The Rise of Tracking Technologies
Recently, NLT has seen a significant increase in mines installing new tracking solutions as well as upgrading their systems with new technologies like LTE.

The three factors driving this increased interest in tracking are:
1) Safety: key personnel with access to the mine’s network can see at a glance who’s in and out of the mine at any given time. Should an “event” occur in the mine, a tracking solution can help expedite the evacuation of personnel and help prioritize rescue efforts by providing the last known locations of miners requiring assistance. Tracking solutions can also be used to monitor restricted areas within the mine, ensuring unauthorized personnel do not enter. Newer tracking solutions are additionally starting to offer bidirectional communication, allowing a miner in trouble to send an alert to a command center.

2) Financial: any incident involving injury or deaths results in huge costs to the mine. Tracking solutions help keep miners out of harm’s way and, when trouble occurs, expedites evacuation and rescue. Tracking solutions contribute to a significantly safer work environment for miners.

3) Productivity: a tracking solution helps ensure that miners and equipment are where they are supposed to be, doing what they are supposed to be doing. A tracking solution provides unprecedented insight into the workings of a mine. It is like being able to lift the lid off the mine, allowing key decision makers to see in real-time what is going on. It also allows management to manage resources better, for example, they can quickly locate and direct specialists, such as mechanics or electricians, to fix a situation in the mine.

Why Put Tracking Tags in a Cap Lamp?
With a traditional tracking solution, tags can be easily forgotten or lost. At $100-300 per tag, this can represent a significant expense for a mine. By installing the tag in the miner’s cap lamps, it is protected from impact and moisture by the lamp’s housing, and it assures the tag is always with the miner. Powering the tag off the lamp’s rechargeable battery also eliminates the hassle of monitoring its life and replacing costly single-use batteries. (Depending on the beaconing rate, single-use batteries in a standalone tag will need to be replaced every 6-12 months.) By allowing miners to charge all elements uniformly on one charger, their tags stay functional. And with tags in their lamps, they are always accessible to management, which is critical in the event of an emergency.

Smart Cap Lamps
NLT pioneered the concept of the “Smart Lamp” in 2012 with the introduction of Genesis, the world’s first cordless cap lamp to accommodate a built-in tracking tag. In 2018, NLT raised the bar yet again with the introduction of the semi-cordless Eagle and corded Falcon lamps, capable of accommodating not only a tracking tag but also a proximity awareness tag. Today, we have partnerships with most of the world’s major tracking and proximity providers. To learn more about Smart Cap Lamps, read our blog: Interested in the Future of Mining? Then You’ll Want to Know About Smart Cap Lamps.

NLT has new technology coming out in 2021, and we are consistently looking for new ways to make our lamps lighter, smaller, brighter and more cost-effective. To learn more about NLT’s Smart Cap Lamps, contact Rich Humber at 416-886-9774 or rhumber@nltinc.com.