Bringing the clever back to Australia
LAB3 is now making IoT Sensors on Australian shores to empower major industries to tap into Data for remote visibility and data driven insight
LAB3 has invested in a state-of-the-art electronics laboratory which allows it to complete full design, prototyping, testing, and production of IoT sensors inhouse and on Australian shores.
Renowned for innovation, LAB3 made the decision to invest in the laboratory to complement its expertise in Data and AI technologies and to meet industry demand to access the full potential of data.
“Covid highlighted the benefits of having an electronics lab sited locally, rather than offshore. It means we can provide certainty in performance as we collaborate with clients to address specific use cases prior to field trials,” said Chris Cook, Group CEO, LAB3.
The universal platform for IoT sensors as designed and built by LAB3 includes scope to accommodate unique requirements to fit multiple use cases across industries, from mining to manufacturing and primary industries.
“It is one thing to collect data in controlled environments, but as any organisation operating outside can attest, there can be considerable frustrations with rolling out technology from a box,” said Alain Blanchette, Director of Data, IoT & AI, LAB3.
“With the LAB3 electronics lab on hand, and with minimal customisation and experts in Australia from design to deployment, there are no boundaries.”
Some of the laboratory features include:
- Robotic pneumatic pick-and-place machine to rapidly deploy electronic components on circuit boards
- Circuit board screen printer and reflow oven to assemble electronic circuit boards
- Hi-resolution SLS 3D printer to create casing prototypes
- Advanced electronic measurement equipment to develop and test designs
Along with IoT sensors, LAB3 leverages standard Microsoft offerings to deliver the whole data technology package. This includes Azure Sphere to ensure the highest security with data collected.
“It is about securely collecting accurate information about what is going on in real time, out on site, in the environment and on machinery, to be analysed and displayed on a screen in an office or at home, and in a way that makes sense to the people making operational and management decisions,” said Alain.
Most recently, LAB3 IoT sensors have been deployed at one of the largest mining operations for magnetite in Australia. The mine is in the remote northwest and in the wet season, access across the site is limited by flooding creeks and boggy tracks.
LAB3 has attached devices to water pumps at bore sites, as far as 10km away from the mine office to enable remote visibility. At any time, mine managers can make sure not too much water is being taken out, to maintain the water table and ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
With the data collected, LAB3 creates insight through Analytics, an area of practice that LAB3 has deep expertise, as a Microsoft Gold Partner with an Advanced Specialization for Analytics on Azure.
In the cloud, information is instantly aggregated into a central database for analysis and integration into SCADA systems. Analysed data is then pushed to a PowerBI dashboard and presented in a way that can be easily understood by mining engineers.
“The success of this deployment was fast tracked with the electronics lab on hand,” said Alain. “Floods and mud are no longer barriers for monitoring out on site.”