December 14, 2017

Payload efficiency through accurate real-time data

3D Volumetric load scanning has simplified complicated payload management tasks.

3D Volumetric load scanning has revolutionised payload management in the mining sector. Transcale anticipates the niche market of 3D volumetric scanning to grow globally, as mine operators seek innovative ways of dealing with effects of a slowdown.

 In today’s mining climate, the key to sustainability is leaving no stone unturned in maximising efficiency in all critical operations from mine to mill, as far as possible. One of the areas is in the management of haul truck fleets, where the ability to gather and make decisions with accurate real time data inputs is paramount. Conveniently, thanks to 3D volumetric load scanning, mines are now able to collect accurate data in real time as and when they need it.

Transcale’s 3D Volumetric Scanning

Australia headquartered and globally focused, Transcale provides 3D Volumetric Scanning (TVS) Solution to mining companies worldwide. TVS is deployed in both permanent and portable applications that are driven by the specific challenges that each operation is focusing on.

Transcale’s key focus and experience revolves around Payload and Productivity solutions in mining.  The company’s experience in the Africa region is in excess of 20 years, and its reputation as the industry leader has been hard earned and retained over this period.

Ross Grayson, Managing Director, Transcale, is sharing information about TVS with mining houses in Africa. He tells African Mining Brief: “The dynamic sampling operation of TVS negates any operational delays as opposed to surveying type solutions.  Aside from a Payload Analytics function, Transcale’s reporting platform ‘Truck Analyst’ allows the mine to establish acceptable alarm limits in the sampling areas selected.”

Also, Grayson mentions that alarming is another distinctive feature of TVS. “Physical alarms can be delivered to the most appropriate person for real time intervention for Underload, Overload, Bias Loading, and Extreme Tire Bias loading.   Material Carryback reporting/alarming is another outcome that is assisting some operations that suffer from this condition,” he says.

  A unique solution for each mine

Bearing in mind that every mine has unique needs in volumetric load scanning, Transcale has made it standard practice to tailor its solutions in line with a client’s particular needs, according to Grayson. “The scope of each solution is dependent on the challenges of each operation.  The results of a Baseline Application study will determine the target areas of challenge and Transcale works then with each operation to deliver an appropriate scope and solution. Typically, the final scope will vary from a fully autonomous weighing and scanning solution interfaced into the mine’s Fleet Management System through to individual weighing or scanning solutions.  Regular Validation Studies are also an acceptable option in some cases,” he says.

Weight and Volume Baseline Analysis

Transcale carries out a Weight and Volume Baseline Analysis to determine Payload and Volumetric capabilities of the existing fleet, uncovering areas of opportunity ranging from simplistic behavioural changes loading to target, through to investment in more appropriate truck bodies and buckets better matched and suited to the material types of that operation.  This data and processes form part of a growing compliance environment that is assisting Operations and some Truck OEM’s manage a new framework of increased Payload and Gross Vehicle Weights.

 Globally accepted system

Grayson also states that Transcale’s TVS system is the only globally accepted system in mining, and whilst other products claim similar outcomes, the accuracy, reliability and ease of interfacing with weighing and Fleet Management Systems continues to have TVS lead the race.  Similarly, he adds, whilst UAV and survey based products can deliver components of the solution, TVS delivers a simple streamline automated process that doesn’t introduce additional operational delays and additional levels of data interrogation and reporting.

 Commodities

Transcale’s solutions rank amongst the most popular in mining worldwide. The company has over 200 weighing and volumetric solutions, both as combined systems and deployed singularly, in 29 countries.  In Africa in particular, its track record supports a strong existing client base including all major Mining Companies, Truck OEM’s and all the key players in tyre and rim arena.  Mining companies such as Barrick, FQM, Debswana, AngloGold Ashanti, Tenke Fungurume, and Newmont have various weighing and scanning solutions ranging from fully autonomous to portable. Many of these existing systems have been in operation in excess of 20 years.

 Continuous product development

Transcale is continuously improving the quality of its product. Its new products are all autonomy-ready and many existing deployments are going through upgrades in both weighing and volumetric scanning in this direction.  Also, integral with any hardware upgrades are new reporting and management platforms to ensure maximum benefit from the sampling processes.

 Prospects for niche growth

With the mining sector undergoing changes, Grayson reveals that Transcale anticipates the niche of Volumetric Scanning in the mining sector to grow in the coming years. He notes that conditions in the mining sector have compelled mines to reconsider the way they manage their business, with loading and hauling being no exception. “The current trend is dictating that efficiency and asset utilisation in the load and haul space is growing in operational focus.  This focus is driving the need for accurate real time weight and volumetric measurements to assist operations execute and sustain improvement initiatives.  More operations are imbedding regular processes to validate on-board weighing system data (loading units and haul trucks), to enable greater accuracy down to a per load basis.”

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