INTELLIGENT SYSTEM FOR AUTOMATIC INSPECTION
AND CONTINUOUS DIAGNOSTICS OF CONVEYOR BELT CONDITION
AGREEMENT NO PBS1/A2/5/2012
PART OF APPLIED RESEARCH PROGRAM
Belt conveyors are vital and commonly used elements of transportation systems in both underground and surface mines. In contrast to transportation by road or railroad vehicles, belt conveyors offer continuous material transportation. This allows to achieve much higher efficiencies and at the same time to reduce unit costs of production.
Conveyor belt is the most expensive part of any belt conveyor. It is responsible for 40% to 60% of the conveyor’s total price. During operation, the belt may suffer from adverse phenomena, which may significantly reduce its life-time. Such phenomena include: abrasion, tension, rapturing, cutting, cracking, delamination and uneven operating conditions due to changing temperature, atmosphere, loading, belt tensile force etc.
In fact, even if unplanned downtime caused by belt conveyor damage is short, the company may suffer from huge financial losses. The losses are caused not only by the need to purchase a new belt, but also by the interruption of mining production and by bringing the whole technological process to a halt.
Timely information about damage and the ability to appropriately interpret the data allows to control undesirable changes (warning threshold) or take steps before failure occurs (alarm threshold). Introducing automatic diagnostic systems in mining plants helps to avoid both emergency downtime and maintenance downtime of belt conveyors. It also allows to economically plan repairs and to minimize downtime cost, and in many cases it also helps to eliminate the need to invest in new parts.
Intelligent system for automatic inspection and continuous diagnostics of conveyor belt condition allows to:
• estimate the belt’s technical condition,
• estimate the belt’s lifetime,
• detect damage of covers, core and edges,
• detect rips,
• control belt operation safety.