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Rope Shovel Operator Information System

Open Cut » Overburden Removal

Published: March 05Project Number: C12034

Get ReportAuthor: Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart, Paul Lever, Greg Sheppard, Andrew Jessett, Allison McDonald, Graham Brooker, Rebecca Hill | CRCMining

This project endeavoured to expand the capabilities of the existing data acquisition, processing and feedback system developed under ACARP project C11047 to include GPS machine position, dig face profile, shovel distance to the face and tactile feedback.

Previous work done by CMTE had established that overall machine performance was profoundly dependent on individual operators and that the real-time knowledge-of-performance feedback has a lasting positive effect on operator behaviour (project C11047).


The project developed a prototype Enhanced Data Acquisition and Processing System capable of:
  • acquiring and processing shovel's electro-mechanical, GPS and laser/radar signals;
  • providing corrective swing stall feedback and other information on a monitor located in operator's cabin;
  • detecting approaching hoist stall conditions, providing the operator with tactile hoist stall feedback and monitoring operator's responses.

The system calculates important shovel performance metrics, which are used to present feedback information to an operator in understandable format. The primary corrective feedback remains that of a visual indicator on a display screen that alerts operators when a swing-during-dig event occurs and suggests a course of action that will relieve this condition. Feedback assists the operator in making correct decisions when unfavourable working conditions occur, i.e. swing stall, and thereby increases the operators' ability to consistently achieve ?operator best practice? (ACARP Project C11047, 2000).


The Data Acquisition and Processing System enhancements focused on three main areas:
  • Visual feedback enhancement to provide additional information to the operator on machine performance, such as, motor signals, bucket positioning, and others.
  • Software and hardware development to acquire and process GPS and laser/radar signals for shovel positioning, face profile and the shovel's distance to the face.
  • Tactile feedback device development to warn the operator of impending hoist stalls conditions.

The main issues and results of the project are addressed in the report:
  • Executive Summary - general description of the project objectives, results, and prospective avenues for commercialisation (Chapter 2).
  • Project Execution detailed description of enhanced visual information system; development of radar/laser profiling unit and its application on a production machine; development of a tactile feedback device and performance testing on CRCMining 1/7 th scale shovel; and data analysis (Chapter 3).
  • Conclusions and Recommendations proposed implementation of the project findings and future research activities (Chapter 4).
  • Technology Transfer Activities strategy for system commercialisation (Chapter 5).

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