Location: Lamaque, Val-d’Or, Québec, Canada
Scope: Design, manufacture and distribute an IoT-enabled cap lamp
Application: A corded cap lamp that could support collision-avoidance/proximity-detection applications
Developed an IoT-enabled cap lamp in partnership with Eldorado Gold
Worked with third-party proximity warning/collision avoidance vendors to insert their tag into an NLT cap lamp
Re-engineered a previous product to meet the customer requirements
Eldorado Gold is a Canadian mid-tier gold and base metals producer with 25 years of experience building and operating mines in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The company is dedicated to responsible operations, the highest safety/environmental standards and working with stakeholders to enhance the communities where it operates. Its Canadian operation, Lamaque, opened in early 2019 and produced 113,940 ounces of gold in its first year. Eldorado has a commitment to ensuring their people have the resources to maximize their potential by providing a safe work environment to deliver their business goals safely.
Eldorado Gold wanted to develop a new cap lamp for personnel working at their recently opened operation in Lamaque. Eldorado had seen the capabilities of the Northern Light® Eagle and wanted to use their cap lamps to power their IoT efforts, as well, while keeping a traditional corded design. The cap lamp would need to power and house a third-party collision avoidance solution, while keeping with the same or better light output of the Northern Light® Eclipse. Eldorado was willing to work with a cap lamp manufacturer and invest in the product development of an IoT-enabled cap lamp.
The Northern Light® Falcon cap lamp is an IP67, collision-avoidance/proximity warning-ready and Wi-Fi tag-enabled corded cap lamp with best-in-class LED and lithium-ion battery technology. The Falcon cap lamp has a headpiece connected via a lamp cord to a high-powered battery pack. The battery pack is mounted on the waist of the miner. A rear-facing blue LED “taillight” is mounted along the lamp cord for identification of the wearer from behind. The headpiece has 3 pushbuttons and is designed for integration with IoT technology.
Capturing the Voice of the Customer:
NLT had partnered with another mining company previously to develop the Northern Light® Eagle, and Eldorado had wanted a unique solution to meet their requirements for an IoT-enabled Integrated Lamp System (ILS). Eldorado and NLT worked together to deliver an ILS that exceeded the end users’ needs.
After NLT had won the contract with Eldorado Gold, they began to work closely with their key personnel to develop a concept design for a corded cap lamp. The classic design of our Northern Light Eclipse was updated, and as the design progressed, comfort, functionality, integration and serviceability were all considered.
The new features of this updated design would require NLT’s engineers to add electronics to meet safety and functionality requirements. The cord-mounted rear-facing taillight provided an interesting issue where the light board would only turn on when current was being drawn by the head lamp. This ensured that the light was only flashing when the lamp was in use by a miner. Finally, to enhance the serviceability, NLT made a choice to “stack” the LED board and Collison Avoidance tags onto one another. This design strategy would ensure that the future iterations of the lamp would be third-party agnostic and allow NLT to work with other technology providers.
NLT worked extensively with Eldorado’s third-party partner to deliver the Northern Light® Falcon. NLT had to work on the PCB design with the IoT company to ensure that the collision-avoidance/proximity detection tag could fit inside the cap lamp. Testing procedures were developed by NLT to ensure each tag operated effectively. This feedback would be crucial to designing an ergonomic design.
After the Falcon was delivered, the mine’s personnel began providing further feedback as to how the lamp could be improved. Those improvements were incorporated into the Northern Light® Falcon ILS that NLT offers today.