Coal Age

APR 2019

Coal Age Magazine - For more than 100 years, Coal Age has been the magazine that readers can trust for guidance and insight on this important industry.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 51

26 April 2019 sampling systems A Scanner Lightly The latest over-the-belt scanning technologies feature heightened accuracy, minimal infrastructure requirements and maximal optionality by jesse morton, technical writer Experts in the space say over-the-belt coal scanning technology is basically the same as it has been for decades. Ex- cept now it is simpler, smaller, easier to install and calibrate, easier to use and maintain, and offers remote access that allows the miner to be proactive. All of which is to say it has followed the evolutionary course that most technologies do. A challenge the sup- pliers face is that their products last, meaning that once a customer adopts the solution, that customer could well be out of the market for a generation. The suppliers have adapted by offering upgrades and cost-savings measures on new purchases, and, ultimately, by seeking to branch into new markets. A brief look at the flagship offerings of a couple of the more prominent suppli- ers completes the picture. Easy Upgrades and Retrofits Scantech International Pty Ltd. re- ported a new offering that is expected to grow its market. The company, known for the COALSCAN series of over-the-belt coal ash analyzers, recently released the SIZESCAN. SIZESCAN measures particle size on a conveyed flow, Henry Kurth, vice president, sales, Scantech, said. Leveraging new infrared-based 3D camera technology, "SIZESCAN is the next-generation particle size analyz- er," he said. The system is used for fragmen- tation analysis, for oversized particle detection, and for troubleshooting problems arising from equipment that can be indicated by measuring particle size. "If you have rocks larger than you want to feed to a downstream process, you can use it for alarming and for stopping the belt, so it doesn't do any damage to the downstream process," Kurth said. "The system is very useful in monitoring the particle size quality that downstream processes see. That is becoming more important for optimiz- ing grinding performance, making sure crushers and screens upstream are working properly and not damaged, and for specification compliance." The 3D camera allows the user to set a focal range, which means scans are unaffected by dust, Kurth said. Be- cause it is based on infrared, it doesn't need controlled lighting, he said. "All the dust in the foreground you can ig- nore," Kurth said. "In contrast, laser-based or 2D- camera-based systems will see the dust, and that interferes with the particle size distribution measurement," he said. "Optical camera lenses can also be af- fected by dust buildup and condensa- tion in very humid conditions such as enclosed plants and in cold climates." The solution scans strictly the sur- face material, and therefore should be positioned on the belt accordingly. "If you put it on the belt too close to the feed, the material is more mixed," Kurth said. "If you go nearer to the end of the belt, most of the coarse material migrates upward due to the vibration of the conveyor flow, and the fines tend to sink. Because you are looking for the coarse material, that is where you put this system." Kurth said the system, which was developed through COREM, a Cana- dian research organization, offers "a few" key advantages over competing solutions. "Because it doesn't need all the covers and the dust extraction systems and lighting controls, it means the whole system is much easier to install, much cheaper," he said. "We have already had a number of sales, and the feedback is it really works well under conditions where other systems wouldn't work at all." The technologies fit well into the company's line of offerings. The need to expand was driven in part by the longevity of Scantech scanners cur- rently in the field, Kurth said. "The coal market in the U.S. is a bit quieter, and people with these technologies, which are still working, don't need to buy more and more analyzers." But they may need to upgrade, which is easily accomplished, he said. The COALSCAN 2100, offering real-time coal quality analysis, scans for moisture, ash and sulfur. (Photo: Scantech)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Coal Age - APR 2019