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Improving Shovel Performance Through Advanced Real-Time Monitoring

The productivity and profitability of surface mines are dependent on a range of factors, not the least of which is the efficiency and speed of truck loading. Getting the correct payload into each truck without needing to make unnecessary passes or creating maintenance risks due to overloading is a constant challenge.

Traditionally, payload accuracy has been highly dependent on the skill and competence of the individual operator in control of each machine. However, no operator can get it right all the time, and estimating the payload in each bucket pass is always going to be an inexact science.  Not until the loaded truck reaches second gear as it drives away will the truck-based payload system (VIMS, PLM, etc.) give feedback to the shovel operator as to whether his estimate was accurate or not.

Fortunately, there is a solution. The Argus payload monitoring system from MineWare is an example of the intelligent use of mine productivity technologies. This mine automation system gives digger operators accurate, real-time feedback, allowing them to adjust load size and maximize truck payload efficiency while they load the truck. This provides an immediate improvement in production without ANY changes to the loading or hauling fleet.  Over time, this constant feedback – on payload, equipment strain and dig-to-plan compliance – helps operators improve their overall shovel performance, reduce maintenance costs and improve mine compliance.

Argus can be fitted to any type of hydraulic or electric excavator on the market and can also be easily integrated with fleet management systems already in use.

Existing installations have proven that Argus has the potential to improve loading accuracy so much that overall mine production can increase by over 15% – we’ve seen production improvements between 3% and 16% over a vast range of mine sites. With each 1% in shovel productivity having the potential to increase profits by up to 3%, the Argus system is an investment that pays for itself in weeks and continues to pay dividends – by maintaining rated payloads,  reducing maintenance costs due to lower machine stress levels and ensuring accurate mine compliance.

To take monitoring one step further, Argus can be integrated into the mRoc real time, off-board monitoring system that gathers valuable data and sends it directly to the PC of a fleet manager or other relevant person.

If you’re a surface operation in Africa, Europe or the Middle East, contact RAMJACK today to learn more about our money-back guarantee on a MineWare Argus installation.