There’s “accurate” and then there’s Nexus

Data accuracy you can count on, plan on, rely on

“About”, “give or take” and “around” are some of the most frightening words for a production manager, scheduler, mine planner or head of operations to hear in relation to reported noise levels versus allowable levels. Not only is there an imperative to ensure that surrounding areas that may include towns are not unreasonably disturbed by operations, but a knowledge of its environmental impacts is a measure with which everyone should be familiar.

Understandably, and especially as a result of regulatory noise limits, operations will want to know and understand noise levels – source, variables that affect them and management. These are the factors that can directly affect schedules, output and of course balance sheets. This is why the three terms highlighted at the beginning of this article are so unhelpful. Where there is doubt, it’s doubtful that full potential (aka optimal performance) can be achieved, let alone sustained over time.

Understanding the big picture means hearing the whole story… from every location

Large ports are often abutted against two distinct features. A large body of water and a series of dwellings, perhaps a town or city, inhabited by people who, just like anyone else, have a right to live in relative peace. We know and

understand that regulatory limits on noise are one of the controls used to help ensure this can happen. One of the fascinating and avoidable issues with noise is that the factors that can amplify and vary its affects and reach include:

  • Topography
  • Wind directions and strength – both variable
  • Density of the environment – e.g. soil density
  • Time of day
  • Activities not directly related to the operations at hand (flight schedules, unrelated traffic etc)

These are just a few examples and this is why measuring and analysing noise levels with a view to guiding and scheduling operations is typically difficult, with hypotheticals and often reliant on weeks or months of “monitoring”.

In an environment where time is money and opportunities can be fleeting, that is just not acceptable. Why? Because it means that conservative operational planning becomes the norm because managers will be (rightfully) reluctant to sail too close to the wind when it comes to noise levels.

The Nexus difference makes all the difference

In order to plan and make decisions quickly and effectively, the noise monitoring component of operations needs to be both accurate and timely. And by timely, we mean as near to real time as possible. Thankfully, with the Nexus technology “as possible” means that changes to conditions that may affect scheduling are picked up almost immediately and can be used to make adjustments either predictively/proactively or on the spot. But this watershed capability is based on the accrued experience – placing receivers to ensure that all factors are captured so that the results are both thorough and robust but importantly, beyond question in terms of accuracy.

Over the prescribed period of time we were able to compile data from 8 key locations. So, to the critical question – how accurate is “nexus accurate” when it comes to modelling upon which schedules could potentially be built?

Well, looking at just two of the receiver locations, over 27,000 predicted modelling points versus the same number of measurements revealed that the average error was between 0.3dB and 1.0dB. The remaining points from which measurements were taken varied from modelled figures by 0.1dB and 2.2dB.

In terms of defining accuracy in modelling, variations within 3dB are considered accurate. This allowed a client to schedule activities with confidence, knowing that planned operations would fall within the tolerances set out by regulatory authorities.

These very small differences between the modelling and the measured results made all the difference. The Nexus difference therefore, is in fact, the difference between operating very conservatively and dealing with all that comes with that, and being able to plan more aggressively in pursuit of fulfilling potential, both in the field and on the balance sheet.

To hear more about how we can tailor activities around your specific operational needs, contact

Contact us on 1300 251 070 or via email at info@www.vanguardtech.com.au

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