Zyfra, the Finnish-Russian industrial digitalisation firm, has designed the Smart Excavator, an AI-based software and hardware suite. The system uses computer vision to control the state of excavator bucket teeth and measures the size (particle-size distribution) of blasted rock during drilling and blasting.
Drilling and blasting works are used in the underground and open-pit mining of minerals, as well as to separate coal or ore from waste. Smaller and more uniform blasted material improves excavator loading speed and dump truck utilisation. Identification of oversized mine rock fragments helps to prevent them from getting into the crusher, minimising machine downtime and decreasing energy consumption.
The suite can also track the state of excavator’s teeth in a real-time mode. Tooth damage is revealed within five seconds and promptly after that, the system alarms the operator and dispatcher. “Tooth condition monitoring helps scheduling it’s timely replacement thus reducing the number of failures and excavator downtime. It also lowers the probability of crushing and sorting unit breakdown due to the fallen-out teeth. These systems’ repair and downtime result in significant financial losses,” says Evgeniy Karpov, Zyfra AI Product Manager.
“Digitalisation can improve the convenience of mining operations. The system helps relieve operators from several duties like monitoring boulders so that they never make it to the dipper, controlling breakdowns and teeth wear; thus we reduce the workload on specialists working in harsh environments,” says Alexander Smolensky, Zyfra AI Department Director.
At the moment, a new module for excavator performance monitoring is under development. The system can provide detailed information about excavator working parameters, including the loading cycle time and each stage of the cycle – movement with full or empty dipper, dipper loading and unloading, as well as the amount of extracted mine rock via calculation of loaded dippers.
Another function is an automated calculation of downtime that helps to track operations’ efficiency for each excavator and operator, as well as the efficiency of excavators use in general. These data can be used to control and improve overall enterprise operations. Smart Excavator software and hardware suite can be mounted on mining excavators by any manufacturer.