Austdac enters US market

CONVEYOR and communication equipment supplier Austdac has begun installing its conveyor monitoring and longwall communication systems into US operations as the country’s mines strive to improve safety and productivity.

Angie Tomlinson

Published in the March 2006 American Longwall Magazine

Austdac offers two distinct communication products, one for underground longwall coal mining, and one for both underground and overland conveyors.

According to national sales manager Rod Gilmour, the Austdac conveyor monitoring and control system provides a flexible, reliable system for conveyors over seven miles long on one lanyard pull wire cable.

Analogue readings from conveyor sensors for temperature monitoring, vibration monitoring, and carbon dioxide and smoke detection can be incorporated into the one cable lanyard system. Mine-wide monitoring using the two-wire system becomes a real possibility.

Furthermore, the transmission system allows sequencing and remote isolation of numerous stations along the conveyor network from one central control point. Sequencing and remote isolation of several trippers on extended longwall conveyor systems can be performed without the need for extra cabling.

The transmission system is also being used for remote data gathering on applications such as longwall monitoring and control, such as remote switching and monitoring of oil and water solenoids along the longwall face using the existing control and monitoring system.

Austdac recently incorporated signaling from longwall manufacturers’ control systems onto the face control system, minimizing cabling on the longwall.

The transmission system is also used for long distance remote data gathering for applications such as mine-wide gas monitoring; and Austdac recently installed systems to provide real-time roof convergence monitoring to surface computers.

The system has been updated to comply with the International Standard for Safety Systems using programmable devices, IEC 61508, ensuring a guaranteed system compliant to the latest standards.

Earlier this year Austdac obtained Russian certification and won the contract to install the first longwall communication system at the Kirgaiskaya longwall mine.

The transmission system has been assessed to a SIL level 3, 61508 Safety Standard by internationally recognized testing authority TUV in Germany. Austdac has the longest distance emergency stop system certified to SIL Level 3.

One of the latest additions to the Austdac suite of monitoring equipment is a new voice communication system that enhances the capabilities and productivity of conveyor systems. Each station on a mine's conveyor can be fitted with the new amplifier insert to show all system parameters, including line and battery charge, as well as pre-start monitoring. The system helps with fault-finding and minimizes system downtime.