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Early detection of conveyor belt tears

Faena: Andina Division

Deadline 11/01/2023

Closing Time 4:00 pm

Conveyor belts are constantly subjected to longitudinal forces, to the weight of the material between the idlers and to the impact of the material on their upper face, so they must have special design features for their resistance. However, eventually longitudinal and transversal tears occur, which may have different causes, such as: incrustation of external objects or fragments of coarse ore, steel cables cutting, deformation of joints, failure of idlers and sheaves, misalignment, overvoltage, friction, among others. These tears must be detected in a timely manner to avoid major damage and minimize downtime for repair.

Identify solutions or technological developments that allow the timely detection of tears in the main conveyor belts of the crushing plant. The scouting process could lead to identify and select suppliers for a competitive process of supply or purchase, whose scope will be defined according to the degree of maturity level of the proposals that apply to the open innovation process, which could give rise to a pilot validation test, or to an implementation if they are relevant and meet the evaluation and selection criteria defined by Codelco

  • It must monitor online and in real time the belts of belts to allow the early detection of the tears (exclusive).
  • It must allow the user to visualize in the control room, generate alarms and reports (exclusive).
  • The technological maturity level must be equal or higher than TRL 7, i.e., at least a prototype must be tested in an operational environment (exclusive).
  • No human intervention for its operation.
  • High accuracy in the detection of outages to avoid “false positives” and unnecessary stoppages of the transportation system.
  • Its implementation, operation and maintenance should not require intervention in the plant infrastructure and should not interfere in the activities of the area.
  • The proposed system and its components must have low maintenance frequency and complexity, high reliability, heavy duty, given the aggressive conditions of the environment (particulate material, humidity, rain, snow, material projection, low visibility).
  • It must be able to be integrated to information and communication platforms available by the client.
  • Consulting and engineering studies.
  • Solutions that measure only belt wear.

Currently, the inspections carried out on the belts are visual inspections during plant shutdowns, i.e. partial inspections. This means that the belts are not inspected in their entirety and therefore the information that would allow to anticipate a major failure is insufficient.

  • Exposure to risks for workers performing visual inspections.
  • Productivity losses due to belt stoppage for visual inspection and corrective maintenance.
  • High costs due to premature replacement or major maintenance of belts.

In an eventual and unanticipated manner.

Detection of tears by visual inspection.

No technologies have been tested

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