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Vale's Voisey's Bay mine approves new loader system built by Motion Metrics

Published by
Global Mining Review,

Motion Metrics has announced the success of new loader system, which was trialed at the Vale’s Voisey’s Bay Nickel Mine in Labrador, Canada.

The new system met Vale’s requirements and have declared the trial complete. It was installed and commissioned on a CAT 993K loader in November 2016. Since then, the LoaderMetrics™ system has continuously monitored the loader bucket, using thermal imaging to the keep track of the bucket teeth. If a tooth is detected missing, the system automatically alerts both the operator and mine management, allowing them to halt production and find the missing tooth before it damage the crusher or cause downstream equipment to jam, like the conveyer belt.

LoaderMetrics™ has already been installed on different types of loaders worldwide, but the harsh conditions of the Voisey’s Bay mine presented some new challenges. While an earlier version of this system, named ShovelMetrics™ had been installed in loaders around Canada and Sweden, this was the first time LoaderMetrics™ had been properly used. Motion Metrics has cited many useful updates present in the LoaderMetric™ system, including a lens cleaning system, which was set to operate in extreme subarctic winter conditions including temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius.

The Voisey’s Bay Mine required the LoaderMetrics™ system to clean its own lens automatically by putting the air compressor into a heated enclosure to keep the system at a reasonable temperature. The proper function of the lens cleaner was critical to the system’s success. It is clear from the trial that automatic lens cleaning minimizes the negative effects that extreme weather can have on the overall performance of the missing tooth detection system.

Now finally after seven months of operation, Motion Metrics has declared the trial a success. The solutions developed during this trial are expected to serve the Voisey’s Bay mine for years to come and will be used by Motion Metrics in future installations.

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