Containerized Data/Telecom Packages Offer Quick Setup

Hail Creek’s DataBlox prefabricated data/telecom units
can be configured to the needs of the client—and the
site, according to developer MeshBlox.
MeshBlox, a Queeensland, Australia-based engineering company, specializes in pro-viding prefabricated, ready-to-deploy data and communications infrastructure for rapid commissioning in harsh or remote environments. The company recently announced a new unit shipment into Rio Tinto’s Hail Creek surface mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin coal district.

“Overnight, Hail Creek now has a full data center with seven racks of ICT and process control systems, power autonomy, and heating ventilation and cooling (HVAC) with redundant cooling units in 60-kw capacity,” said MeshBlox Vice President of Engineering Matt Heysen. “All that [is] mounted less than 20 meters from the coal preparation plant of an active 10 year old coal mine—it’s one of the more hostile environments on earth for housing precision engineering and data systems.”

Heysen said the most attractive feature Meshblox offers to the mining industry is the confidence its IP65 (NEMA 4) rated container provides along with its triple airlock clean-room and MilSpec cooling systems.

“This wasn’t our fastest delivery by a long shot, taking nearly eight weeks from build order to delivery due to the complexi-ty of the various systems required,” Heysen said. “But the mining industry has unique challenges, which we tailor to meet. For example, [Hail Creek’s] unit has partitioned work areas so that on-site personnel with different certifications can access different compartments independently.”

MeshBlox Vice President of Marketing Miles Gillham, said, “We developed this product range in close consultation with mining companies for their needs. We didn’t lecture them on how ICT works or how long they would have to wait, instead we asked how they wanted it to work and built to that specification. It really boils down to cost, delivery time, fitness-for-purpose, and partitioned work access so that on-site modular part replacement is simpli-fied with the minimum staff certifications.”

The company claims its DataBlox tech-nology allows mining exploration camps, for example, to commission site data and telecommunications quickly with confi-dence that the systems are ruggedized and easily maintainable, and the assets are re-deployable. In the case of existing mine sites, the Meshbox units can also provide drop-in data center housing for process control systems—if necessary, in close proximity to plant sites, while other units provide mobile data and voice coverage.

As featured in Womp 2012 Vol 12 -