Epiroc noted that the acquisition of 3D-P, which specialises in Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) and fleet connectivity solutions, would be important as its customers increasingly seek stronger wireless connectivity for automation and digitalisation.
"The mining environment is changing all the time, and that is clear in almost all our automation projects," Helena Hedblom, Epiroc's President and CEO, told Mining Magazine.
3D-P's Intelligent Endpoint system was designed and manufactured in Calgary. The company previously designed GPS systems for mining vehicles before developing networking solutions that connect the array of sensors now present on mining vehicles.
"Connectivity technology has been a bottleneck in our deployment projects. Us taking over 3D-P will ensure we have the right competence and products for connectivity in surface mining".
Calgary-based 3D-P has about 50 employees across operations in in North America, Chile, Peru and Australia, and had revenues in 2020 of about $12 million last year from its networking services and edge-computing device sales.
Hedblom noted that the acquisition follows that of electrification solutions provider Meglab.
"The thinking behind that acquisition is the same - as in that will give us the competence and those key products on the infrastructure side of electrifying an underground mine."
Epiroc also last week acquired Australian real-time borehole assay data firm Kinetic Logging Services, which Hedblom described as "super-exciting".