Underground » Maintenance
The principal aim of this project was to demonstrate a prototype working in-belt transducer system for conveyor belt condition monitoring. The "in-belt" transducer system which is the subject of this study has the potential to provide continuous monitoring of a conveyor for every revolution of the belt and over the entire length of the conveyor.
In particular, the objective of this phase of the project was to develop and demonstrate an integrated working prototype in-belt transducer monitoring system capable of monitoring:
- Roller position
- Circuit location and number
- Belt speed
- Idler bearing faults
- Increased roller temperature
- Dynamic tension anomalies in the belt
- Mistracking of the belt
Initially, work was undertaken at the component level to determine the output characteristics of each of the individual PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) sensors used within the in-belt monitoring system and hence to define the circuit requirements for the on-board recording and telemetering electronics as well as the analysis requirements of the off-board PC reporting system.
The prototype working system was demonstrated at the Gosford facilities of ACE Continental, marking the conclusion of this Phase B project.
Most of the monitoring functions as described above were operational with the working prototype being able to:
- count and keep track of roller ID number
- count the cycle number of the belt around the test rig
- monitor and report on belt speed
- monitor and report on belt mistracking
- monitor and report on belt tension anomalies
- monitor vibration signals emanating from individual idlers
The on-board electronic circuitry to be embedded within the belt had not been designed. This would require further miniaturisation in a future stage of the work.
The monitoring of idler temperature through the PVDF sensors was unsuccessful, largely due to the insulating effect of the protective membrane or "covering layer" currently shielding the PVDF sensors from damage. Concept ideas have been advanced as to how idler temperature might better be monitored.
The third phase of this project was not commenced. The Industry Monitors formed the view that despite the advances made, the third phase would fail to develop the working prototype proposed.