Open Cut » Maintenance & Equipment
The aim of the project was to develop, build and demonstrate an on-line Dragline Duty Monitor (Dragline Dutymeter) prototype to continuously monitor the operation and log the incremental damage on the machine caused by present operating practices and the current operating regime.
The motivation for the project arose from tests conducted as part of project C7003 in December 1998, during which it was found that the rate of damage to the machine is as much dependent on the differences between operators as it depends on differences in the suspended load. Therefore, to better control the operating conditions and their effect on the machine life and catastrophic risk of failure, we need to monitor the actual duty on the machine and its variation during operation.
The system was designed, developed and installed at the end of 2002 as part of the series 3 dragline monitor on Saraji Mines DRE18, which is a Marion Machine.
The field testing of the system was successful and developed a number of important recommendations. The prototype Dutymeter (computer + sensor system) incorporates "state of the art" dragline models into the system software. During the project a telemetry-based (wireless) strain gauge system was developed originally in order to test the dragline models. Following field testing it became apparent that the wireless strain gauge system provided an accurate, robust, convenient and reliable system and it is recommended that this system form a part of the dragline Dutymeter system itself.
This is a pre-commercial prototype and may be developed into a commercial system as an add-on to the Tritronics monitor, which already has a significant market share and offers a clear path to commercialisation. One of the benefits to the industry that would result from successful utilisation of the project outcomes is an increase in the suspended load capacity of up to 25% without a noticeable degradation in the machine reliability and availability. In order to achieve this improvement it is recommended that operators be trained and the development of an advanced duty detection system commence. The resultant device will provide the operators with detection and feedback of practices causing excessive amounts of duty. It is expected that the soft sensors developed in the first stages of this project will be used to achieve this goal.
This report outlines the major progress achieved in the design, prototyping and field testing of the dragline Dutymeter.