Automated AI-based Fault Detection in Mining Operations
Published on : Wednesday 03-11-2021
The AI-based predictive maintenance solution monitors different parameters to provide enhanced visibility of the machine health.
Nanoprecise Sci Corp is an automated end-to-end predictive maintenance solution provider that offers real-time predictive information about the genuine health and performance of industrial assets. Nanoprecise specialises in the implementation of Artificial Intelligence and IoT technology for predictive asset maintenance and condition monitoring.
Nanoprecise brings peace of mind to customers with their truly wireless IoT hardware that communicates over Wi-Fi or Cellular networks. The integrated AI-based solution consists of a unique six-in-one IIoT sensor, that measures the 6 most important parameters of Vibration, Acoustics, RPM, Temperature, Humidity & Magnetic Flux, and patented algorithms that analyse these 6 streams of data in real-time. The IoT hardware is Atex and IECEx Zone 0 certified, enabling it to be used within hazardous environments thereby bringing productivity and safety benefits to manufacturing operations. Moreover, edge analytics allows for full-time monitoring without full-time connectivity.
Nanoprecise works with customers across varied sectors such as chemicals, cement, coal, consumer electronics, forestry, HVAC, metals, and mining, among others. One such customer is an integrated mining company, producing zinc, lead, silver, and cadmium. The maintenance team on-site wanted to avoid the frequently occurring faults that cause significant downtime to the mining operations and therefore needed a predictive maintenance solution to detect faults at an early stage as well as provide a reliable prediction of Remaining Useful Life for its machines.
Predictive maintenance strategy
Nanoprecise Sci Corp implemented a predictive maintenance strategy by installing wireless sensors on 4 acid pumps and on 2 supercritical blowers. The SO2 Blower is one of the supercritical blowers in the zinc manufacturing process. It must run most accurately as the rpm of this equipment is above 5600rpm. Moreover, all bearings in this equipment are journal bearings. Therefore, it was challenging to monitor and identify the faults by offline monitoring techniques.
Machine-DoctorTM LTE sensors from Nanoprecise work on cellular networks to connect the machines to the internet. It offers extensive coverage and also provides a high level of security for communication. Machine-DoctorTM LTE provides the flexibility to connect to the internet via its built-in E-Sim which offers coverage in over 100+ countries and across 350+ network service providers. All of these factors allowed for a simple plug & play, hassle-free deployment, without worrying about any extra IT infrastructure.
The placement of these sensors were such that they enabled real-time monitoring of the following:
1. Non driven Motor Bearing
2. Drive Motor Bearing
3. Gearbox input drive and non-drive bearings
4. Gearbox output drive and non-drive bearings, and
5. Blower drive and non-drive bearings.
The system set-up was completed in a matter of a few hours, thereby providing an interconnected network of machines. Machine-DoctorTM LTE was able to offer improved connectivity deep inside the mine, thereby offering the opportunity to monitor every aspect of the operation, leading to greater productivity and reduced downtime. It also helped improve the safety of the operators and operations, by sending real-time data and predicting issues arising from equipment anomalies/faults. In the complicated mining operation, these wireless sensors successfully achieved internet connectivity, and facilitated the monitoring of the health of critical assets, to enable better operational oversight.
How it works
Once installed, strong battery-powered wireless sensors started sensing and sending 6 streams of data to the AI-based analytics platform (RotationLFTM) through an encrypted and secured network using Edge and Cloud computing. The RotationLFTM platform analysed the data it received, using highly sophisticated algorithms.
After 3-months of sensor installation, suddenly, an increase in vibration amplitude was observed in the blower drive side and non-drive side bearings. It was detected that there was a fault due to unbalance in the blower and misalignment between blower and gearbox. The severity of the unbalance was higher than misalignment. The RotationLFTM platform sensed and detected the anomaly in the pattern and automatically alerted the maintenance team through text and email alerts. The Remaining Useful Life Prediction provided sufficient time to schedule maintenance activities. As a result, the maintenance inspection team took immediate lubrication action on both bearings of the motor, planned a short-term shutdown, and cleaned the blower, resulting in reduced unbalance and its effect on the gearbox. The ability of the advanced AI to differentiate between process upset and actual faults offered significant cost and safety benefits to the customer, thereby driving their journey towards sustainable operational practices.
The AI-based predictive maintenance solution monitors different parameters to provide enhanced visibility of the machine health thereby offering increased transparency to the manufacturing operation as a whole. Nanoprecise provides accurate prognostic and diagnostic solutions that predict the remaining useful life of any asset at any point during its lifetime, thereby empowering users with the right data across several industries.
With vast amounts of data inputs being sensed and analysed, the advanced AI continues to make predictions and provide recommendations to the Shop Floor and Top Floor stakeholders alike, thereby paving the way towards the digital transformation of their overall mining operations.
Nanoprecise is an automated AI-based predictive maintenance solution provider that facilitates early detection of even small changes in machine operations well before they impact production or cause downtime. It works towards achieving productive results, by offering highly valuable insights about the equipment and machinery, with a combination of AI + IoT + LTE driven seamless monitoring by implementing state of the art scalable technology. It offers real-time predictive information about the genuine health and performance of industrial assets. Nanoprecise is headquartered in Edmonton, Canada with branches in Bangalore, India; San Diego, USA, and Gateshead, UK.