VDMA

JAN-FEB 2018

Best of Germany 2014 - Mining Equipment and Mining Technology

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VDMA 20 VDMA MINING SUPPLEMENT • 2018 were defining various mobile requirements, especially for mainte- nance management. In 2015, RWE rolled out the Asset Care app, and today they are refining it by incorporating IT/SAP technology that will optimize purchasing, storage and delivery of spare parts. Recalling the paperwork and the issues with logistics and down- time, Mark Eberlein, technical support, RWE Power's Maintenance and Engineering Center, described the company approach to digita- lization. "We couldn't fit all of our equipment with sensors overnight because it would simply cost too much money," Eberlein said. "So, we approached the equipment through the people and then back to the system. They were taking photos of the parts and sending it to other people using private email or WhatsApp, which is a great use of technology, but all of the information is lost." The company began to develop an app for the maintenance technicians that does the same thing and keeps the information inside the company. The RWE system offers tailored solutions according to needs and priorities of the equipment and maintenance. It has reduced main- tenance periods through real-time capture of systems data. It has reduced equipment downtime through predictive equipment data and maintenance. It has a high level of KPI transparency as far as costs, performance and safety on an equipment level. "It's also easy to use and intuitive with a simplified user interface," Eberlein said. "Technicians always have precisely the right tool for the job at hand. Maintenance and repair information is monitored continuously and backed up." The system connects the KPIs to Big Data systems and it will eventually offer real-time updates as well as tracking systems. To make a system like this work, upper management and the employees must both understand the value proposition. Over time, barriers were identified and managed. "People want access to data and information, but they won't use the system if it doesn't function properly," Eberlein said. Today, RWE's Asset Care App (www.rweti.com) connects its peo- ple with the company's system, and the company's efforts in this area were recognized with an innovation award from Handelsblatt IT for digital products, projects and business models. Jointly developed by RWE and Apple IBM, the Asset Care App is used by maintenance engineers, technicians and craftsmen. It has been deployed to RWE field forces using iPads to improve maintenance efficiency. When the app is launched, the user sees their personal tasks and settings. An intuitive function, Around Me, shows them jobs that need to take place near their location. "They can review maintenance plans," Eberlein said. "All backup docu- mentation is available online, even some of the old paper records. They can also find short instructions for maintenance tasks and view work order details." The app uses photos and has red-lining capabilities as well as speech recognition. RWE is now developing a Material Ready App for logistics, which will digitally track the material management process. "We do not want to reduce jobs, we want to empower the worker to be more productive," Eberlein said. Looking toward the future, Eber- lein envisions an integrated system, consisting of maintenance and materials that knows what the company has in stock and what it needs to transport to the site. Similar to Amazon, when ordering a component, it would suggest other parts that are usually ordered to complete a certain job. It would track materials on lorries and, like DHL, give the users updates as far as arrival time. Integrating Surface Miner Technology The New Acland coal mine in Queensland, Australia, recently incor- porated a Wirtgen 4200 Surface Miner (SM) into an existing mining fleet. While it was a major departure for a group that ordinarily re- sists change, the mine realized many benefits as far as health and safety, environmental performance, productivity, particle size distri- bution, loss and dilution, and unit costs were realized. Working with one of the leading German schools for mining engineering, RWTH Aachen University, and Wirtgen GmbH in Germany, New Acland im- plemented a new mining method. Located 35 km northwest of Toowoomba, the New Acland mine, which is part of the New Hope Group, has been operating since 2002 and today produces about 5 million metric tons per year (mt/y) of thermal coal. Because of its close proximity to adjacent neighbors, the mine operates within strict environmental limitations. Noise and dust emissions are especially relevant and lower environmental impacts are desired. The coal is washed on site and then railed to the Port of Brisbane for export. The geologic formation consists of multiple coal seams ranging in thickness from 0.3 m up to 3 m, interrupted by partings of the same thickness. In total, the number of different bands exceeds 40, resulting in high importance of selective mining practices. Consid- ering these geological conditions, the Wirtgen 4200 SM offered a potential solution to reduce the amount of operating equipment and deliver greater control and accuracy to the mining process. The 4200 SM began mining at New Acland in June 2014 and has been selectively mining coal and partings. Operator training commenced in overburden. The decision to test the surface miner was based on multiple expectations such as increased production rates, reduced mining costs, better coal recovery delivered through less loss and dilution, improved Run-of-Mine (ROM) coal quality, simplification of the mining process, and reduced environmental emissions. To validate those expectations, a structured trial was conducted from June to September 2014, evaluating machine per- formance against defined key performance indicators (KPI). With about 500 machines sold worldwide, Wirtgen GmbH, located in Windhagen, Germany, is the market and technology leader for sur- face miners. The direct-loading Surface Miner cuts, crushes and loads the material in one step and thereby replaces multiple conventional mining steps. Depending on job requirements, the Surface Miner can also side-cast the cut material or even cut-to-ground. The cut-to- ground option requires a different machine setup, i.e., different drum housing, no conveyor system. With the Surface Miner models 2200 SM/2200 SM 3.8, 2500 SM and 4200 SM, Wirtgen provides three per- formance classes, which can be configurated exactly to project needs. The strongest Wirtgen miner is powered by a 1,623-hp power plant and it weighs about 200 mt. The cutting drum, located in the center of the machine between front and rear tracks, is equipped with cutting tools, i.e., picks that grind the material. Cutting tool RWE's Material Ready App will eventually track the material management process digitally.

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