GPS Tracking Trial at South32 Mine Site

Successful Trial of GPS Tracking Technology at South32’s Boddington Mine Site

GPS Tracking Device fitted to BTS Container
Cellular Oyster fitted to BTS Container for trial

Battery Rescue have completed a successful trial of a battery-powered GPS tracking device, fitted to a Battery Transport & Storage (BTS) Container deployed to the South32’s Boddington mine site. The trial was conducted to determine whether the technology could help Battery Rescue more effectively manage its fleet of BTS Containers for regional deployments.

Battery Rescue’s battery collection service entails operating a closed container pool, where BTS Containers are supplied to a customer and when full of lead acid batteries, these are shipped to our Perth yard and empty exchange containers are returned to the customer’s site.  Ensuring the customer always has adequate empty BTS Containers on hand is an important requirement for this system to work effectively however traditional transport systems can provide some challenges for regional locations.  Some of the challenges and requirements include;

  1. Transport times from very remote sites can be considerable and relying on notifications from the customer or its transport provider, when full containers have been shipped, can be unreliable. Ideally, we want to ship the empty containers shortly after becoming aware that the full containers have left the customer’s site, rather than waiting to receive the container at our yard.
  2. Shipments can sometimes get misplaced or lost, with containers standing idle in a transporter’s yard. It can be sometime before either the customer or Battery Rescue become aware of this issue. To ensure efficient use of the BTS Containers we want to be able to eliminate this occurring.

For the trial Battery Rescue, used the Cellular enabled Oyster device in conjunction with Blackbox’s Incontrol platform. The Cellular Oyster is a compact, rugged GPS tracking device, fitted with a Telstra 3G sim card. It includes built-in antennas for GPS reception and for cellular communication, a 3D accelerometer and flash memory for storing non-volatile information.

Two geofences were established in the Incontrol platform, one for South32’s Boddington mine site and the other for Battery Rescue’s yard. The Oyster device was configured to provide an email alert, via the Incontrol platform, whenever it entered or exited either of these geofence zones. It also provided a location reading if the BTS Container has been moving and subsequently stopped for more than 10 minutes. This configuration enables adequate tracking of the container while keeping battery use to a minimum.

The trial demonstrated that this technology would provide valuable support to traditional transport systems and enable Battery Rescue to operate its closed container pool more efficiently and deliver a more reliable service to its regional customers. Battery Rescue plans to conduct additional tests whereby the IoT device will send an alert if the BTS Container has suffered an excessive shock (i.e. it has been dropped or involved in an accident) and to determine if the container is erected or in a collapsed state.

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