ZURICH, Switzerland—Predictive maintenance, though still a relatively new technology, has become a sought-after safety net for conveyor belt operators.
As such, ABB Ltd. has released ABB Ability Condition Monitoring for mining belts, a digital system that tracks and collects data about the integrity of the conveyance equipment. The system supplies real-time analysis that can assist mine operators in planned maintenance before something tears or breaks.
ABB Ability Condition Monitoring can assess track speed, misalignment, damage, thickness and wear, slippage and temperature, according to ABB.
"Real time monitoring of the actual belt performance prompts the necessary corrective actions ahead of failure or further and more costly damage," said Eduardo Botelho, global material handling service product manager for ABB. "With equipment condition continuously assessed, operators can plan necessary maintenance only when certain indicators give the signal that the equipment is deteriorating, and the probability of failure is increasing. It will consistently catch misalignment or speed issues online, long before failure, and pre-empt issues such as falling material, energy waste, excessive belt wear, rupture or fire."
Since downtime can be a safety issue and almost certainly means lost revenue, such predictive maintenance systems are crucial, according to ABB. They provide predictive rather than preventative warnings, a big difference for mining companies considering preventative measures—only implemented when something fails—hit the bottom line for mining companies.
The system uses sensors installed along the conveyor belt equipment and is designed to withstand harsh environments, ABB said.
"Fault trend analysis, event alarms, data logs and reports can be monitored for single or multiple conveyors and by remote connection, SMS text message and email," ABB stated in a press release.
ABB Ability Condition Monitoring can work as a stand-alone option or integrated into an existing control system.
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