Remote monitoring comes to mining hoists

In this case history, INCO Engineering uses control redundancy to help minimize the risk of downtime.

By Mike Bacidore, Control Design

Metals and minerals have been important resources for centuries, but the methods of mining those resources have drastically improved over the years. Today, mining companies use hoisting equipment to move materials and personnel from underground to the surface, typically from as far below the surface as a half mile to a mile deep.

As technological capabilities grow, mining companies look to become even more productive and competitive globally. They want to run hoists continuously without stopping for unplanned maintenance and increase the load size brought up by the hoists. However, safety and reliability are major concerns. A hoist’s skip can move up to 60 ft/s and needs to stop within a predetermined position without causing any issues.

Hoists can operate without any supervision. Operators can monitor the automatic operations from an on-site control cabin. However, more companies now see the value of remotely monitoring operations. Typical applications are in remote locations with weather extremes, and access to spare parts and equipment is limited. Response time is critical at these locations.

To learn more, read “Modular mining system combines remote monitoring, operation with redundancy for safety” from Control Design.

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