Relevant Data. Real-Time Transmission.
The DISPATCH® Underground Fleet Management System actively delivers relevant information to each mobile equipment unit, assisting operators in making informed decisions based on current conditions.
The DISPATCH Underground FMS provides development and production support for all mining methods in non-fiery environments, helping to optimize your mining operations in the following areas:
Increase Equipment Utilization and Productivity
- Track equipment location via RFID tags or GPS
- Monitor changes to equipment operational status
- Ensure that equipment is in the right place at the right time via active task management
Maximize Material Movement
- Monitor production target processes through automated tracking capabilities
- Inherit density and grade data from source locations
- Maintain material quantities and qualities between survey intervals
Reduce Waste and Operating Costs
- Alleviate workflow bottlenecks through automated sequential task assignments
- Reduce non-productive equipment travel and idle time
- Minimize reaction times to draw point hang ups, ore pass blockages, and other delays at the working face
Enhance Operator Safety
- Utilize paperless equipment Prestart checklists to ensure operator accountability for assessing equipment condition
- Review Pass/Fail Prestart checklist items on a per-unit basis to confirm equipment is safe for operation
- Broadcast emergency alerts from equipment operators
- Use login credentials and training records to verify operator qualification for specific equipment types
With more than 35 years of experience delivering mine-tough mobile hardware, Modular has established a reputation for building systems that function reliably from the deserts of the Australian outback to the Alaskan Boreal forest, and in the harshest of underground environments.
Modular’s current mobile platform provides robust computing power, a color touchscreen display, and wireless data connectivity, in a single package. Every Modular design undergoes rigorous lab and field testing for vibration, temperature, and moisture resistance.
The operators’ primary interface with the DISPATCH Underground system is through the 7” color touch screen display installed the cab of each equipment unit. Pre-configured equipment types include:
- Load haul dump (LHD)
- Underground haul truck
- Production drill
- Development drill
- Roof bolter
- Explosives truck
- Mechanical scaler
- Light vehicle
- Auxiliary units
The mobile device utilizes large buttons, operator-selectable color schemes, and a crisp, high-resolution display. The user interface is specifically designed to accommodate low-light environments and conditions.
Track equipment locations underground using strategically-placed RFID tags affixed to your mine's infrastructure. Rugged RFID tag readers are installed on all mobile equipment units. Modular’s approach to RFID equipment tracking presents an affordable, granular deployment of an RFID network.
The DISPATCH Underground system works with your existing 802.11 (Wi-Fi)-compliant, distributed antenna system or other wireless data network to communicate between mobile equipment and the DISPATCH Underground system central server.
Modular has been delivering fleet management technology to the mining industry for more than 35 years. In this time, our focus has been to improve every aspect of mine operations. The DISPATCH Underground system provides the most comprehensive end-to-end solution for greater efficiency, productivity, and safety for all of your underground operations.
DISPATCH Underground Core Module Categories
Position Tracking provides real-time, discrete equipment positioning via strategically-placed RFID tags affixed to underground mine infrastructure. Rugged RFID tag readers are installed on every mobile equipment unit. Additionally, GPS technology can be used for continuous equipment positioning above ground.
MineGraphics provides an enhanced visualization of current activities within the mine for dispatchers, supervisors, and other personnel in the central office. With MineGraphics, users can:
- Visualize equipment movement in real time
- Simultaneously illustrate mine locations and tunnel networks in both Section View and Plan View
- Display .dxf files from modeling software as separate layers
- Filter by elevation, equipment types, location types, and more
The Time Tracking module enables dispatchers to monitor equipment and location activity, utilization, and availability. The system utilizes Status Tracking and Equipment Cycle Tracking to produce a complete time usage model.
Status Tracking, the primary method of Time Tracking, enables operators to quickly alert dispatchers of changes to equipment or location status.
Equipment statuses are defined as:
- Ready – Operator is logged in and the equipment is currently operating
- Delay – Operator is on-board the equipment but the equipment will not be operating for a known period of time
- Standby – Equipment is available for use but is not currently being operated
- Down - Unavailable for work
Statuses can be further broken down into reason codes, and then mapped into time categories for reporting purposes.
Equipment Cycle Tracking is used to calculate productivity based on repeated actions of equipment. The equipment’s operating time is separated into several distinct stages, which are then linked together to form a cycle. For example, the following stages: Travel Empty/Full, Queue, Load, and Dump; form a haulage cycle for a haul truck.
Task Management handles all tasks and work orders assigned to the mobile fleet. By automating development and production processes, Task Management easily creates and monitors the progress of all scheduled tasks to:
- Reduce the need for manual task assignments and reassignments
- Prevent undue waiting time
- Synchronize sequential tasks
Pairing with the optional Location Reason Codes module facilitates seamless management of the horizontal mining process and associated tasks.Back to top
Personnel management tools are available to define crews, shifts, and crew rotations; create and export crew rotation calendars, and schedule the following shift line-ups:
- Shifts – Adapt the DISPATCH Underground system to most shift time schedules
- Crew Rotation – Schedule crew rotations and define site-specific intervals, such as: 4 on/3 off, 7 on/7 off, or 14 on/14 off
- Mine Calendar – Display crew rotations and idle days in a monthly calendar format. Publish in .ics format for distribution to employees. Import into applications such as Microsoft® Outlook®
- Line-Up (optional) – Identify equipment location at shift change and make equipment assignments for the incoming crew
Material Management maintains material quantities and qualities between survey intervals in real time. Following a blast, ore control personnel can update material inventories as required. The system will then automatically track material inventory levels, grades, and densities as material is added or removed from a given location.
Track critical operational parameters such as tonnage, volume, and grade, for material movements between all locations, including:
- Ore Passes
- Draw points
The Locations module enables Dispatch Engineers to create hierarchically-structured (parent/child) lists of the locations within your mine. The hierarchical locations structure provides the operator with an intuitive navigation tool that presents contextually-relevant information based on the equipment‘s current tracked position.Back to top
The DISPATCH® Underground system can be expanded to create a true fit-for-purpose tool that meets your mine's existing business needs.
DISPATCH Underground Optional Module Categories
The optional Switchable RFID/GPS module enables the positioning of equipment units that operate underground and on surface using both RFID and GPS sensors. The bi-modal positioning system automatically determines when the system utilizes each technology.
Location Reason Code
The optional Location Reason Code module enables operators and dispatchers to set the status and reason code for work locations. Location Reason Code integrates with Task Management to enable process execution whereby the configured mining cycle can be automated.
For example, when an LHD operator has completed a task for cleaning a working face, the status and reason code of the face will automatically change to: Delay – Drilling, development. This signifies that the location is now in a delay state until the development drill arrives. In parallel, this status and reason code change will generate a task for the development drill to work at this face. Allowing the operators to advance a mining process provides an efficient means to task automation. Task lists are not updated while working in offline mode.
Benefits of the Location Reason Code module include:
- Ability to quickly inform operators of new tasks as location conditions change
- Allowing operators to advance stages of a work cycle based on the status of the working face
- Reducing reaction times to draw point hang ups, ore pass blockages, and other delays at the working face
The optional Line-Up module enables supervisors to make equipment assignments for the incoming crew and provides those assigned operators with the equipment's current location before the operators travel underground.Back to top
Draw Card Management
The optional Draw Cards module enables dispatchers to distribute a Block Cave draw point extraction plan to LHD mobile field computers. Use the Draw Cards module to:
- Present LHD operators with individual assignments according to the draw point extraction plan
- Simultaneously monitor extraction progress for all active draw points
- Provide supervisors with a visual representation of any deviation from the original extraction plan
- Maintain the integrity of the extraction plan by carrying any unfinished work over to the following shift
Equipment Prestart Checklist
The optional Equipment Prestart module ensures operator accountability for assessing equipment condition before use. The DISPATCH Underground system automatically records configurable PASS/FAIL information for Equipment Prestart checklist items. Generate exceptions for specific failed items, and review the Prestart history for each unity on a shift-by-shift basis.
Operators verify Equipment Prestart items on their mobile devices as part of the logon sequence. If a failed item falls within the “Do Not Operate” or “Contact Dispatcher” section, an exception notification displays on the dispatcher’s screen. A failed “Do Not Operate” item, such as: STEERING – DO NOT OPERATE! also generates an exception message for the dispatcher.
The optional Location Checklist module ensures operator accountability for assessing workplace conditions before commencing work at a specific location.
Dispatchers use the module’s desktop application interface to create user-defined checklists for specific work locations. Upon arrival at a location, operators use their mobile devices to assign PASS or FAIL status to each item on the checklist. The PASS/FAIL information is automatically recorded in the DISPATCH Underground system. Exceptions can be generated for specific failed items.
Failed items that fall within the “Do Not Work” or “Contact Dispatcher” section automatically generate an exception notification which displays on the dispatcher’s screen.Back to top
Data Import and Export
The Data Import/Export feature allows you to import data from third-party applications (for example: ERP systems such as SAP® and Oracle®; Excel, and mine-planning tools) into the DISPATCH Underground system. Imported profiles are used to map comma-delimited ACSII file data to fields in the DISPATCH Underground system database.
Reduce error-prone manual data entry by importing:
- Equipment tasks, production schedules, and draw cards
- Mine locations, personnel, and equipment units
Data Import/Export also enables exporting of the following historical records into a spreadsheet or comma-delimited format:
- Equipment cycle records
- Drilling records
- Material records
- Production accounting
- Time accounting
- Mobile Activity
- Stored and forwarded data is seamlessly integrated into central database records
- Communication disruption causes no discernible difference in operation
- Uploaded data is reconciled in real time upon reaching the central server
The DISPATCH Underground system utilizes Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to enable real-time and historical reporting of the mining operation. The standard reports package includes several reports that cover current or past shifts, or a range of shifts, with a focus on the following key areas:
Store&Forward ensures that data integrity is maintained when equipment travels outside the wireless data network. While operating without communications, all event data is stored on the mobile device and automatically forwarded to the central server when communication is restored. With Store&Forward: