Byrnecut Mining Case Study

Perth Mining Company, Byrne Cut Mining, is using Panasonic Toughbooks to help repair essential mining equipment in the depths of some of the world’s largest underground mines

“For us the big positive was the total return on investment. There were other models that were initially cheaper, however over the following 12 months the Toughbooks easily came out in front in terms of value.”

Jeff Knuckey, Byrne Cut Mining IT Manager

Byrnecut Mining is a contract mining company that employs more than 1,000 people and has a multi-million dollar fleet of specialised underground mining equipment. It operates on sites around the world, including Australia’s largest gold mine, Telfer. At Telfer, the company uses centre-articulated vehicles which resemble large dump trucks to remove the coarse ore from the stope to the surface. This can be a long journey with the deepest mines in Australia up to 1,800 metres below the ground. Byrnecut engineers and mechanics take Panasonic Toughbooks down the mines to provide diagnostic information from faulty vehicles to above ground workshops wirelessly. This onsite electronic evaluation allows for onsite repair and dramatically reduces repair time Byrnecut Mining IT Manager Jeff Knuckey said the company turned to Panasonic after amassing a ‘graveyard’ of notebooks not built to withstand tough mining conditions.

“At one point we were going through a notebook every couple of weeks, with everything from broken screens to seized drives. We were buying up six new notebooks a month and they really weren’t up to it,”

Jeff Knuckey, Byrne Cut Mining IT Manager

They feature a 100 per cent magnesium alloy casing and are certified to the MIL-STD-810F standard. These military testing procedures ensure the notebooks withstand drops, shocks, vibration and extremes of temperature. In addition, they are sealed and rated at IP54 (Ingress Protection) level for dust and water resistance. The notebooks include sealed keyboards and ports, flexible internal connectors and shock-mounted screens and hard drives. Byrnecut Mining uses Panasonic Toughbook CF-30s for its underground diagnostic work. The Toughbook CF-30 is 3G wireless and Vista ready and is the benchmark model for outdoor notebooks. Greater flexibility and optimum WLAN reception are achieved through the diversity antennae which are integrated into the display casing.