Loadscan’s guide to optimising payloads

To achieve optimal mine productivity Loadscan urges operators to properly understand if they are moving the maximum amount of material as efficiently as possible, shift after shift.

If a miner is not accounting for, and getting an accurate measure on, each haul truck payload then they probably aren’t working to optimal efficiency.

But how do mining companies ensure each payload is optimised? New Zealand-based Loadscan manufactures load volume scanning (LVS) systems that generate real-time data, including 3D payload profiles, to equip mining companies with the full picture of what’s being extracted or hauled.

The LVS system is fully automated and scans trucks in-motion. It’s mining-specific reporting provides relevant data for every load to maximise trucking factors, manage haul back, and to ensure correct loading on every cycle.

Loadscan provides an exact volumetric measure (with +/- 1 per cent accuracy) and is the only payload scanning system with official approvals for trade.

Installing an LVS onsite means mines can continue to keep everything in motion round the clock. Drivers and autonomous trucks aren’t required to stop for weighing as the Loadscan scanners measure load after load at eight kilometres an hour, even in the toughest environments.

Load volume scanners are relatively quick, easy and inexpensive to install compared to traditional weigh bridges or scales. And, with no wear parts, they don’t require ongoing calibration or routine maintenance.

Tritton mine gains 9.7% in trucking factors

Aeris Resources’ Tritton copper mine in Nyngan, New South Wales, was the first underground operation in Australia to purchase and install an LVS system from Loadscan – a decision that has led to a 9.7 per cent increase in trucking factors.

Tritton upgraded to an LVS system after becoming frustrated with the constant inaccuracy of its previous payload measurement system, a combination of paper records and load weight information that was used to track daily ore production.

Under the previous system, truck operators were required to fill out time sheets and document their activities, including truck ID, load destination, time loaded, time dumped etc.

The paper records were combined with load weight information gained from a weighbridge and uploaded to a production tracking database.

Now the Loadscan LVS does all of this for the Tritton mine. In addition to the daily workflow gains, Tritton has future proofed and minimised maintenance requirements.

Whereas the previous system had limited forward compatibility — trucking fleet upgrades made weighing systems redundant and the weighbridge had limited data compatibility with the production tracking database — the Loadscan system is compatible with any truck.

And where the now-obsolete weighbridge required regular maintenance, the LVS is non-contact, with no wear parts, and does not require routine maintenance or ongoing calibration — saving time and money.

Tritton’s Matthew Gouldstone says the scanner receives no wear and tear as it is scanning, as opposed to weighing, and is much more durable given the conditions it operates under.

“There have been two major benefits gained from installing the LVS system … one being that immediate, accurate load volume has allowed for real-time feedback to underground loader operators; allowing for informal coaching from the supervisors using the 3D load profiling software,” Gouldstone says.

“This has resulted in the trucks being loaded to capacity and has increased trucking factors by 9.7 per cent — ultimately resulting in a lower cost per tonne hauled.”

Gouldstone says the second benefit is the data-tracking software.

“Cycle time is easy to track and a simple interface allows supervisors to understand loads per shift or day. Training the supervisors how to use this data has meant 10–20 minutes per shift has been saved from reading back through plods and tallying up tonnes moved,” he says.

“The level of detail obtained by the LVS is impressive. Overall the return on investment has been extremely quick; within the first full month after installation the LVS had paid for itself.”

Loadscan’s five tips for optimising payloads

  1. Get an accurate volume and tonnage measure on each payload

Direct, drive-through scanning is the most accurate payload measurement available. Trucks are scanned as they drive below an elevated scan head. The system compares empty scan profiles to loaded scan profiles to compute an accurate load volume – thus removing uncertainties such as moisture content, compaction and loading variations.

  1. Measure payload volume on entry and exit

Scanning loads on entry and exit, in real-time, will equip you to calculate to eliminate wasteful haul-back. Haul-back can be identified and removed from the bin and deducted from shift tallies.

  1. Give operators direct real-time feedback

You can chose to equip trucks with Loadscan’s Overview in-cab console, which allows the driver to enter load details such as truck operator, bogger operator, load source, load type, destination, etc at the time of loading. This information feeds into the LVS system and load measurement feedback is reported immediately back to the driver after each scan. Understanding this information will generally influence driver/loader operator behaviour and lead to improved haulage efficiency and increased productivity.

  1. Optimise load capacity

Once you have an accurate volume measure you can determine the maximum payload capacity of your haulers. Increasing your payload will increase your efficiency and output; you’ll move more material for the same cost. Also, once your maximum payload is identified you can educate bogger operators to load to capacity more consistently.

  1. Track and trace all loads

When you implement a system that accurately tracks material movement totals against performance targets in real-time, you gain a strategic advantage. With insightful information regarding what you’re moving each day at your disposal you’ll make accurate analysis and sound operational decisions.

This article also appears in the July edition of Australian Mining. 

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