Sandvik introduces Nokia 5G wireless at test mine in Finland
Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, the mining equipment division of the Swedish engineering company Sandvik AB, has announced that it is launching a Nokia 5G private wireless network at its test mine in the Finnish town of Tampere.
The facility in southern Finland is a controlled environment where Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology develops and tests the company’s new mining solutions, before the final products are released to Sandvik’s customers worldwide. The mine’s new wireless network, based on Nokia’s Digital Automation Cloud (DAC), will provide a significant upgrade to voice and video communications between technicians working underground and the above-ground control centre. The ‘plug and play’ 5G DAC network, which allows its users to securely collect and process data, will also be available at the test mine’s on-site training and analysis centres.
Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s President of Rock Drills and Technologies, Patrick Murphy, feels that the introduction of Nokia 5G at the test mine is a significant step in the development of mining technologies: “By deploying a Nokia 5G SA private wireless network with Nokia Digital Automation Cloud, we can trial and showcase an entirely new range of game-changing products and capabilities here in our Tampere test mine.
“As we work with our customers to help them leverage technology to digitalisze their operations, the introduction of 5G opens the door to new opportunities in robotics, remote and autonomous operations, full-fleet automation, analytics and enhanced safety. As such, it comprises a breakthrough in the digital transformation of mining.”
Nokia is also confident that its wireless network has the potential to take the mining industry forward. Stephan Litjens, the General Manager for Nokia Digital Automation Cloud, commented: “It’s an honor to work with a world-class company such as Sandvik on leading-edge digital automation solutions for the mining industry. With 5G SA, its high speed, low latency performance and edge computing, the next steps on this journey can be taken.
“Through our plug-and-play Nokia DAC platform we’re supporting Sandvik to realize not only its own digital transformation goals, but also those of the wider industry as it continues to deliver value to mining customers worldwide.”
Rio Tinto and Alcoa begin construction with ELYSIS tech
Eliminating all direct greenhouse gases from aluminium smelting has taken a major step forward with the start of construction on the first commercial-scale prototype cells of ELYSIS’ inert anode technology, at Rio Tinto’s Alma smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.
ELYSIS has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of aluminium production
ELYSIS is a joint venture company led by Rio Tinto and Alcoa that is developing a new breakthrough technology, known as inert anode, that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the traditional smelting process and instead produces oxygen.
The technology has the potential to transform the aluminium industry, with a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.
The inert anode prototype cells will operate on a commercial scale typical for large modern aluminium smelters, using an electrical current of 450 kiloamperes (kA).
The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry joined representatives from ELYSIS, Rio Tinto and Alcoa to mark the start of construction and announce a further CAD $20mn financial contribution from the Government of Canada to support the project.
The federal government's financial support will enable the creation of a unique commercial size inert anode technology showroom for future customers and will help develop the supply chain by involving local and regional equipment manufacturers and suppliers in the project.
ELYSIS is working to complete the technology demonstration by 2024 followed by the commercialization activities.
ELYSIS technology at a glance:
- The ELYSIS technology addresses the global trend towards producing low carbon footprint products, from mobile phones to cars, planes and building materials.
- The new process will reduce operating costs ofaluminiumsmelters while increasing production capacity. It could be used in both new and existing aluminium smelters.
- In Canada alone, the ELYSIS technology has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 7 million tons, the equivalent of removing 1.8 million cars from the roads.
- ELYSIS will also sell next-generation anode and cathode materials, which will last more than 30 times longer than traditional components.
Alcoa and Rio Tinto will continue to support the ELYSIS development program alongside the Governments of Canada and Quebec.
ELYSIS is working closely with Alcoa's Technical Center, where the zero-carbon smelting technology was invented, and the Rio Tinto technology design team in France.
Alcoa's Technical Center supports ELYSIS in the manufacture of proprietary materials for the new anodes and cathodes that are essential to the ELYSIS process. The Rio Tinto technology team in France is creating commercial scale designs for the ELYSIS technology.
Vincent Christ, CEO, ELYSIS commented: “This is a great day for ELYSIS. It means that we are becoming the first technology company in the world to build commercial-size inert anode cells. While we refine the technology in our R&D Centre, we start the construction of our prototype cells. This shows our confidence in our process and in the know-how of our team. The combination of ELYSIS' zero CO2 technology and Quebec's renewable energy will be great competitive advantage for the future. I would like to thank the government for its support and all the partners for their commitment.”
Samir Cairae, Rio Tinto Aluminium managing director Atlantic Operations and ELYSIS board member added: “Today marks a real step towards the future of the aluminium industry, by progressing this breakthrough technology to cut carbon emissions. Rio Tinto is committed to supporting its ongoing development here in Quebec where we already use clean hydropower to deliver some of the world’s lowest carbon aluminium. Combining this technology with renewable hydropower holds the promise of zero carbon aluminium smelting.”