Coal Preparation

Autonomous Monitoring and Test Station

Coal Preparation » Process Control

Published: April 06Project Number: C11010

Get ReportAuthor: Barry Jenkins, Elliott Duff, Peter Holtham | Jenkins-Kwan Technology

The main aim of the project was to develop and test a low-cost system for monitoring of coal preparation plant systems and processes in troubleshooting or investigative applications. The system (or tool) is autonomous, can be interfaced with a wide variety of probes, sensors and cameras, and has an on-board decision making capacity. The system has an on-board data logging capability and can employ several communications mechanisms to interrogate other systems, transfer data, and receive instructions. The main role of the tool is to identify ‘exception-to-rule’ situations while monitoring problem areas in a plant. When a problem has been detected, users of the tool can be notified via their mobile phone with SMS ‘alert’ messages, and at shift changeover an SMS code can be sent by the new operator or maintenance technician to assume control of the system. The potential value to industry could be estimated on the basis of improved operator efficiency and reduced operator workload.

A prototype system or AMTS (Autonomous Monitoring and Test Station) has been produced. A design criteria and data processing methodology were established to produce an economical (< $5000) and reconfigurable system. The main micro-controller was adapted from an advanced autonomous robotics educational system used by Universities. The system has the advantage of having interfaces for multiple analog and digital sensors and actuators plus the capability of performing on-board machine vision via a camera. A pool of public domain software and general sensor applications are available and units are currently manufactured in Australia. The project developed software for a real-time operating system, specialized sensor interfaces, mobile telephony, data logger, event handler, state analyzer and user interface. The project also involved the review of 10 possible tasks of which 6 were to be chosen for case studies and plant trials. The type of low-level tasks which were considered included: equipment condition monitoring, process performance tests, and identifying unusual events. It was not possible to complete all case studies.

A system like the AMTS could provide a standard plant network interface and auxiliary monitor for testing sensors and experimental gauges.

Commercialization of the AMTS is not feasible in the short term due to the small range of applications currently available in the prototype system’s toolkit and due to the expense of developing new ones. It would be easier and cheaper for engineers and technicians employed within plants to develop new applications for the AMTS toolkit. Therefore, it is recommended that initially the design and software of the prototype be made freely available to the coal industry on the basis that groups developing applications will share the new software and technical details in a common pool of applications. Prototype units and support can be provided by Opticoal Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary of Jenkins-Kwan Technology.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C34019Longwall Bretby Cable Handling Monitoring With Fibre Optics

This project examined the potential of using fibre optic sensing tec...

C28028The Inclusion Of High Interest Native Plants In Mine Site Restoration Programs: Propagation, Translocation And Field Re-Introduction

This report synthesises over 10 years of ex situ and in si...

C27049Mine Machine Radar Sensor Integration

The aim of this project was to develop an integrated radar sensor an...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C34029Validation Of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) As A Rapidly Deployable Field Technology To Estimate Coal Quality

Rapid evaluation of a coal resource by in-situ characterisation dow...

C34028Guidelines For Assessment Of Geotechnically Safe And Stable Post-Mining Landforms

The purpose of this project was to develop a guidelines document as ...

C34016Elements In Coal – A Start-To-End Analysis

This project explores the fate and concentration potential of critical e...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26016Determining The Benefits Of Online Thickener Underflow Rheology Measurements

The aim of this project is to determine how useful the rheology meas...

C33056Modelling And Control Of Classifying Cyclones

Hydrocyclones are one of the key technologies for the classification...

C28056Surface Alloying Of Centrifuge Baskets And Sieve Bends Screen Surfaces To Increase The Service Lifetime

The main objective of this project was to improve the wear resistanc...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C33066Washability And Distribution Of Sulfur And Trace Elements For Different Size And Density Fractions Of Raw Coals

Based on the hypothesis that the levels of sulfur and other toxic tr...

C34060In-Situ Investigation Of Coke Structure Formation Under Stamp Charged Coking Conditions

Stamp charged cokemaking has emerged as an effective technique to im...

C34062Improving The Classification Of Microstructure Distribution In Coke CT Images Using Deep Learning And Lineal Path Calculations

This project builds on a number of earlier projects that have helped...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL)

This third and final stage of this project was the culmination of a ...

C29069Low-Cost Catalyst Materials For Effective VAM Catalytic Oxidation

Application of ventilation air methane (VAM) thermal oxidiser requir...

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook