|Harsh Underground, Tough Switch
Moxa's IP67 robust switch the right tool
for tunnel boring
Tunnel engineering is one of the more difficult branches of modern civil engineering since any number of obstacles, such as underground utility pipes, water storage containers, underground buildings, and subway tunnels could be encountered. The equipment used to excavate tunnels through hard rock, soft soil, gravel, and other material is called a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). In fact, engineers can choose from different types of TBM, such as the so-called Earth Pressure Balance Machine (EPBM), which is often used in urban environments to avoid disturbing objects on the surface.
Since the underground environment is hazardous and unpredictable, it is essential to use rugged, high quality devices when building tunnel boring systems to ensure safety, stability, and reliability. For most tunnel boring machines, a synchronous monitoring system is installed in the tunnel boring machine itself to monitor various geologic conditions, such as groundwater pressure, earth pressure, formation pressure, gas composition, and the condition of the excavation deformation. The data is transmitted to the ground control center where it is used by project managers. For superior control of tunnel engineering, many mining engineers now use integrated Ethernet-based networks to provide an efficient means of collecting real-time information from the field.
The reliability of Ethernet-based communication networks for underground tunneling applications is ensured by using rugged Ethernet switches, IP cameras, and IP phones to transmit environmental data from field equipment in the tunnel boring system to the remote control center. This kind of communication system lets field engineers collect data for monitoring in real time, and allows them to communicate with system administrators located at the central control site above ground. Conditions in the tunnel are harsh, and equipment used underground must be able to withstand the effects of dirt, dust, high humidity, and high temperatures that exist in the underground environment. In addition, operating the tunnel boring machine causes incessant vibration, occasional shocks, and wastewater from the equipment used to cool the equipment. Moxa's innovative IP67-rated Ethernet switches are designed to work reliably in the harsh, underground environment of a mine. A prime example is the EDS-305-M12 switch, which features an IP67-rated casing, tight M12 connectors, high MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures), and extended operating temperature range of -40 to 75°C. In addition, the EDS-305-M12 switch can withstand the excessive vibrations caused by the machinery.
Network System Diagram
Benefits from Moxa
- Install directly at field sites－Moxa's Ethernet switch has an IP67-rated casing to protect the switch from oil, dirt, dust, water, and other liquids.
- Tightest connection－Standard 4-pin M12 connectors ensure a tight connection to keep the switch running nonstop, even when subjected to incessant vibration and shock.
- Space-saving compact size－With the EDS-305-M12's compact design, it can be mounted easily on-site, even in extremely narrow spaces.
- Extended operating temperature－Moxa's wide temperature Ethernet switches can withstand temperatures from -40 to 75°C, making them ideal for tunnel boring environments.
- Industrial strength safety regulations－Moxa's industrial Ethernet products comply with industrial regulatory conditions (CE, FCC, UL), and have passed industrial-grade certifications (DNV, GL).
- Industrial quality assurance－High MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) for high reliability.