Envisaging an operating longwall

A new software package that converts information about roof support leg pressures into a three-dimensional image is being offered to longwall mines.

Staff Reporter
Envisaging an operating longwall

Published in June 2005 Australian Longwall Magazine

Originally developed to identify the potential of windblast at a longwall mine in New South Wales, the Longwall Monitor 3D program won the NSW Safety Innovation Award last year.

The program imports real-time leg pressure information from the mine monitoring system and creates a 3D image of the face pressure profile and face conditions. Information is collected from existing transducers, data networks and monitoring systems to provide longwall monitoring data.

The constant updating (programmable intervals) of the image gives a real-time picture of face operations.

“Longwall Monitor 3D offers every longwall face operator the opportunity to dramatically increase their understanding of the longwall operating conditions,” said Mark Parcell, who is involved with marketing the software through a new company called 3D Longwall.

“Longwall Monitor 3D provides a vast range of benefits to mine managers, superintendents, engineers, supervisors, operators and trades,” he said.

Among several benefits, the Longwall Monitor 3D software gives early warning of high-risk strata events, identifies maintenance priorities and allows analysis of falls and poor strata conditions. Parcell said alarms could be easily installed into the program to alert operators of deteriorating conditions in order to implement remedial action.

Longwall Monitor 3D is currently installed at longwall operations in New South Wales and is being trialed in Queensland.

“The program is compatible with mine monitoring systems and is available for immediate installation,” Parcell said. “Longwall Monitor 3D is able to create strata monitoring alarms the same way that gas monitoring systems creates gas alarms.

“The software is available off the shelf and ready for installation at any longwall face,” he added.


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