A simplistic approach to safety—Jannatec’s JAWS platform promotes underground mine safety

JAWS is a peer-to-peer application that uses RF radio signals to notify vehicles and personnel underground of imminent dangers

by Jillian Clark
Shown here are the JAWS and SmartView systems, which provide simple solutions to underground mine safety.

JAWS and SmartView provide simple solutions to underground mine safety. — Photo courtesy Jannatec Technologies

Jannatec Technologies provides innovative solutions to the mining industry: its specialities are communications, lighting and tracking, among others. The company's most recent success is JAWS (Jannatec Advanced Warning System). “JAWS is a peer-to-peer application that leverages RF radio signals to notify vehicles and personnel underground of imminent dangers or cautions that should be taken into consideration when working,” said Mark Burnett, account representative. JAWS helps identify the proximity of assets, vehicles and personnel in relation to one another.

SmartView takes JAWS one step further

JAWS can be mounted on a panel or dashboard as an OEM option in vehicles. Alone, JAWS is a simple proximity detection tool. Combined with Jannatec’s SmartView system, JAWS can be leveraged for much more. Currently, the new SmartView system includes back-up and blind-spot cameras and sensors, vehicle telemetry, circle checks, and TBAC (training-based access control), alongside the proximity detection and asset tracking. All of this appears on the same dashboard screen, making the SmartView a central information system for the operator to focus on. This simplifies multiple subsystems scattered throughout the operator compartment.

Combined, the JAWS and SmartView platform is highly customizable. “Every mine, even if it is the same company, is unique,” said Burnett. “We need a product that will be unique, dynamic and flexible enough to meet the needs that different mines have today and moving into tomorrow.”

Mines can start with proximity detection from vehicle to vehicle or from vehicle to fixed asset, such as fans and pumps, before investing in the JAWS technology. For example, mines can choose to customize the platform with Jannatec’s Johnny Light G3 Turbo radio cap lamps or the ONE cordless cap lamps with proximity detection. “The option is there for them to grow their own system as necessary,” Burnett said.

Stand-alone proximity alert system stands apart from competition

One of the qualities that sets JAWS apart from similar products on the market is that there is no additional infrastructure required for JAWS to operate; no Wi-Fi, communications infrastructure, access points, cables or accompanying devices are necessary. The transmitters talk one-on-one. “All you need is this piece of equipment on the vehicles and the personnel or fixed assets,” Burnett said.

Jannatec designed JAWS to supply “a simplistic means to an end for mining companies that doesn’t cost a lot in infrastructure,” said Burnett. “Proximity detection does not have to be complicated.” While competing devices are typically complicated, JAWS uses a minimalistic approach to promote mine safety.

Continuing with the minimalistic approach, SmartView presents JAWS data in a simple, easy-to-operate interface. It provides necessary information without becoming overbearing.

Simple installation options another selling point of JAWS

Installation varies on the company’s needs and current equipment. Jannatec offers a service team for installation, installation prior to delivery on new vehicles and information sessions for companies to install the system themselves.

Additional JAWS benefits include efficiency and data access

The obvious benefit of JAWS is to navigate the dark, noisy environment of an underground mine and eliminate accidents in that setting. With the combination of JAWS and Jannatec’s SmartView, workers can accurately track when vehicle maintenance is necessary, promote safe vehicle operator practices and use the data to monitor the efficiency of the work and status of equipment.

Positive reaction as JAWS trials near completion

JAWS is currently finishing its trial stage. This far into the process, the companies involved are already thrilled. “Companies involved want to permanently install this system,” Burnett said. “We have completed a trial with one of the world’s largest mining companies, and they are in the process of installing it at one of their mines.” After a two-week trial, this company was impressed with the potential for increased safety with JAWS.

In addition, Jannatec has received positive feedback about JAWS at tradeshows. Now that testing is complete, Jannatec is excited to move forward with installations.

The future of JAWS promotes mine safety and increases efficiency

The next steps for JAWS are already in the works. “We are growing our product line to meet the growing needs of the mining industry,” said Burnett. Dashboard real estate is hard to come by. The goal is to be comprehensive, customizable and cost-effective, yet remain minimalistic. “The more we can put into one unit, the better,” he said.

“The important thing is to not only ask clients what they need today, but what they need tomorrow,” said Burnett. Jannatec aims to give clients a comprehensive solution that fits into their growth plan. Rather than replacing the technology, they create products that can be adapted. “We don’t want to just give them a solution for today, but a solution that they can build on,” he said.

Moving forward with the technology, Jannatec is considering increased drive assist, speed limiting, as well as data collection and information access for mine operators, among other solutions.

Learn more about JAWS and SmartView.

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