Dec '16/Jan '17

The best in new technology

Compiled by Cecilia Keating

◢ Smarter loading

Pulse TerraMatrix shovel monitoring systemCourtesy of BMT WBM Poorly loaded trucks can have a serious impact on a mining operation. Overloading can accelerate wear and tear on the shovel and truck, and underloading cuts into production. BMT WBM’s new Pulse TerraMatrix shovel monitoring system will have a “tremendous impact on the productivity of a mine and on maintenance costs,” according to Charles Constancon, director of BMT WBM Canada. The system provides real-time, accurate payload data to the machine operator when a load is still in the shovel so it can be immediately adjusted before it is dumped in the truck. It is calculated by a load cell installed on the bucket, together with a sophisticated measurement of the inertial movement of the dipper, which allows the system to provide accurate payload measurement even in the most dynamic loading conditions. A touch screen display conveys the information to the shovel’s operator. The system also takes into account any sticky material or “carry back” left on the shovel. An advanced data analytics package compares data on an operator-by-operator, shift or machine basis, allowing the mine to identify areas where productivity can be improved. Finally, the system also calculates a material’s “diggability,” how well-blasted the rock is and how easy it is to dig. This allows the mine to ensure the material is well fragmented and optimize future blasting.


◢ Lasting layers

SSAB Duroxite overlay
Courtesy of SSAB, Inc

Extreme heat, abrasive minerals and repetitive high-impact work can exhaust and ultimately destroy mining equipment in surface and underground environments. Steel manufacturer SSAB believes its new Duroxite overlay will reduce downtime on a mine and radically extend the lifespan of the equipment it protects. The chromium carbide overlay is welded on top of a piece of equipment’s metal casing, creating an extremely hard and wear-resistant material. The overlay can be applied to a wide range of mining products, including coal discharge chutes, fan blades, backhoe buckets and electric shovel steel plates. According to Ross Wylie, head of wear services for North America, the product will allow mines to “be more productive and make more money, with less shutdowns and breakdowns.” SSAB launched four types of Duroxite overlay in September at Minexpo to target different types of wear, including abrasion, impact, heat, metalto- metal and erosion. Duroxite 101 and 211 must be paired with SSAB’s Hardox base plate, while Duroxite 100 and 210 can be layered on any mild steel plate. SSAB provides a personalized service to mines, where specialists complete an on-site “wear audit,” evaluating the wear issues a mine is experiencing and taking exact measurements of the equipment that is suffering, before parts are cut and delivered ready for installation. “We understand that not one steel fits all,” said Wylie. He estimated that the overlay will provide equipment with a service life of up to five times longer than standard abrasion-resistant steel.


◢ Safety assist

Hexagon Mining Vehicle Intervention System
Courtesy of Hexagon Mining

Large equipment, operator fatigue, poor visibility and gaping blind spots all contribute to vehicle collisions and potentially- fatal accidents on mine sites. Hexagon Mining’s new Vehicle Intervention System (VIS) adds an extra layer of protection to its advanced collision avoidance technology, which dates back to 2008. The new system provides an alert to the operator about a potential collision and takes corrective action on the truck if the operator does not react, slowing down the vehicle or bringing it to a halt. VIS product manager Fabien Kritter said the cost of the system “pays off really rapidly. It can pay off in one single incident.” Mines will have less down-time due to damaged or destroyed equipment, and most importantly the system will prevent injury and loss of life. Each vehicle on the site, whether a light vehicle, loader or shovel, is equipped with a combined global navigation satellite system (GNSS), radio frequency, and WiFi antenna and the threat of collision is communicated to the operator on a small screen mounted in his or her field of vision. The system is also equipped with radar, which picks up on people and infrastructure. Crucially, the operator is able to override the system and take control of the vehicle.


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