Perle Systems Case Study
330m safety perimeter is provided by Ethernet Extenders during explosive field test
"I used Perle eX-KIT11-S1110 Gigabit Ethernet Extenders for a field project, with great success." says Lorne McCauley, Explosives Technologist at Canadian Explosives Research Laboratory.
The project was to test a new pump designed for pumping emulsion explosives. Used in the mining industry, emulsion explosives fill boreholes for blasting. The explosive has the consistency of mayonnaise, is reasonably stable and normally safe to pump.
Lorne explains, "We needed to test the new pump to ensure it would not explode if the hopper fell dry, the outlet became plugged or anything else went wrong. Needless to say, I did not want to be anywhere near this pump if it blew. There would be up to 20kg of high explosives in it and the metal shrapnel would be lethal for a 1km radius. I did, however, need to have complete control over the functioning of the pump, data acquisition equipment, two video feeds and an IR camera."
Due to the complexity of a project such as this, three partners were involved in the success of the tests. Orica provided sample pumps, components, test rigs, and technical support. Dyno Nobel provided safe testing facilities, sample explosives, logistics and technical support. And CanmetCERL (Canadian Explosives Research Laboratory), provided all data acquisition, video, data interpretation, report writing and technical support.
Lorne continues, "I built a network with a slave computer on site and a remote computer in a reinforced building 330 metres away through a forest. All feeds went to, and were controlled by, the master computer. I used the Perle Ethernet Extenders to connect the remote computer to the master and control the desktop via WinVNC.
Using two rolls of 250m 22 AWG twisted pair wire, by the time I went through the forest, over hill and dale, and into the building, I managed well over 100 mbps and was able to control the system and scroll through the video feeds at a functional rate. The system remained outside in the elements, protected only by ziplock bags and electrical tape, from April through October. Once configured, the Ethernet Extenders never failed. They were powered down at night, or for electrical storms, but as soon as they were turned on, the comms came right up. I can’t say that for all of the equipment. I’m very happy with the performance and functionality of Perle Ethernet Extenders. They made me look like I knew what I was doing."
About Natural Resources Canada: www.nrcan.gc.ca
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is a federal government department specializing in the sustainable development and use of natural resources, energy, minerals and metals, forests, and earth sciences. At NRCan, we deal with natural resource issues that are important to Canadians.
The CANMET Canadian Explosives Research Laboratory (CERL), part of the Explosives Branch of Natural Resources Canada, is the only Canadian government laboratory dealing with commercial explosives and equipment for use in hazardous locations, and one of the few in the world. If used unwisely or improperly, explosives can be extremely dangerous. Much of the work at CERL is aimed at protecting Canadians by improving the safety of explosives during manufacture, transportation and use, and by reducing the harmful effects of explosions.
About Orica: www.orica.com
About Dyno Nobel: www.dynonobel.com