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Tucked into the pastoral landscape of northern Sweden, Boliden, a mining and smelting company that concentrates on the production of copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver, quietly hums away at operations.

Mining for precious metals and other resources was once traditionally manual, grueling work. Miners would go underground for hours, often in unsafe working conditions.

Today’s mining processes couldn’t be more different. They have been transformed to be safer, more efficient, and cost effective thanks to the modernization of mining operations. With the help of Cisco IoT and our partner Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, IoT solutions play an important role in improving those operations.

More than a kilometer underground at the Boliden mining site in Garpenberg, Cisco IoT and Sandvik technologies are at work. Although the mining industry has seen modernization by leaps and bounds, mines are still very wet, dangerous environments with toxic gases and are one of the most challenging environments in which to have an IT network.

But unlike mining of the past, Boliden operates large machinery, such as loaders like the LH517s with a 17.2 metric ton capacity. These operate remotely and autonomously in areas that could be unsafe to send people. With the support of Sandvik’s AutoMine® for autonomous mining equipment and Sandvik’s OptiMine® software to analyze and optimize production, Boliden mining engineers can remotely (and safely) operate the machinery from a control room. The Sandvik technology runs reliably on Cisco’s low latency IoT network made up of Cisco industrial switches and access points.

This also makes it possible for Boliden mining engineers to work in a cleaner, healthier environment.

Jacob Wallen, a mine automation engineer for Boliden said it best when he said, “I would trust Cisco with my life.” A network you can trust is a network that can save lives.

To learn more about how Cisco and Sandvik are modernizing mining operations, see the full Sandvik and Boliden case study here. And did you know that Sandvik was one of Cisco’s first few Design-In Program partners? Learn how Cisco partners like Sandvik are leveraging Cisco’s new Operational Technology focused program Design-In to standardize, simplify and accelerate the integration of Cisco IoT products into their solutions.