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Catcher in the Mine - a way to automatically capture data for parallel tasks in underground mining
Current delay capturing system focuses primarily on production delays, whilst secondary parallel tasks are poorly captured manually, when captured at all.
An accurate means of capturing data and task duration, for all parallel tasks/processes would be beneficial in order to optimize process performance. Often when parallel tasks when not performed to standard (quality and duration) can interfere with critical path, impacting on overall process performance.
Key processes are:
Grouting of roof bolts
Stone dusting coal ribs, face, and floor
Cleanup of coal spillage
Supplying the miner with consumable parts
Ventilation tube extension
Extending services – cables, piping, communications etc
The Grosvenor underground mine is a longwall coal mining operation. The longwall shearer mines panels of coal underground by moving across a 300m face cutting the coal which is then transported out of the mine and to the processing plant.
Mine development is needed to put in place all roads and services required for the longwall to operate. The next longwall panel needs to be developed before the end of the previous panel to be able to provide longwall production continuity.
Mine development is conducted with equipment such as Continuous Miners and Shuttle Cars but 50% of the time production tasks are manual in nature, some done in sequence and some done in parallel. Measuring equipment with control systems is easy, but how do we efficiently collect data on manual tasks.
Impact & Value
An 10 % improvement in delay reduction, by understanding how parallel tasks impact critical path and associated processes, could potentially realise an upside of an additional 1000m per year per unit.There is a potential $20-$30 Million Dollar upside for the organisation as a whole.
- is there a means to efficiently measure and capture data on sequential and parallel manual tasks underground?
- can data collection be automated?
- Photos of equipment and services
- Video of certain tasks being conducted
- Development standards, documentation, drawings and development sequence description
- 6 months of manually collected delay data (includes production tasks)
Mats Agby - Lead Mentor