Pit & Quarry Direct
Protect your employees with sensing technologies

Working around rotating equipment presents inherent safety hazards to employees, such as high temperatures, moving parts and pinch points. Certain applications can add to the hazard when equipment is operating in hard-to-reach places, either off the ground, underground or behind enclosures. In fact, just the location of the rotating equipment can be a danger, whether employees are performing routine maintenance or simply checking equipment.

Using condition monitoring sensors and other wireless devices allows technicians to detect equipment problems before they occur. They can help keep operations and maintenance schedules more predictable, and allow users to avoid the cost and hassle of unplanned downtime. The ability to perform that monitoring remotely has the added benefit of allowing employees to safely get a health check of the rotating equipment without ever being in physical contact with it.

Location and physical constraints of components in mining and aggregate conveying applications often pose safety hazards that we don't consider. For instance, climbing the ladder of a mining conveyor to check on equipment high off the ground, or reaching into tight spaces – especially around hot, rotating equipment – unnecessarily puts employees at risk.

These interactions are often performed as part of a "routine" preventative maintenance check, based on an arbitrary schedule that has just "always been followed". Each time a maintenance check is performed simply to see if there is a problem, the user is at risk for injury from unnecessary interaction with the equipment. Using condition monitoring sensors and wireless devices eliminates the need to perform those routine physical checks. Through the use of a web or phone portal, technicians in any location can see, at a glance, how the equipment is performing with this predictive approach.

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Sensor technology has given teams much more flexibility in the way they schedule maintenance and maintain spare parts inventory. Based on sensor data, teams know what truly needs attention each day, rather than relying solely on a static schedule. Spare parts inventory levels can be decreased because data gives the team plenty of time to acquire the parts they need. And maintenance can be planned rather than risk a sudden and unnecessary shutdown.

The ability to know your equipment is failing before it stops working means more than just curbing potential financial impact or loss of raw materials during downtime. It also means you can prevent potential harm to employees from flying debris, fire or other events caused by a sudden shutdown. In difficult-to-access operations, a failure in the system could impact the ability of an employee to get to a safe place.

Remote condition monitoring sensors can be used to convey more than just how your equipment is doing. They can also keep your operations predictable, efficient and safe.

This newsletter was produced by North Coast Media's content marketing staff in collaboration with ABB Motors and Mechanical

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