The know-how in strain measurement that Gluetec possesses has been extremely important when designing a product with world-class quality.
Jens Eliasson, Associate Professor in industrial electronics and CEO of ThingWave.
Every year nearly 100 million rock bolts are installed by mines across the globe with the purpose to serve as rock reinforcements. The challenge with these bolts, however, is that they are vulnerable to tremors and risk damages that are not easily detected by the eye. As of 2015 Gluetec is partaking in a research project together with scientists from Luleå University of Technology. The object of the study is to develop a new generation of rock bolts that can disclose when and where maintenance is needed. With traditional rock bolts equipped with sensors, rock bolts can operate as part of a monitoring system, creating a safer work environment in the mine.
The smart rock bolts are intended as a complement to geophones, an existing albeit costly instrument used for detecting tremors. Using the smart rock bolts to measure vibrations in additional locations, this new device can provide more points of measure at a lower cost. Every rock bolt is also equipped with a diode to signal in case of emergency and show the way to the nearest exit. In the future, rock bolts may be used to interact with each other for detecting objects or individuals below ground.
Within short time, the project has received a positive reaction from mining industry. Jens Eliasson, Associate Professor in industrial electronics and CEO of ThingWave, is one of the researchers behind the project. He explains that mining companies in general have expressed their interest after hearing about the rock bolt:
– It’s great that we have so many potential partners that are interested in working together, both large corporations as well as smaller enterprises, says Eliasson.
In late 2015 the connected rock bolt was chosen out of fifty IoT-innovations as winner of the prestigious IPSO Challenge, an international competition held by IPSO Alliance. At the moment, the rock bolt project is in the midst of a phase of heavy productivization and development towards several different business fields.
One of the goals is to conduct tests in both Australia and New Zealand. When being asked about what factors have been important for the projects’ success thus far, Eliasson brings up Gluetec’s expertise in strain gauge technology:
– The know-how in strain measurement that Gluetec possesses has been extremely important when designing a product with world-class quality. In addition, their test rigs and advanced equipment have been very useful when carrying out lab tests and preparing field tests, Eliasson concludes.
Gluetec is an expert partner in interference-free measuring since 1993. We provide unique strain gauge-based solutions for complex surfaces in demanding environments, determined to reach the best accuracy possible. Gluetec is a knowledge enterprise owned by Garga Group AB with operations in Piteå and Sorsele, located in the heart of Swedish Lapland.
Långgatan 9, 924 31 Sorsele
Phone +46 (0)952-552 80
Ljungvägen 10, 944 72 Piteå
Phone +46 (0)911-920 03