A PREDICTIVE conveyor monitoring system for the mining industry, which could effectively pinpoint roller failure in advance from an offsite control centre, is set to be launched early next year.
The system would revolutionise the monitoring of conveyors, which was still most commonly conducted by physically walking along the conveyor, observing and listening to the sound for faults.
Australian research organisation Mining3 developed the conveyor monitoring system in collaboration with its members and through funding by the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP).
On 2 November, Mining3 announced it had partnered with the Ava Group to deliver the final stages of the system to the Australian market in Q1 2019.
The technology would then be rolled out across international markets towards the second half of 2019.
Mining3 chief executive Paul Lever said the new technology was an industry game changer that would benefit the global mining industry.
“It delivers significant cost savings, productivity gains and safety by reducing the need to physically ‘ walk the belt’ to audibly detect faults,” Mr Lever said.
The sensing element of the system was a fibre optic cable run along the length of a conveyor structure.
Identified acoustic signals from the fibre would be transported back to a sophisticated software program, developed by Mining3 over three years, which would provide a clear visual representation of the state of all the bearings simultaneously.
Maintenance crews could be dispatched against a predetermined maintenance program, which would eradicate the problem of early or late change out of rollers.
The data collected could also be used to optimise maintenance strategies.
While Mining3 researched and developed the technology, the Ava Group was identified as a final stage technical development and marketing partner.
A predictive conveyor monitoring system could remove the need to physically walk along conveyor belts and listen for faults.