Published on September 23, 2019
SHYFTinc is a Sudbury-based company that develops solutions to advance the mining production process. The company delivers established and emerging automation and software products as well as services that make mining safer, more productive, and more profitable. Among other innovations, SHYFTinc has brought to market NRG1-ECO®, a mine-wide energy management and ventilation control solution; and AutoGen®, an automatic process control code-generating technology.
SHYFTinc is maintaining its momentum with its innovative end-to-end IoT solution, which includes a SmartCube®, SmartModule™ and the ADMMIT® platform. By leveraging the results of an IoT CENGN project, SHYFTinc will be able to bring its solution to the mining industry.
SHYFTinc Leveraging CENGN’s New Smart Mining Program Stream
This CENGN project is particularly unique and exciting because it is CENGN’s first smart mining project! Our organization has opened its services to develop innovative products and solutions in the tech community that demonstrate flexible, cost-effective, enhanced communication systems for mining. The end goal of the initiative is to drive future growth, create high-quality jobs, and enhance Ontario’s competitiveness in the mining sector.
SHYFTinc is working on a CENGN project to test a new IoT solution in Smart Mining. The company’s SmartCube solution makes material management in the industry more efficient, transparent, and cost-effective.
The SmartCube® is a connected, mobile inventory management solution that allows for safe and secure containerization and delivery of freight for heavy industry. The product is designed to be a secure and monitored storage device that can transport supplies, tools, and liquids to the most remote mining locations.
Each SmartCube is equipped with a SmartModule, which is an IoT sensor pack. SmartModules, in coordination with the Automated Delivery of Mine Material and Inventory Technology (ADMMIT) platform and mobile app, provide the appropriate workers with real-time exception and status reporting (impact, leak, unauthorized access, temperature humidity) plus location updates. This data is transmitted over either Bluetooth, WiFi, or LTE, to the ADMMIT application.
ADMMIT is a platform that monitors and forecasts material requirements. Using the collected data, ADMMIT also seeks to provide a dependable delivery system and to fully automate the value chain management process for any global mining operation. Having a centralized application for miners to keep track of supplies will be a significant advancement in an industry that has little room for error.
Solving Supply Chain Management Issues
The mining industry is still seeking digital solutions to optimize supply chain management underground and on the surface. Other industries have made measurable gains in inventory management, coordination between workers, and material management through technology adoption. These improvements are highlighting inefficiencies and possibilities for change in mining. Miners are identifying inefficient use of equipment and labour, as well as problems with storage space, and the movement of materials. All these obstacles result in lower profit margins for mining companies.
Enter SHYFTinc! With the company’s SmartCube, SmartModules, and ADMMIT systems, safe and efficient supply, usage, and storage can be implemented. These combined solutions introduce real-time inventory tracking, effective storage monitoring, and safe transport of materials and equipment. SHYFTinc is hoping to see its products help squash the industry-wide statistic that 4% of all mining products and supplies are lost each year, lowering the costs for mining companies and adding better organization to their extraction sites.
SHYFTinc is confident its solutions are exactly what the mining industry needs. Now the company is using CENGN’s testbed and expertise to stress-test its SmartModule’s functions with the ADMMIT server to validate that its full platform-to-device solution is market-ready.
Leveraging CENGN’s Infrastructure to Overcome Commercialization Barriers
By utilizing CENGN’s commercial-grade infrastructure and technical expertise, SHYFTinc will have the resources to perform scaling and functionality testing for SmartModule devices on the ADMMIT platform. Upon completion of the CENGN project, the company will gain knowledge about resource requirements (compute, storage, memory, etc.) for large-scale deployments, providing the team with enough data to offer their solution to larger clients.
The CENGN project will also give SHYFTinc valuable insight on key performance metrics, bottlenecks, and any performance issues at a cost-effective stage of development. Any issues or opportunities for improvement found can be addressed before going to market.
Building the Project Environment
To create a proper testing environment, CENGN is providing SHYFTinc with three bare metal servers. One will provide dedicated hosting for the ADMMIT Server, and a second will be used as a Test Script Server simulating the incremental increase of SmartModule traffic to 500 devices. The third bare metal server will send DOS attacks to the ADMMIT server to ensure the SHYFTinc platform can defeat security attacks.
Additionally, CENGN will be providing a virtual private network (VPN) for SHYFTinc, so the company can test the solution’s security. The VPN is critical to ensuring only authorized users can access the network and that data cannot be intercepted. It provides a secure and encrypted passage in which data between the remote user and company network can be transmitted.
The CENGN testbed is critical for SHYFTinc because physically testing 500 SmartModules is not economically effective for the company. By carrying out the project, the company will be able to virtually simulate the SmartModules to ensure the ADMMIT server’s stability, without the need to develop physical sensors. SHYFTinc will then be able to present the solution to customers with the utmost confidence on resource requirements and performance.
The CENGN team is looking forward to providing SHYFTinc with a secure and isolated project space, and we hope our VPN expertise will benefit the company in all of their future endeavors!
SHYFTinc is a growing Canadian business that is using the services at CENGN through the Next Generation Network Program (NGNP). The NGNP is a Government of Ontario program offered through a partnership between CENGN and the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) that is providing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Ontario access to the CENGN Testbed. CENGN’s digital infrastructure is connecting SMEs like SHYFTinc to state-of-the-art equipment and network services, which will allow these companies to test and validate their solutions.
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