May 23, 2019

Weekly Focus: Great Orme Mines

Great Orme Mines

The team from Great Orme got in touch in 2017 to inquire about the possibility of an automated system that would allow them to keep track of the amount of visitors down in the mine in real time.

The Great Orme Mines, near Llandudno in North Wales, are the largest prehistoric copper mines in the world. Open to the public from March to October, the site allows visitors a glimpse into the life of Victorian and Bronze Age miners.

Due to the nature of the narrow passages and the restricted ways visitors could enter, only a single people counting device would be needed. The inside of the mine can be dark, and often damp. We recommend an outdoor Irisys Thermal Counter – to resist the moisture, and to be unaffected by changing light conditions.

Because of the unique environment, the physical installation of the device would be awkward. It was decided that the engineering team at Great Orme would take advantage of their site knowledge and install the device, then run the PoE (Power over Ethernet) cable back to their office outside. Our installation team at Axiomatic would provide guidance throughout the process.

The Problem

When we install any overhead counter, our installations team use video captured by the counter to manually configure and calibrate it. This is to ensure it is operating correctly and accurately. A quirk of the Outdoor Thermal Counter’s design is that it cannot be calibrated by video in this way. This was a big issue – as to be used for tracking live occupancy it needed to tremendously accurate. To get around this issue, we sent the team at Great Orme 2 counters – the Outdoor Thermal Counter they bought, as well as the standard Indoor Irisys Thermal Counter. The Indoor Counter was mounted in the desired location, and our installation team finely calibrated the device, then saved the settings. The Indoor Counter was then taken down and the Outdoor Counter put in its place. The exact same settings were then inputted into the Outdoor Counter, ensuring maximum accuracy despite not being able to use video capture to validate the accuracy of the device.

Thanks to the coordination and communication from both teams, Great Orme Mines now have an automated, accurate way of tracking the occupancy of their underground system in real time. We look forward to continuing, and building upon, our relationship.