Alejandro Tafoya
Director General
ABControl
/
Insight

Intelligent Tech Makes Mines Efficient, Powerful, Safe

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 16:36

Q: How have ABControl’s strategic priorities within the mining industry evolved?

A: The Mexican mining sector has been changing very quickly in recent years and the companies that provide technology and services have been forced to do so too. The mining sector has stopped looking at production as its only goal. Today, it wants to be not only productive and efficient, but sustainable and responsible in a social context. ABControl’s priorities have developed throughout 12 years of operations. We have turned from being a company that offered only automation solutions for the mining sector to a company that now provides turnkey projects in high and low-voltage systems and processes automation and electrical substations for the mining, energy and construction sections. The mining sector demands that companies provide solutions and services of a greater presence, quality and impact. Besides this, they must offer a rapid response and solution when supporting maintenance issues, especially from those companies that provide hightech solutions, such as ours.

Q: What new technology are you bringing to the mining market and how do they offer value?

A: Our Mine Intelligent Network (MINE) technology was developed in our work plant in Coahuila and has since been installed in Fresnillo’s plants. It has exceeded initial expectations. MINE integrates the equipment and machines inside the mine through a communication channel that uses high and low-voltage electricity lines, breaking the old-fashioned paradigm that expensive fiber-optic installations or coaxial cables were required for a wellconnected underground mine. This is not the case with our MINE platform due to an easy installation of its three essential components, which can then be relocated when required. Along with our high-value solutions for safety and efficiency we will continue to generate strategic alliances with fundamental providers who will become part of our MINE platform.

Q: In what way is ABControl a technologically innovative business?

A: The MINCOM1 communication system is a pioneer in incorporating broadband power line (BPL) technology in subterranean mines. It also maximizes the cost-benefit of these projects, since it does not require optic fiber or special cables to communicate. MINCOM1 uses the same high and low-voltage infrastructure already installed in the mine and serves as the medium whereby all MINE-enabled gadgets communicate among themselves.

MINE incorporates open communication equipment in such a way that it is not limited to connecting with ABControl’s Smart P devices. Rather, any type of equipment is compatible, provided it communicates in standard industrial protocols using serial port or RJ-45. All these conditions mean MINE is the ideal architecture for any critical mine equipment in terms of cost-benefit, facility of integration with the Smart P and other components and simple and fast network movement.

Q: How does ABControl adapt its abilities and ambitions to face operational and technical challenges?

A: With the continuous improvement of the processes in the mining industry, it is crucial to have equipment that analyzes the user’s needs to guarantee their continued relevance. As a company dedicated to automation processes, we have identified a huge area of opportunity in the design and commercialization of high- and low-tech systems for the specific needs of the mining industry.

The proven proficiency of ABControl in the energy segment is striking. We already have an installed control and protection base in more than 100 substations throughout the country and the majority of our projects are approved by the Laboratory of Equipment and Material Testing (LAPEM). This proficiency is being channeled toward developing further mining solutions with the aim of making the industry more efficient, powerful and safe.