In Search of Safety: Boost Safety and Efficiency with Diagnostic Tools

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Once the sensors have recorded the data, trained and experienced engineers review, study and interpret the results via the system’s database.

Wilm Schulz, parts and service manager at Haver & Boecker Niagara, explains how vibrating screens and their proper maintenance can make or break an operation.

A vThe ibrant screen is at the heart of stable operations, as the decisive factor in ensuring that the products extracted meet specifications. Deadlines and quotas could tempt producers to overload the screen while trying to increase their bottom line. However, this contributes to downtime due to premature wear and can create safety hazards for workers near an unbalanced screen. And just as monitoring a heart rate is essential for optimal health, the same idea applies to mining.

Think of manufacturers as an operation’s cardiologist, there to diagnose and fix operational problems before they become a safety hazard or shut down production altogether. They provide growers with the necessary elements to streamline an operation and minimize downtime or injury. And, these days, it starts with diagnostics.

Like a doctor’s home visit, on-site diagnostics improve aggregate operations through vibration analysis service programs without having to transport equipment to a shop.

These programs give growers insight into the performance of their screen to achieve optimum efficiency and ensure that minor operational issues do not become major hazards.

For the first time ever, manufacturer service programs offer growers the ability to monitor screening performance in real time. And recently, some manufacturers have evolved these systems using wireless technology.

These advancements provide a hands-off approach to analyzing screening equipment by allowing operators to stay out of harm’s way – from a potentially unbalanced display – while performing diagnostics.

In addition to security, wireless technology provides operators with real-time remote monitoring, ensuring equipment is properly maintained and operating optimally. This means less risk of stress being placed on the screen or other parts of the operation to maintain production quota. This increased efficiency and enhanced safety is a healthy choice for all areas of operation.

Wilm Schulz, parts and service manager at Haver & Boecker Niagara.

Looks interesting? Here’s how it works:

It all starts with a close relationship with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and is reinforced with real-time equipment monitoring. Finding a key partnership where an OEM approaches the application as a solution provider rather than an equipment supplier is key to productivity and success. If your OEM isn’t providing real-time advisory and proactive monitoring, it might be time to look for another solution.

A key aspect of safety is having equipment that is operating at peak performance and knowing when and how to maintain it. The more time spent repairing and maintaining equipment increases the risk of injury. This is where real-time monitoring comes in handy.

An advanced vibration analysis program specifically monitors the health of vibrating screens. This real-time feedback ensures optimized screen performance and equipment durability.

The hands-free system uses an industrial-grade wireless tablet and eight triaxial sensors to detect abnormalities that the human eye cannot detect, such as a hairline crack in a side plate or irregular or twisting movement. Even the smallest irregularities can lead to decreased performance, reduced efficiency and risk to operator safety.

The programs use wireless accelerometers to detect any irregularities, allowing operators to stay up to 100 meters out of harm’s way. Each sensor attaches to key locations on a machine to send 24 channels of data to the tablet via Wi-Fi, illustrating the machine’s orbit, acceleration, deviations and more.

Once the sensors have recorded the data, trained and experienced engineers review, study and interpret the results via the system’s database. This provides engineers and the producer with a detailed report of any concerns.

If an irregularity is detected, the service team travels to complete on-site service, keeping growers on top of preventative maintenance and ensuring safe operation that operates with maximum efficiency and lower risk. Some vibration analysis systems store historical data for each machine, allowing for quick comparison over time and easy troubleshooting.

Increasingly, growers rely on diagnostics for safer work environments and streamlined operations. Its hands-off approach provides growers with a healthy operation, operating at peak performance, helping them to meet deadlines efficiently and produce quality products for their customers.

This article appears in the February issue of Australian mining.

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