Searching for safety: Boost safety and efficiency with diagnostic tools

Pulse Diagnostic tools optimise vibrating screen health, regardless of the brand.

Haver & Boecker Niagara parts and service manager Wilm Schulz explains how vibrating screens and their proper maintenance can make or break an operation. 

A vibrating screen is the heart of steady operations, as the deciding factor in mined products meeting specifications. Deadlines and quotas might tempt producers to overload the screen while attempting to increase their bottom line. However, this contributes to downtime due to premature wear and might create safety hazards for workers near an unbalanced screen. And just as monitoring a heart rate is an essential for optimal health, the same idea applies to a mining operation. 

Think of manufacturers as an operation’s cardiologist, there to diagnose and remedy operating issues before they become a safety hazard or halt production altogether. They provide producers with the necessities to streamline an operation and minimise downtime or injury. And, these days, that starts with diagnostics. 

Like a house-call from a doctor, onsite diagnostics enhance aggregate operations through vibration analysis service programs without having to transport the equipment into a shop. 

These programs offer producers insight on their screen’s performance to achieve optimum efficiency and ensure minor operating issues don’t become major hazards. 

For the first time ever, manufacturers’ service programs provide producers the opportunity to monitor screening performance in real time. And recently, some manufacturers advanced these systems by using wireless technology. 

These advancements offer a hands-off approach to analysing screening equipment by allowing operators to stand out of harm’s way — from a potentially off-balanced screen — when performing diagnostics. 

In addition to safety, wireless technology offers operators remote, real-time monitoring, which ensures equipment is properly maintained and running optimally. This means less risk that strain is placed on the screen or other parts of the operation to maintain production quota. This increased efficiency and enhanced safety is the healthy choice for all areas of the operation. 

Haver & Boecker Niagara parts and service manager Wilm Schulz.

Sound interesting? Here’s how it works:

It all begins with a close relationship with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and is enhanced by real-time equipment monitoring.  Finding a key partnership where an OEM approaches the application as a solution provider rather than an equipment supplier is key to productivity and success. If your OEM isn’t providing consultative advice and real-time proactive monitoring, it might be time to seek another solution. 

A key aspect to safety is having equipment that runs at peak performance and knowing when and how to maintain it. The more time spent fixing and maintaining the equipment heightens the risk of injury. That is where real-time monitoring comes in handy.

An advanced vibration analysis program specifically monitors the health of vibrating screens. That real-time feedback ensures optimised screen performance and equipment durability. 

The hands-free system uses a wireless, industrial-grade tablet computer and eight tri-axial sensors to detect abnormalities the human eye cannot, such as a hairline crack in a side plate or an uneven or twisting motion. Even the slightest irregularities can result in diminished performance, decreased efficiency and safety risks for the operator. 

The programs use wireless accelerometers to detect any irregularities, allowing operators to stand as far as 100 metres out of harm’s way. Each sensor attaches to key places on a machine to send 24 channels of data to the tablet via Wi-Fi — illustrating the machine’s orbit, acceleration, deviations and more. 

After the sensors record the data, trained and experienced engineers review, study and interpret the results through the system’s database. This provides the engineers and producer with a detailed report of any concerns. 

If an irregularity is detected, the service team travels to complete on-site service, which keeps producers on top of preventative maintenance and ensures a safe operation that runs at maximum efficiency and lower risk. Some vibration analysis systems store each machine’s historical data, which allows for quick comparison over time and easy troubleshooting.

More and more often, producers rely on diagnostics for safer work environments and a streamlined operation. Its hands-off approach offers producers a healthy operation, running at peak performance, which helps them efficiently meets deadlines and produce quality product for their customers.  

This article appears in the February issue of Australian Mining.

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