de Graaf, managing director at IndustrialAutomation Group. “We use Ethernet as the backbone, so it’s just a matter of plugging things in; it’s so easy.”

With its compact form factor, the gateway allows remote data collectionenabling integration within existing infrastructure and enclosures. The ruggeddesign of the gateway, as well as the wide temperature ranges in which it canoperate, ensures it is strong enough to perform in the harsh fi eld environments where industrial vehicles regularly operate.


Because of the remote usage monitoring enabled by IA’s wireless solution,its mining equipment customer has been able to move from a daily rentalfee model to a sophisticated new accounting system that allows them totrack actual machine usage. This not only allows the customer to accuratelycharge for usage, but it also allows them to track wear and tear on machinesto better plan for service and maintenance. Having the fl exibility to providedifferent pricing plans has also enabled IA’s mining equipment customerto attract clients such as the Boddington Gold Mine, which is the largestundeveloped gold mine in Australia and poised to become the highest producing mine over the next few years.





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