Real-time monitoring increases safety standards and efficiency of mining operations

Failures in ground support can cost millions of dollars per accident, ThingWave start-up has therefore developed an IoT-based solution for real-time monitoring of tunnel deformations.

ThingWave’s Digitalized Ground Support (DGS) solution provides 24/7 real-time monitoring of tunnel deformations in hard-rock underground mining, construction and infrastructure. Wireless and low-power sensors are attached to rock bolts. Sensor data about strain, elongation and breakages are transmitted to ThingWave cloud service – Universe. Mine staff can log in and view deformations over time as well as enable alarms that are automatically generated when anomalies occur. 

ThingWave’s ultra-low power wireless sensors can live for up to ten years while delivering a constant stream of sensor data that is transformed to decision support by the analytics platform. Users can utilise ThingWave Cloud to view all data and set up alarms for automatic warnings in case of anomalies. As a part of the DGS suite, the team has also developed a mobile app where staff underground can easily access data.

ThingWave’s different IoT products and solutions can enable safer working environments and reduced energy and material waste. The rock bolt sensors provide status information about drive integrity, sensors for smart ventilation help reduce energy waste and improve the working environment.

EIT RawMaterials support

ThingWave got in touch with EIT RawMaterials in an early phase. The team was granted EUR 60 000 as part of the Booster programme which helped accelerate product development in an early stage. Besides funding, ThingWave also received world-class business advice, help with networking, support for project applications etc. The Euro Mine Expo participation that EIT RawMaterials arranged resulted in many exciting leads and contacts.

We have received great support from the EIT RawMaterials Community. Important aspects such as funding, business advice, networking possibilities and visibility have certainly helped us to go where we are today.

Jens Eliasson, CEO of ThingWave

Over the last two year, ThingWave has achieved a lot of results, among which is testing their solution in several mines, improving its technology platform through R&D activities and joining a large project in Sweden. The team has also established collaboration with a few major enterprises such as Boliden, Outokumpu, Ericsson, and Telstra Mining Services. ThingWave is pursuing field tests in four different countries and with eight different mining companies in three continents. The growth has also marked increasing the team and opening a new Australian branch, ThingWave Australia Pty Ltd, in Melbourne, Australia. 

ThingWave innovation journey doesn’t stop here. As a spin-off from Luleå University of Technology, the team has a strong academic background. They are always working with the university on common projects, employing students for work, participating in networking events, etc. ThingWave is also adding support for the Arrowhead Framework, which is an open-source framework for industrial monitoring and control into the ThingWave software suite. The start-up also collaborates with the Productive4.0, Arrowhead Tools, and SMIG projects. Moreover, the team wants to share their insights, best practice and lessons learned with the new generation of innovators and contribute to a course in Applied AI at Luleå university of Technology.

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