Chinese Government Improves Mine Safety with Echelon Technology

12/16/2004 - Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) the creator of the LonWorks® device networking platform for connecting everyday devices to each other and the Internet, announced that the Shanxi provincial government (China) is using Echelon's technology in a pilot project to monitor ventilation systems in 30 of the region's coal mines. The new system is designed to increase safety and help reduce the number and frequency of mining accidents in China.

"It is critical that safety systems be implemented in all of the region's mines," said Mr. Zhong Hua Yan, Vice Mayor, County of Jicheng, Shanxi Province. "The LonWorks system was chosen because of its reliability under such harsh operating conditions, and the ability to cost-effectively modify or expand such systems as the needs of the mine operator change. The architecture of the system is such that if one portion is disabled due to an explosion or accident, the remainder of the network will continue to function. The system therefore helps us optimize mine operations, and continues to perform critical functions even in the event of an incident."

The Shanxi provincial government's LonWorks mine safety project is part of a national initiative to improve the safety of the nation's many mines. The 4,000 mines in the Shanxi region produce one third of China's coal, but fires and explosions occur frequently due to a lack of reliable ventilation systems needed to remove natural gas that seeps from the coal beds. Echelon's i.LON® 100 Internet Servers and LonWorks based devices, combined with Broadwin Technology's WebAccess industrial automation software (, remotely monitor ventilation systems, including airflow, fan operation, and toxic gas levels. Should dangerous gas levels be detected, the LonWorks network generates an alarm, notifying management immediately.

"We're extremely pleased that our LonWorks technology is being used to help save lives," said Lawrence Chan, Echelon's vice president of Asia Pacific and Japan. "We believe that these systems are having a positive impact on mine safety in the 30 project mines already. It's our hope that the Chinese government will see the immediate benefits of this system, and make plans to implement such measures in all mines in the region."

According to Mr. Zhong Fang Huang, Managing Director of Beijing Hua Ying Hang Hi-Tech Development Co (integrator), "Advanced web features and proven reliability make the i.LON 100 well-suited to remote monitoring applications of this type. In less than one month we were able to develop and install this application in all 30 mines, and because the LonWorks system integrated easily with the existing control and monitoring network, the overall cost remained very low."

LonWorks control systems have been in use in South African mines for several years, reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries, while increasing production efficiency and lowering operating costs.

About Echelon
Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) is the creator of the LonWorks platform, the world's most widely used standard for connecting everyday devices such as appliances, thermostats, air conditioners, electric meters, and lighting systems to each other and to the Internet. Echelon's hardware and software products enable manufacturers and integrators to create smart devices and systems that lower cost, increase convenience, improve service, and enhance productivity, quality, and safety. Thousands of companies have developed and installed LonWorks products and more than 40 million LonWorks devices have been installed in homes, buildings, factories, trains, and other systems worldwide. Further information regarding Echelon can be found at

Echelon, LonWorks, i.LON, and the Echelon logo are registered trademarks of Echelon Corporation registered in the United States and other countries.

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