BeltSpy

Technical Review: High Speed Camera Conveyor Belt Inspection and Monitoring System.

Overview

The system comprises a high speed digital camera, dedicated local pc, surface interface pc and associated components.

The camera captures a continuous stream of images from the moving (full speed) carry side of the conveyor. The images are then analysed by the software which identifies clip joints, splices, damaged belt surface and damaged edges. Each identified conveyor belt join or damage is identified by a unique number which also captures the exact location on the conveyor from a reference point. The current software version then requires that the identified points are manually reviewed to determine the actions required for the damage. The review of the identified points takes a small amount of time. Each image is uploaded in approx 100msecs. The identified points are then stored for comparison against subsequent inspections.

Review

Image capture system:
The software was demonstrated utilising previously captured data from West Cliff. Image clarity was excellent. Storage of the data is on the pc at the conveyor with approximately 3Gig of data per 1000mtrs.

Analysis Software:
The automatic analysis software was also demonstrated and run on the data. The analysis was completed in approx 1 minute for a 3000mtr belting length. 300 damage points were identified. These ranged from small cover damage, cuts to the surface to worn belt surface(through the covers). If a small damage point is considered to not require further analysis it is deleted from the history file and requires no further review.

The software was demonstrated to show the review process where previous data is compared against current images. This is a simple process and single keyboard functions allow both new and historical data to be reviewed and advanced to the next data point on the conveyor.

Technical Comment

The system demonstrated is an online condition monitoring tool to enhance conveyor management. The analysis tool allows only the potential damage points to require review and this can be done on line during full production allowing conveyor down time to be utilised for maintenance activities. It will also allow for online monitoring of damage to assess the time frame before the conveyor must be stopped for repair and also monitor the potential failure in real time until repair can be effected.

Point to consider and obtain clarity around is:

The pc's for use underground contain small batteries on the motherboard. It will be required to carry out a risk assessment to ensure these are suitable for use underground in non-hazardous locations.

Conclusion

The system shows an excellent opportunity to obtain online condition monitoring and analysis of conveyor belt joins and carrying carcass.

The product allows the full length of conveyor to be analysed during production operation and thus allowing the coal clearance team to review conveyor integrity without the need to stop the conveyor. It will also allow the utilisation of available maintenance windows to carry out maintenance and repair activities as the condition of the belting can be assessed during production times.

From a technical point of view the system is a leading edge CM tool and utilises currently available technologies in a new and innovative application.


Graeme Relf
Electrical Project Engineer, Illawarra Coal