Equipment designed for such an environment is enormously robust, beyond the enclosures and weatherproofing normally considered for industrial deployments. But it’s not just the physical environment which is so challenging, the communication needs of material extraction and refinement are equally demanding.
Increasingly-intelligent sensors, and SCADA systems, generate huge quantities of data which must be aggregated and analyzed across the site, while network systems remain capable of the millisecond response times necessary for connected safety-of-life equipment.
Sites are commonly fitted with fiber-optic and Ethernet connections, but modern facilities are also looking for blanket wireless coverage, to provide mobile connectivity as well as connecting up sensors and other devices beyond the reach of physical cables. Until recently wireless has been considered too unreliable for critical deployments, but recent innovations, such as ABB Wireless products, have proved robust communication is possible in unlicensed radio spectrum.
Combined network technologies are often required to reach every part of the site, with every component necessarily hardened against the hostile environment encountered in many deployments. ABB provides a range of equipment, resistant to vibration, impact, extremes of heat and cold, and varying electromagnetic fields, to ensure connectivity can reach the furthered corner of the most-remote facility.