Coal Age

MAY 2019

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May 2019 www.coalage.com 29 material handling continued reclaimer for loading ore trains bound for Port Hedland. The machines will have a capacity of 20,000 mtph, mak- ing them the largest rail-mounted stackers and reclaimer in the world, according to the company, which also noted they comply with the latest Aus- tralian design-standard requirements and include technology improve- ments centered on safe construction, operation and maintenance activities. Stacking It Safely At the Roy Hill iron ore mine, also locat- ed in Western Australia's Pilbara region, guidance and control specialist RCT reported it played a major role in im- planting the mine's dynamic multiple Geofence package, which is interfaced to fixed and mobile asset elements within the boundaries of the Coarse Ore Stockpile (COS). The Geofence technology was interfaced with two D11T Cat dozers and the radial stacker infrastructure, including the boom that can maneuver in multiple directions. Both dozers were equipped with RCT's ControlMaster Teleremote solu- tions, which enables the operators to control the machines from a remote station. Cameras are installed on the dozers, along with other cameras on the COS stacker, tertiary crusher infra- structure, and two mobile communi- cations trailers to give operators great- er spatial awareness during operation. The virtual perimeter around the dozers' stockpile area is designed to safeguard operators, ensuring that mul- tiple machines can seamlessly operate in the same area without risk of colli- sion with the fixed stacker infrastruc- ture, or the dozers falling into vaults or driving off the stockpile boundary. RCT said interfacing of the dynamic elements on the site was achieved in partnership with Collision Detection technology from Sitech, Trimble's glob- al site-solutions dealership network. According to RCT, a number of factors had to be addressed for the Geofence to work effectively. Multiple workshops and risk assessments were conducted to define the Geofence boundaries or virtual perimeters with- in each element, including the dozers, stacker boom and five vaults. Bound- aries were designed to be configurable with proper access authorization, al- lowing flexibility for the operators. Sitech's SiTrack software was designed to provide the Geofence boundaries, monitor all interactions and provide alerts within the bound- aries, allowing the RCT system's semi- autonomous control over the two doz- ers. This was achieved by using High Precision (HP) GNSS equipment to measure and detect the proximity of the moving assets in the potentially hazardous stockpile to an absolute ac- curacy of around the +/-25-mm range. RCT's Custom group worked with Sitech and Roy Hill to develop and de- ploy the dynamic Geofence system to interface with the ControlMaster Tel- eremote solutions to ensure machine functionality is inhibited by the Con- trolMaster system at different levels of detection on the SiTRACK system. The integration resulted in the creation of a variety of configurable Geofence boundaries within the site. Each boundary has different zones to alert dozer operators of potential danger. With such a high volume of visual data being delivered to the operators from numerous cameras, along with the dozer pitch/roll machine dash- board information and the Trimble tablet display, Roy Hill decided bigger control-room screens were required. The operator station was upgraded from the original two 24-inch (in.) screens and a 17-in. Trimble tablet to two 40-in. curved screens and a 32- in. display for the Trimble screen. A Trimble tablet was also relocated to the side of the operator chair. According to the project partners, conducting dozer functions via re- mote control from the operating sta- tions eliminates the risks operators are exposed to at the COS and processing plant, reduces operator fatigue and in- creases productivity. RCT's Teleremote solution allows for multiple views from the dozer, which increases operator efficiency while helping to minimize machine damage and overall general wear and tear. Downtime associat- ed with shift changes also is reduced, boosting productivity even more. Taking It Indoors Environmental considerations are in- creasingly influencing stockpile design and construction. For example, Sie- mens announced it is supplying an au- tonomous stockyard management sys- tem to be used in a new plant for HBIS Laoting Steel Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China's HBIS Group, one of the world's biggest iron and steel producers. The stockyard management system com- prises a material tracking and manage- ment system (MAQ), an autonomous stockyard operating system (MOM), a Simatic PCS 7 process control system, consulting, engineering, project man- agement and commissioning. Recent environmental regulations instituted by the Chinese government prompted HBIS Laoting to look at us- ing an autonomous stockyard man- agement system, according to Sie- mens. The latest regulations require all newly constructed stockyards to be en- closed. The consequent high tempera- tures and dust levels present in these facilities create hazardous conditions for human workers, and autonomous storage and retrieval machinery is nec- essary for this type of environment. The installation, said Siemens, will allow machines and conveyors to be controlled from a single system. This is achieved using a 3D model of the exist- ing inventory, which provides informa- tion on volume and quality of stocked material, enabling autonomous oper- ation of all the plant's storage and re- trieval machines. Siemens claimed the system will enable HBIS Laoting Steel to not only reduce its operating costs, but also achieve a 5%-10% improve- ment in system efficiency, along with 3-7% higher production capacity and improved worker and asset safety.

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