An article published in Australian Bulk Handling Review commends the new robotic technology developed, by Machinery Automation and Robotics (MAR) for the mining industry. The technology has demonstrated its potential to overcome the safety and productivity challenges traditionally associated with the conveyor idler change-out process.
MAR’s robot technology replaces idlers on operational, loaded conveyors.
This week, Rio Tinto’s Northparkes mine was highly commended at the NSW Minerals Council Innovation Awards for its installation of an automated, robotic idler change out system.
Machinery Automation and Robotics (MAR) has branded its system the Robotic Idler Replacement System, while Northparkes refers to its installation of the technology the Robotic Idler Change-out (RIC).
MAR’s robot replaces idlers on operational, loaded conveyors, offering obvious advantages over manual systems, which require conveyor shutdowns for idler change-outs.
It is mounted on a vehicle and scans the conveyor idler frame, stringer and belt, positions a lift unit under the belt, clamps to the stringer and lifts the belt.
The robot then removes and replaces the failed idlers. It can change tooling throughout the process.
Northparkes RIC project manager, Greg Perry, said the robotic change out system “remove[s] our people from hazardous aspects of this task” and that “previously production was affected through failed idlers.
“While removing people from the risk we are actually also increasing production levels at the same time.”
For info on MAR’s system: www.scottautomation.com
Article Source: Australian Bulk Handling Review