If you’re searching for information on the application of electronics in the mining industry, you have come to the right place. Mining industry focusses on extracting valuable materials from the earth. Almost everything you see around you has come from some mine and has been removed with the help of a variety of tools. Mining is tough and risky.

You must have heard of a few devastating mining accidents over the years. Even though a lot of improvement in the safety standards has been implemented in the mining industry over the past few decades such as using thermal insulation blankets and covers to protect workers, mining isn’t precisely hazard proof. This is the reason. People are always looking to use things that can make the mining process safer and more efficient. This is where electronics come in. Electronics or more appropriately, power electronics have made mining technology smarter, cost-efficient and more reliable.

For example, one of the electronic systems that are widely used across the mining industry is the motor control system. The system allows multiple drives and motors to be synchronised together. It results in a much more robust solution that requires less supervision which means it makes the mining process safer. The synchronisation also implies that every component age simultaneously or homogeneously, which helps in preventing unintended consequences due to failure of one of the parts.

Similarly, solar photovoltaic products have made mining smarter and efficient. The easy availability and affordability of solar panels and related systems have helped in reducing energy dependency, which has made mining a much safer place to work for the operators. Increase in the availability of renewable energy sources as well as energy storage devices such as batteries helps in making the mining process more stable and energy-efficient.

If you know anything about the mining industry, you will know that there are many different types of mines in use today. For instance, most people are aware of the open-pit mines that are widely shown in movies and TV programs, but there are also underground mines as well as undersea mines. Operating these mines is much riskier, and therefore, every effort needs to be made to make mining in these areas safer and more efficient. This is the reason. Mine operators make use of different types of electronics to make their life more comfortable and more reliable. Some of the common types of electronics used in the mining industry include switchgear, distribution boxes, power centres, tracking systems for vehicles as well as people, radio systems, capacitor boxes and a lot of other stuff.

Take the example of deep coal mining. In this type of mining coal as well as other materials are extracted from mines that are several hundred metres deep down. Recovering coal and other materials from such depths is full of risk and requires precision control. Longwall mining is widely considered to be an effective method to extract coal from deep underground mines, and specially designed motor controls help in operating the motors required for this process. Use of these motors makes this process safer and more efficient.

Overall, electronics have full applications in the mining industry. Over the years, they have made the mining process safer and much more efficient. With regulations getting stricter, power electronics have come to the aid of mining owners and operators and has allowed them to extract minerals from even greater depths without any corresponding increase in risk.

Dean Crawford Electricity Business