Integration of Sensor Technologies at a Bucket Wheel Excavator for Identification of Material Type and Detection of Interface Layers

APCOM 2009
Martin Kesting, Jürgen Niemeyer, Tobias Mathjak,
Abstract The world wide growth dynamics and the continuously growing demand for energy, results in increasing energy prices. Looking from this point, the efficient exploitation of fossil fuel deposits has become a more important factor to the production of energy raw materials than ever before. This shall be reached by an increase of the automation degree of the bucket wheel excavator in the open pit mining as well as a quality increase of the entire mining process chain. A further optimization of this operation can only be achieved by gathering additional information about the input parameters. The earlier and more exact the description of the input parameter, the greater the effectiveness of the entire process chain. To address this major issue, the RWE Power AG assigned the Institute for Transportation and Automation Technology with the research project "SIMT, Sensory Identification of Material Type and Detection of the Interfaces" [Kes07]. Presently, the control of the bucket wheel excavator is carried out manually by the operator, as well as the visual identification of the different geological layers and the energy raw materials. In this paper, a sensor-system is introduced, which was developed in order to transfer the manual material identification and detection of interfaces into an automatic online procedure. A special challenge and the main focus of this contribution is the integration of this sensor system into a bucket of the bucket wheel excavator. For measuring procedures where direct contact with the in situ material is necessary, the sensor has to be integrated into the bucket. Since direct contact with the material is not necessary, it can be integrated next to the bucket wheel. The results of a preliminary study show that although there is a broad spectrum of sensor technologies for material and interface identification, only a few are suitable for an application in on-line measuring at the bucket wheel excavator. Taking into consideration the demands on the sensor technology, the studies carried out and comparable applications of individual sensor technologies which have already taken place in practice, the integration of the following measuring systems have been realized: ground penetrating radar / reflection measurements, geo electric, resistance geo electric technology. The solution developed in the research project offers for the first time the direct integration of sensor systems into the bucket of a bucket wheel excavator. It will now be possible to test other measurement methods and sensors, not only for the ones already mentioned. As an example the integration of a triaxial accelerometer to measure the solid borne sound and vibrations concerning the cutting of different materials will be shown.
Keywords: Bucket Wheel Excavator, Ground penetrating radar, Material Identification, System integration, Process control, Sensing and Monitoring, Automation, Multi Sensor Systems, Geo Electric, Detection of the Interfaces
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