VDMA

JAN-FEB 2018

Best of Germany 2014 - Mining Equipment and Mining Technology

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VDMA 24 VDMA MINING SUPPLEMENT • 2018 expands the existing open-pit mine and is expected to bring 95,000 metric tons per day (mt/d) of copper ore to the surface. The conveyor system has to overcome differences in elevation of almost 1,400 m. Production is expected to commence in 2020. Despite these advances, there is still more potential to be tapped with conveyors. ContiTech, thyssenkrupp and Siemens have founded a research and development consortium to devel- op and market the Chevron-MegaPipe conveyor. The new conveyor design is set to help reduce conventional heavy-duty truck traffic and the resulting high operating costs in open-pit mines. High- strength, ribbed steel cable Chevron-MegaPipes with a nominal strength of up to 9,500 N/mm and an outer diameter of up to 900 mm facilitate cost-effective conveyance of ore and overburden with lump sizes up to 350 mm over mine slopes with angles of inclination of 30° to approximately 45°. The solution has already proven its feasibility in a 350 m deep open-pit mine with a mass flow of 5,000 mt per hour (mt/h). On the island state of Papua New Guinea, Ok Tedi Mining Ltd. (OTML) runs a copper and gold mine. Like many mines in Papua New Guinea, the drive train infrastructure on the grinding mills there is in excess of 30 years old, and OTML was aware of the potential prob- lems with the aging equipment. The company's people also knew that, to ensure long-term profitability, a move to industry standard variable-speed control of the SAG mills was required. Siemens was selected to equip the two SAG mills at Ok Tedi with new drive train infrastructure. The project will commence in 2018. Also part of the delivery scope: a cloud-based condition-monitoring system combined with remote access as well as contracts for main- tenance and analytics. Another area of bulk material handling gaining attention is pre- ventive maintenance. Here the goal is to minimize unexpected shut- downs caused by system failures. A continuous recording system — or data logging system — is connected to all components of the convey- ing system, including mechanical and electrical parts. The mass of produced data is then integrated with data from other sources, such as field service reports. Through advanced analytics, experts can pre- dict impending failures and take action in time. An added advantage is that they can also uncover opportunities for performance improve- ments, as well as energy and cost savings. For remote-asset health management services, Siemens can go online from a competence cen- ter and provide instruction to help mine personnel fix a problem. A further tool for smooth operation is uniform IT structures. Vale, one of the world's biggest mining companies, is implementing a single manufacturing execution system to replace 17 production management systems used at its operations in Brazil. Siemens was selected to develop and commission a manufacturing execution sys- tem (MES), which goes under the name Vale Production Manage- ment-Mining (GPV-M). It guarantees comprehensive transparency along the entire value chain and at all facilities, from the mines to the railway and port facilities. Nowadays, GPV-M is one of the foun- dations of Vale's digital strategy, which aims to establish a platform that will allow Vale to reach new heights of productivity through the combination of new technologies and processes. Results are already apparent. To date, more than 20 million mt of iron ore have already been shipped using the newly commissioned GPV-M. Plus, the IT costs for MES technologies will be reduced up to $19 million by 2020. Digitalization also makes autonomous operation of stock- yard machines — such as stackers and reclaimers — possible. Advanced material handling systems like these are paramount in helping mines reduce operational costs with the added benefit of increased safety. Digitalization of stockyards allows mining compa- nies to track quantities and quality. It provides real-time material inventory. Storage levels can be simulated and products with pre- cise qualities can be blended. Building on technological advances, such as gearless drives and other high-angle conveying methods, Siemens believes untapped potential still exists for conveyor systems.

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