Simplifying IoT, Yarrabilba Development, and digital mining


Simplifying IoT

VRT has been implementing a wide variety of IoT solutions for several years. One of the things we've noticed is the increasing complexity at all levels within the systems. When combined with the low levels of maturity in some aspects, notably at the device level, it can represent a bit of a minefield for newcomers to the game.

So, we've set ourselves on the path of trying to tame some of the complexity.

One of the areas we've focused on recently is on big data aspects. Data modelling is essential to have any chance of effectively automating analytics processes. A dominant model in the digital building space is an open source initiative called Project Haystack. We reported on "simplification" initiates we've taken in this area in a recent VRT eNews.

Analytics is another area that can represent considerable complexity. Our WideSky platform has 20 streaming analytics functions built in as standard.

It is important to be able to retain any underlying data model into the application layer to facilitate structured queries. We've build a GraphQL API for WideSky and Grafana to accommodate powerful model based queries at that level.

All of these aspects can seem quite daunting to all but sophisticated users, so we've built a live tutorial into our new release of the WideSky website. All of the functions mentioned above, plus a few others, can be studied and operated with results being presented live, in real time, based on data collected continuously in the VRT Living Lab or the Floth HQ. The data being monitored from the Floth building comes courtesy of the "plug and play" Haystack API connector VRT built for Niagara. It was installed and up and running in a matter of minutes. This is the future of taking Niagara to the cloud.

Click below and navigate to the "Live Tutorial" to play and learn. We'll be adding other educational elements over time, so come back from time to time.

Live Tutorial

Lendlease's Yarrabilba Development

Lend Lease Logo

Based on the value Lendlease Technology personnel had seen in VRT's Living Lab, they asked us to help them build something similar at their giant, 17, 000 house, broad-acre development at Yarrabilba, south of Brisbane in Queensland. Lendlease recently published a nice video featuring the "smart" elements in the development.

Although not mentioned by name, VRT provided many of the sensing elements. The "smart city" platform demonstrated on the tablet is VRT's WideSky. We hope you enjoy the video.

Digital Mining

Mining image

The Baralaba mine is being restored to operational status. This represents a unique opportunity to add leading edge IoT solutions to the normal base of proven industrial automation systems (PLC, SCADA, etc.). This represents VRT's first opportunity to leverage knowledge and products that we have been deploying in other industries over recent years to the high value business of mining.

Stage 1, now completed, sees the full integration of the ROM Pad and TLO. Being 65km apart presented significant challenges for each site. Implementing 4GX and fixed wireless technologies allows for real-time control and live CCTV streaming across both sites. Integration with the rail operator allows for automated delivery of train data.

Stage 2 and beyond will see the implementation of Augmented Reality for mine operations, freeing the operators from being stuck in the control room and giving them the freedom and operational knowledge to be out in the field. Further integration with the rail operator will see real-time train location and schedules made available to operators and management. Integration with mine vehicles will enable insights into transport efficiencies and maintenance.

All of this data will be available to the mine operators, management and stakeholders via our WideSky platform.