As the energy crisis hits the entire planet, coal continues to dominate the global commodity market, and Huawei’s innovative designs are poised to revolutionize the industry.
This month, Huawei celebrated the one-year anniversary of MineHarmony OS, its smart mining solution, and announced the launch of the large-scale commercial use phase of its 5G-based operating system. intelligence (AI) that usher in a new era for the industry.
A joint innovation with China Energy Investment Corporation, MineHarmony OS is designed to improve productivity, sustainability and safety by providing land-based control of remote mining technologies.
At Huawei Connect 2022, Ken Hu, Huawei’s Rotating Chairman, highlighted the company’s willingness to work in partnership to enable industry customers to choose the technology best suited to their needs and get the most out of it. .
“To provide our customers with scenario-based solutions that truly meet their needs, we need to work alongside them to fully understand the challenges their industry faces,” says Hu.
In just 12 months, the system has been deployed on 3,300 pieces of equipment, in 12 mines and one coal washing plant, including the entire Wulanmulun mine in Inner Mongolia, where significant progress has been made in terms of connectivity, interface and data access.
The operating system supports a multitude of innovative scenarios, such as intelligent equipment control, automatic monitoring of fixed sites and online equipment upgrade, which has been reduced from one day to only four minutes.
But what is the impact of new technologies on day-to-day operations?
Smart mining in practice
Given the complex and dangerous conditions faced by the mining industry, remote control of operations is vital, as it can significantly reduce the number of people working underground and improve safety and efficiency.
While transmitting sharp, real-time images of the mechanized coal face has always been difficult, it is now possible.
Unlike traditional cameras used in mines, whose operation can be disrupted by dust and optical fiber degradation, Huawei’s 5G networks and reverse uplink and downlink time-slot configuration technology enable the wireless transmission of videos in HD format on hundreds of channels in real time.
Using AI technology and a video stitching algorithm, individual images are combined to form a panoramic image, while a dust filtering algorithm helps achieve maximum visibility around the harvesters.
The drilling of galleries constitutes another challenge for the sector. Considered the most difficult and dangerous of all coal mining operations, it is responsible for more than 40% of accidents.
And since the safety of underground operations relies on manual supervision, more than half of accidents are attributed to human error.
To remedy this, Huawei has used 5G and AI algorithms to supervise the drilling of the galleries and thus detect failures and quality problems before sounding the alert and making corrections.
5G also makes it possible to record real-time video of belt conveyors and, thanks to the precise identification of anomalies by AI algorithms, to ensure their proper functioning.
Manual detection is now replaced by intelligent 24/7 monitoring and reduces the number of personnel in charge of underground inspections by 20%.
MineHarmony OS: ensuring communication between man and machine
Underground mining production involves more than 1,000 different types of devices, almost half of which operate in disconnected mode without being able to be controlled remotely. These devices use more than 10 types of operating systems, 500 types of communication protocols and various data formats, all operating in isolation.
MineHarmony OS is based on IoT (Internet of Things) technology, facilitating communication between device networks and the cloud, but also between the devices themselves.
This specificity allows different machines to speak the same language, to have a set of protocols for sharing data between devices, and to take advantage of human-machine and machine-machine connectivity.
With MineHarmony OS, workers can connect their smartphones to mining equipment to display visual data and perform mining operations as if they were sending a simple text message.
Beyond unattended inspections, miners can also perform smart real-time tasks, such as arranging evacuations if gas leaks are detected.
The result is an online industrial mining platform that is based on unified standards and principles, and which aims to develop new modalities for mining companies.
And according to Huawei, future research will convert the experience of experts into AI algorithms, which means that anytime and anywhere, the brightest minds in the industry can share their knowledge to to improve practices around the world.
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Focus on Huawei’s MineHarmony OS: the smart mining revolution
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