Boliden speakers to discuss connectivity and the digital mine at the GMG Luleå Forum

Peter Burman

Stefan Castehav

Mine automation, the digital mine and underground innovation will be key topics at the GMG Luleå forum, held on March 27-28. Two speakers from Boliden ­– Peter Burman, Program Manager, Mine Automation and Stefan Castehav­, Section Manager, System Automation– will share their first-hand experiences.

Boliden began working with underground mine automation very early. For example, the mine automation team had already worked with wireless solutions in the years before Burman joined in 2012. That said, the reality of mine automation evolved quickly: “When our team started to talk about mining robots [in 2012] some people were laughing,” Burman says, “they don’t do that anymore.”

Burman will discuss the need for connectivity and positioning services in underground mines and two emerging solutions that will help improve it; first, 5G, a new telecommunications standard that can speed up data communication; second, Ultra-wideband (UWB), a new positioning technology that Burman says will be “a game changer indoors.” Drawing on practical experience, he will also share the results of their trial with remote-controlled scaling.

Castehav will describe projects for connecting machines to their networks and delivering data to their production data platform, explaining how they will set it up and use it in their mine operations.

People are also a key component to connectivity, and Castehav will also discuss an ongoing initiative where they provide handheld devices to all mine workers to facilitate improved communication. “We have now implemented this fully in one mine,” says Castehav, “we will study it a bit more before we decide to go further.” Figuring out how many apps to have and finding the right hardware platforms is one key challenge moving forward.

When asked why they are participating in the Luleå forum, Burman describes it as “a great opportunity for us to build alliances to promote the usage of new technology in mining.”

Learn more about and register for the Luleå forum here