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V. M. Salgaocar & Bro. Mines Automation From NFC-based Process

The Indian mining company has deployed a Near-Field Communication system to simplify the tracking of trucks from its iron mines to weigh stations, and through its processing plant.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
At the end of each day, the i-TEK software aggregates all of the data collected through the NFC phones and fixed-position readers, in order to create a log of that day's activities.

This new system enabled V. M. Salgaocar to do away with the manual, paper-based records that supervisors previously used to log daily activities, and to collect each truck's ID, location and weight, as well as the grade of the materials collected. At the end of every day, each supervisor's records used to be entered into a main database manually.

This RFID-based system has significantly streamlined the process, allowing supervisors to spend more time processing loads and less time taking manual notes. What's more, at the end of each day, plant managers can read the daily reports through the 4r Mines software, rather than having to wait for each supervisor's records to be aggregated.

Starting in September of this year, V.M. Salgaocar plans to expand the RFID-NFC system to two of its processing plants. Once the technology is deployed at the plants, while the load is being moved through the processing plant, up to three more supervisors will use their phones to read the RFID card, make a processing decision, write data to the card and then transmit that information to the server.

After spending two years working with i-TEK to refine the solution and make it as automated as possible, V. M. Salgaocar & Bro. has met its project objectives, according to J. J. Naik, the mining firm's deputy general manager of information systems.

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