Press Release: New Atmospheric Monitoring System for Underground Mining that also Enables Process Control


CONSPEC Controls has introduced its updated PLC AMS.

This unique atmospheric monitoring system, which utilizes an Allen Bradley PLC, was designed not only to provide continuous monitoring of CO and other toxic and combustible gases but also to give the end user the ability to continuously monitor and control all other processes for underground mining operations.

CONSPEC monitors placed along the conveyor belt detect any rise in CO or combustible gases such as methane as the coal moves along the belt, providing an early warning of potential hazardous conditions. Information is immediately transmitted to an Allen Bradley PLC with a FactoryTalk® Software package. On the surface, the operator can clearly locate the problem area, remotely shut down processes in that section, and restart when conditions permit.

In this way, monitoring and control capabilities are integrated into one seamless network, enabling personnel tracking and remote of belts, ventilation fans, and other processes.

These advancements enable miners to spend their time mining, rather than troubleshooting issues with belt starters, motors, cable, and gas monitoring equipment, noted CONSPEC President Rob Albinger. “And you don’t need to be an engineer or computer programmer to use the AMS or interpret the data. It is as easy as using the Internet. There’s no need to write alarm sequences; just click the desired address.”

The AMS is modular and scalable and easily configured to fit changed needs of an underground mining operation.

The AMS provides:

  • Unprecedented ease of use
  • Exceptional system reliability
  • Open architecture
  • Allen Bradley software and PLCs by Rockwell Automation at outstations
  • Easy-to-use graphical user interface
  • Process control capabilities
  • Communications via Ethernet or MODBUS protocol
  • Clear, easy-to-interpret graphics
  • Optic isolators to eliminate downtime due to lightning
  • High resistance to radio frequency interference
  • Excellent surge protection
  • Fast delivery and setup
  • Limitless capacity for expansion


  • No nuisance alarms
  • Simple on-site training
  • Decreased downtime
  • Decreased maintenance costs
  • Better use of manpower
  • Increased production
  • CONSPEC 24/7 support

CONSPEC has long been a trusted name in the mining industry. CONSPEC’s rugged and reliable equipment can be found in 46 of the 50 top producing longwall operations in the United States.

Those interested in learning more about the AMS can call 1-800-487-8450, or to schedule a free one-hour on-site demo or a GoToMeeting presentation.

CONSPEC Controls is internationally recognized as a leader in the design, development and manufacture of gas detection instruments, monitoring and control systems, and underground radio communication equipment and systems. The company offers a wide array of products, ranging from fully integrated installations to stand-alone, independent devices. CONSPEC’s user-friendly devices are engineered to interface with both new and existing control equipment. Due to its long history in the mining industry, CONSPEC equipment is “coal grade,” that is, designed to work in the harshest environments. Combining state-of-the-art manufacturing and research, CONSPEC creates specialized instrumentation and equipment that meets individual customer applications and requirements. Visit CONSPEC’s web site at www.conspec-controls.com

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“Conspec provided out-standing customer support from my initial inquiry throughout the life of the detector. My detector was installed and operating within minutes after its arrival.”

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