To purchase this space contact Gordon

An intelligent mining innovation lab was established in north China’s coal-rich Shanxi Province on Tuesday to facilitate the digital transformation of the country’s coal industry.

The lab in Taiyuan, the provincial capital, was jointly built by the Shanxi provincial government, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., and two local enterprises.

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said that Huawei hopes to combine ICT with coal mining technologies to support the digital and intelligent transformation in the coal industry, realize a production model that features “fewer workers, greater safety, and higher efficiency,” and enable coal mine workers to “wear suits and ties” at work.

The lab will be staffed with 220 ICT and coal mining experts. Huawei plans to use the innovation lab as a place to continue innovating with partners and making breakthroughs in technologies that can be used in mining pits, including self-cleaning cameras, low-frequency wireless transmission, and risk prediction technologies.

The lab ultimately aims to help Shanxi’s mines reduce their numbers of workers by 60 percent in fully mechanized and intelligent mining scenarios, and reduce their numbers of workers entering mining pits each shift by 10 to 20 percent, it said.

“It’s like Microsoft providing services for aircraft engines,” said Ren. “Huawei provides services for mines, airports and docks.”