Mining equipment has come a long way since the days of mule-drawn carriages for haulage, and canaries or Davy lamps for safety.
In terms of high-voltage equipment, large AC and DC motors are still at the order of the day, but with increased sophistication. Load-haul-dump trucks operate in hazardous environments without a driver on board. Sophisticated Motor Control Centers now house Variable Speed Drives and soft-starters, and the motor control equipment is often networked via Ethernet.
It is, however, on the low-voltage side where the developments are almost breathtaking. In certain parts of the world all mines in the region are monitored centrally on a SCADA system, with backhauls (fiber and wireless) to all mines in the region, forming a large Wide Area Network.
At the mine sites Ethernet networks, both wired and wireless, are at the order of the day both above and below ground level. Leaky Feeder wireless systems are still to be found, but nowadays they support Ethernet and TCP/IP, making them suitable for voice and data. IEE802.11 wireless (a.k.a. Wi-Fi), suitably adapted for the mining environment, is making vast inroads into mining operations. Wi-Fi-based systems are used for both data and voice (VoIP), and with suitable Radio Frequency ID interfaces they also provide the infrastructure for monitoring personnel and vehicle movement. Some 802.11-based systems can even be configured in mesh topologies, delivering military-grade reliable communications between moving personnel and vehicles in an open mine environment.
Industrial field buses such as HART, AS-i, Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus and DeviceNet are widely used in the mining industry. As is the case with most other electronics, they are increasingly moving towards a co-existence with Ethernet, and augmentation with wireless. And, of course, some of them can perform safety functions as well as operate in intrinsically safe environments.
SCADA and distributed control is at the order of the day, and data from these systems are used as inputs to expert systems. These systems are used for various purposes such as providing data for optimized mine management, safety, and advanced process control. It is, in many cases, not even necessary for control room staff to understand anything about PID control in order to optimize a given control loop; the advanced process control system will heed their ‘operator’ inputs and optimize the process on their behalf.
Personal safety has not lagged behind. For example, ground radar can detect sub-millimeter ground movements, UWB and Wi-Fi systems are teamed up to avoid collisions between people and vehicles, and integrated headlamps for miners not only have built-in radio communications facilities, but also Ultra-Low Frequency ground-to-surface pagers for emergency location.
So, in short, the mining industry is attracting the best of the best cutting-edge commercial and industrial electrical and electronics technologies. The question is are you capable of dealing with it?
This program would be ideal for you if you are seeking to gain know-how and expertise in the mining industry and are an:
Even if you are highly experienced you will find this a great way to become familiar with mining technology as quickly as possible.
This program is composed of 19 modules, covering 5 main streams:
The modules are completed in the following order:
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Special class groups can be arranged on request to match your own schedule. If you have a large number of staff who should complete any of our programs, read more about EIT's In Company Online Training HERE and contact us to assist you further.
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The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) provides distance education to students located almost anywhere in the world – it is one of the very few truly global training institutes. Course fees are paid in a currency that is determined by the student’s location. A full list of fees in a currency appropriate for every country would be complex to navigate and, with today’s exchange rate fluctuations, difficult to maintain. Instead we aim to give you a rapid response regarding fees that is customised to your individual circumstances.
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In order to meet the exacting demands of the oil and gas, mining, manufacturing and downstream processing industries, modern plants are equipped with systems and devices which are needed to measure and regulate variables such as temperature, pressure, flow, humidity, liquid level, velocity and density. Industrial Automation provides the technology to control and monitor a process plant using such concepts as feedback, cascade, feedforward and advanced process control. Here at the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT), we have developed industry-focused programs in the form of vocational diplomas, advanced diplomas and graduate certificates, all the way up to Masters level in the higher education sector.
There is a critical shortage of automation, instrumentation and control engineers, technicians and technologists around the world now due to the retirement, restructuring and rapid growth in new technologies and industries. The respected International Society of Automation (ISA) organization estimated that at least 15,000 new automation engineers are needed annually in the USA alone.
In keeping with the philosophy of EIT, students in this school are exposed to the practical, up-to-the-minute knowledge and skills demanded by leading industries worldwide, with online instrumentation courses. EIT does not just cater to a generic student body, instead all of our online instrumentation courses are specific to industry. The programs cover a large range of topics and are suited to anyone needing an intensive and practical look at all facets of industrial automation, instrumentation and process control.
The short courses that form part of EIT's professional development series are designed to provide students with critical knowledge and practical tools that can be immediately applied to the workplace. They are ideal to up-skill and/or cross-skill in a particular area or technology and are not accredited programs.
Students in EIT's School of Industrial Automation, Instrumentation and Process Control study subjects which include: process control, instrumentation, control valves, process plant layout and piping design, tuning of process loops, SCADA, PLCs, advanced process control (APC), boiler control, hazardous areas, safety instrumentation (IEC 61511 and IEC 61508), HAZOPs, industrial data communications, networking, deviceNet and Fieldbus, industrial wireless, radio telemetry systems, shielding/EMC/EMI, and noise reduction.
There is scarcely an aspect of modern life that is not dependent on electrical energy. It is used in such varied activities as cooling, heating, transport, manufacturing, production, communications, minerals processing and water transfer. Engineers and technicians with an electrical diploma find employment in fields as diverse as generation, transmission, distribution and the eventual application of electrical energy in machinery. Due to the challenges of climate change there is also a vital interest in the use and storage of renewable and sustainable energy. The demand for well trained electrical professionals is assured with rapid expansion of the electricity supply in the developing world, the addition of the yet-to-be-constructed smart grid, and our growing dependency upon electricity supply of high integrity.
Electrical engineering skills and knowledge are also critical in a wide range of industries ranging from oil and gas, water utilities, process plants, mining, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and defence. The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) provides electrical engineering courses online for engineers and technicians of all levels and from all types of industry, be it mining, oil and gas or instrumentation. The Advanced Diplomas in Electrical Engineering cover a large range of topics and are suited to anyone needing an intensive and practical look at all facets of electrical engineering. The short courses that form part of EIT's professional development series are designed to provide students with critical knowledge and practical tools that can be immediately applied to the workplace. They are ideal to up-skill and/or cross-skill in a particular area or technology.
Key subjects in the EIT School of Electrical Engineering include: power generation, transmission, distribution, rotating machinery, power electronics, earthing and safety regulations, electrical documentation and drawings, AC and DC machines, circuit breakers, transformers, energy efficiency, earthing (or grounding) and lightning, power systems protection, DC and AC emergency power supplies, electrical wiring regulations, high voltage supplies, and power quality.
I: Vocational Education & Training (VET) program
II: Higher Education program
Frequently Asked Questions
Hear from EIT's unofficial 'Poster Boy' Murray Langley - Murray first completed the Advanced Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation (E & I) Engineering in Mining (DMN), he then successfully passed the Vocational Graduate Diploma of Project Management in Industrial Automation (GPI) and has now commenced the Graduate Diploma of Project Management in Electrical Engineering (GPE). He now “approach(es) my project work much more strategically; having developed a much better understanding of financial, planning and implementation processes that make projects successful.”
Learn more about Murray's experiences here.
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