Bucyrus' VibraGuard

WITH its first installation at Arch Coal’s West Elk mine, Bucyrus has rolled out a vibration monitoring system to upgrade its range of programmable mining controls for armoured face controllers and its plow drive control system.
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Bucyrus' VibraGuard system.

Donna Schmidt

Published in the March 2010 Coal USA Magazine

The VibraGuard system is designed to predict machine component wear and to avoid the hassles of unplanned downtime.

Bucyrus said customers were increasingly demanding online condition monitoring for their longwall equipment so its PMC-D (drive control) functionality had been extended to meet these requirements.

“A digital signal processor module plugged into the controller’s I/O board converts incoming acceleration data into spectrum data, which is then transferred to a service PC,” the original equipment manufacturer said.

“The PC runs special VibraGuard visualization software which evaluates and visualizes the data.

“This allows trained personnel to make predictions about wear of machine components, helping to avoid unplanned downtime. Also, alarms can be set to warn the operator if monitored machine components run the risk of damage.”

The complete VibraGuard package includes the PMC-D/20, vibration sensors and the software.

VibraGuard is exclusive to Bucyrus’ underground mining systems, including its plow systems and its longwall gear, but is only in service for the AFC, BSL and crusher.

“VibraGuard will be made available for other equipment – such as shearers, belt systems, fans and continuous miners – in the near future,” the company said.

The OEM plans to unveil more CM tools in the future, covering measurement technologies such as online oil sampling along with conventional CM using sensors for temperature, pressure or power.

VibraGuard was installed at the West Elk mine in Colorado at the end of 2008 for an AFC system, BSL and crusher.

Bucyrus said the second VibraGuard system was in the delivery phase at the mine.

VibraGuard applies to the PMC-D and PMC-V (operator and visualization interface) line for AFCs.

Bucyrus’ VibraGuard system.

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