RFID Systems for Asbestos Mining

Asbestos is known for its heat resistance, tensile strength and insulating properties, and has been commonly used in commercial and home construction projects across the U.S. and Canada. In the past, the United States military mandated its use in every branch of service. Although highly toxic and carcinogenic it is still used in some countries. Asbestos can be mixed with concrete and used in commercial applications.

Asbestos is used in the following construction applications:

  1. Roofing materials
  2. Soundproofing
  3. Floor and ceiling tiles including vinyl
  4. Textured paints
  5. Patching and joint compounds
  6. Ductwork and floor registers

Asbestos comes in the following six forms:

  • Chrysotile: Approximately 98 percent of the 100 percent of asbestos used in commercial applications is composed of chrysotile. Usually appears white in colour but can also be amber, gray or greenish as well.
  • Amosite: Originates from asbestos found in South Africa. Brownish in color with shorter fibers found in chrysotile fibers, commonly used in construction products.
  • Crocidolite: Its common name is blue asbestos, a thinner composition. One of the more harmful types of asbestos.
  • Tremolite: This form of asbestos has been used in the attics of 35 million American homes.
  • Anthophyllite: Primarily found in Scandinavia, North Carolina and Georgia.
  • Actinolite: Commonly combined with vermiculite to make insulation, used in drywall and paint.

    Using GAO RFID Systems in the Asbestos Mining Industry

    Asbestos deposits are found underground and the ore mined is extracted to the surface for processing. A brief overview of the mining process entails the following:

    1. Extraction of ore from mines where it is scooped and placed in the back of a mining truck
    2. Ore is transported to a chute
    3. Raw material from the chute is loaded onto a conveyor belt for crushing
    4. Ore is loaded onto an elevator
    5. Raw material is loaded via a conveyor system to be taken to a rail car or transport truck before being sent to a processing millThroughout this mining process, GAO RFID’s Systems can be tailored to help:
      • Track Mining Equipment Location and Maintenance History
      • Track Transported Inventory
      • Monitor Assets
      • Control Access to Various Zones


      Equipment Tracking

      Heavy duty asbestos mining equipment includes equipment such as mobile jaw crushers, thickener for mineral processing, vertical roller mills, mobile crushing plants, reinforced ultrafine mill, and trapezium roller mills. Individual machinery parts can all be tagged allowing the plant foreman to ascertain when a piece of machinery requires maintenance or if it should be taken offline. GAO RFID manufacturers RFID Tags for many different types of harsh environments, along with RFID Readers that collect information as equipment move throughout the mine.

      Tracking Pick-ups

      RFID Tags can be used to track the transport of mined raw ore as they are moved to be processed. Typical mines have daily truck runs that pickup deposit materials to be dropped off for processing before returning empty. Incorporating RFID Tags in mining trucks can eliminate bottle necking at weighbridge locations, provide faster turnaround times of mining trucks at mining excavation sites, and ultimately track and secure the mined deposits as they move throughout the site.

      Tracking Personnel and Monitoring Safety

      Contractors, geologists, managers and mining workers are all at risk at mining sites. Mining accidents, injuries and fatalities are common in the mining sector. Wearable RFID Tags can be attached to workers’ mining helmets or vests to track employees as a safety backup if a mining accident were to happen, helping to track and locate employees in real-time.

      Mines can be setup with RFID portals and antennas along with our Personnel Tracking System to keep track of workers in the event of an emergency. Incorporating stationary RFID readers at various levels of a mine which can be several thousand feet deep ensures the safety of all mine workers. The safety benefits of accounting for each and every single worker should be the priority of any mining operation.

      Controlling Access throughout the Mine

      In addition to tracking workers using RFID Tags, the GAO RFID Access Control System can be set up at the entrance of different mining zones to track the movement of mining workers and vehicles. RFID tags attached to a workers helmet or vest and RFID Vehicle Tags for machinery can help provide access rights to different zones. Keeping a strict control over who and what can enter certain zones keeps the mine operation safe.

      Integrating our System with your Existing Management Software

      GAO RFID’s Systems can be deployed as a standalone solution or can be integrated with other software solutions, according to your needs.

      At the core of our solution is GAO RFID’s AUTO-ID Engine which incorporates middleware and essential RFID functions that perform RFID data collection and information processing. Our AUTO-ID Engine seamlessly integrates with a wide variety of mining management systems so that you can access the data it collects directly via the system or systems you currently have in place.

      Our team of seasoned professionals will smoothly integrate the appropriate GAO RFID Solution with your IT architecture. The result is an RFID solution that is seamlessly unified with your mining management system.

      Contact us for more information on how our RFID System can be configured for your organization.