Early detection system catches Fortescue conveyor belt rip

FMG iron ore stockyards, Anderson Point

An early belt rip was identified by ‘smart data’ monitoring systems on a major Fortescue Metals Group iron ore stockyard conveyor in the Pilbara, Western Australia.

The early detection led to an automatic shutdown of the conveyor, stopping it from causing further, significant damage.

The yard belt is vital to Fortescue’s Anderson Point operation as it carries ore from the stockyards to the ships at Herb Elliot Port.

Chris Ams, conveyor superintendent of Fortescue’s Anderson Point, Port Hedland, said that this is a reward for keeping up to date with latest technology.

“Fourteen stockyard belts we operate at Anderson Point are fitted with these latest ‘smart data’ condition monitoring systems. This enables us to reduce unplanned maintenance due to belt ripping or significant belt carcass damage,” Ams said.

The belt uses Continental’s automated 24/7 monitoring, CONTI MultiProtect. It analyses the magnetic characteristics of the conveyor belt and creates an alarm when it detects cord damage, deviations in the splice and a longitudinal rip.

“All this is visible on demand by multiple users at the same time from your nominated desktop, laptop or through alerts issued to site operational systems, email or SMS,” said Edsel Lemus, manager (belt condition monitoring) at Conveyor Belt Group for Continental, ContiTech Division.

“This latest model combines the features of our traditional CONTI RipProtect and CONTI CordProtect into one multifunctional system for increased features and connectivity.”