Wireless sensor captures anomaly in a loader

December 2, 2022

The loader is a very common piece of equipment both in mining operations and in infrastructure works. This is an indispensable asset for loading and transporting materials, and its unscheduled stoppage can impact the entire action.

Therefore, the basic factor to be considered when operating loaders is maintenance, as this is indispensable and can prevent accidents caused by common mechanical failures.

Taking this into account, the maintenance team at Vale’s Sossego Mine invested in remote monitoring of the conditions of this asset, seeking savings, sustainability, and a reduction in unscheduled downtime and drops in productivity.

After the implementation of the project, the operation of the loaders became more reliable and safer. Check out the case below how the detection of temperature rise in the lifting cylinders enabled improvements and maintenance planning.

Hydraulic lift cylinder

Hydraulic cylinders are components responsible for the movement of the shovel that transports materials from one point to another. Sealing problems are among the most common defects in cylinder operation. This is due to excessive friction on the parts or contact with contaminated fluid.

Seal damage leads to leaks that affect the hydraulic system. As a result, the cylinder loses internal pressure, leading to an increase in the temperature difference between the loader’s cylinder pair.

Through the analysis of temperature levels, the maintenance team at Sossego Mine detected an abnormal temperature rise between the lifting cylinders of a loader, which may indicate a development of internal or external cylinder leakage failure.

Upon further investigation of the problem, comparing the machine’s pair of cylinders, the team noticed a difference in temperature rise greater than 3°C between the cylinders, further evidencing the presence of an evolving fault.

Analyzing the global temperature graph of the left-side cylinder, available in the DynaPredict Web Platform, it can be seen that the temperature in the cylinder has practically doubled, reaching a peak of 81°C.

For this reason, a replacement of the left-side cylinder was requested. Soon after the repair, the levels reduced and returned to normal operating standards.

Gains with loader anomaly detection

Unscheduled shutdowns always bring losses associated with production loss, implying an increase in machinery repair costs and the risks to which operators are exposed to.

The losses related to downtime in loader operation are mainly related to low equipment performance.

According to the Sossego Mine maintenance team, the development of a lifting cylinder anomaly reduces the efficiency of the operation by about 40%, in addition to the risk of damaging the cylinder pair.

Besides the reduction of losses in corrective maintenance provided by the DynaPredict Solution, Dynamox’s intention is to promote the increase of operator safety in industrial zones, according to NR12. Our purpose is to bring “Safety for people. Reliability and predictability for assets” in all operations.

For Oziel Soares da Silva, Operational Predictive Analyst at Sossego Mine: “The solution brings first of all, a gain in safety. The predictive technician does not need to be exposed to risks such as being run over, crushed, weather conditions and environments with bad weather. The physical integrity of our collaborator is our greatest gain. Then, we start to have failure predictability with assertiveness, providing a schedule with guaranteed operational reliability of the machine in a shorter maintenance time”.

Automated Temperature Detection with the DynaPredict

There are many applications where DynaLoggers can support data collection for maintenance decision-making. In this case, HF DynaLoggers were used to monitor asset vibration and temperature.

Learn more about the DynaPredict Solution and how it can contribute to your predictive maintenance plan. Get to know our new generation of sensors!

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