Sandvik boosts safety with Newtrax buyout

Sandvik has announced plans to acquire Montreal-based software company Newtrax. The deal will integrate Newtrax’s safety and productivity-focused underground mining technology into Sandvik’s OptiMine offering.

Newtrax’s safety solutions include various early hazard detection, proximity detection and collision avoidance systems and evacuation systems.

Newtrax’s Proximity Detection System (PDS) allows LHD and haulage truck operators to identify beyond line of sight (BLOS) on-foot workers and vehicles in underground hard rock mines.

The PDS communicates with a signal in the on-foot worker’s cap lamp to warn drivers of their presence. The cap lamps are also used for Newtrax’s evacuation system notifications and tracking.

While Sandvik’s announcement focused more on the technology’s productivity benefits, the company said it intended to integrate Newtrax into its existing OptiMine solution to form a “streamlined digital solution to improve safety and efficiency in underground mining operations”.

“By combining our current offering OptiMine with the Newtrax offering we can help customers achieve a more efficient use of their resources,” said Patrick Murphy, president of Sandvik Rock Drills and Technologies Division.

“The system is agnostic to network or brand of equipment, facilitating a flexible customer solution.”

Sandvik’s modular OptiMine technology is designed to offer various tools for users to optimise their underground mining operations through the use of real-time data. This includes functions related to scheduling, task management, monitoring, analytics and more.

As such, Newtrax’s productivity monitoring and wireless Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity are a natural fit for Sandvik.

“By including Newtrax into the Sandvik family we further strengthen our leading position in areas related to automation and digitalisation,” said Henrik Ager, president of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.

Sandvik’s acquisition of Newtrax is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of this year.

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