Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd (HCM) has launched ConSite Mine to the global market – a service solution that provides machine analytics to help support the resolution of issues at mining sites by using IoT to remotely monitor mining machinery 24 hours a day, and AI to analyse the operational condition of machinery.
ConSite Mine performs round-the-clock remote monitoring of compatible ultra-large hydraulic excavators and rigid dump trucks and provides two types of status reports to the customer’s maintenance staff or to service personnel at distributors. The reports are sent via email or the ”ConSite Mine Shot” smartphone app. The “Monthly Report” provides updates on the machinery’s operational condition each month, while the “Alarm Report” notifies personnel when any abnormalities are detected by the various sensors installed on the machinery that may require immediate attention.
A standout feature of the service is the “Load Index” function, which combines the use of AI with proprietary stress analysis technology based on Hitachi Construction Machinery’s knowledge of mining machinery design and manufacturing. Load Index predicts anomalies in the booms and arms of ultra-large hydraulic excavators due to excessive stress or overloading, helping to prevent major damage or incidents from occurring.
Since mining machinery requires stable operations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, operation data is historically collected from sensors installed on machines. However, it is generally difficult to make detailed predictions about the occurrence of problems using conventional methods; service personnel have typically used the operating time of the machinery as a guide for determining when to perform periodic maintenance, inspection, and parts replacement. The time and cost spent on inspecting machinery and identifying the causes of failures has been a burden for customers and service personnel.
By enabling service personnel to check the analysis results in reports to then perform maintenance, inspection, and parts replacement at the appropriate time according to the status of the mining machinery, ConSite Mine provides greater value to customers by improving safety and productivity, reducing lifecycle costs and minimising the downtime of machinery.
Hitachi Construction Machinery plans to expand the features of ConSite Mine even further by connecting to the cloud-based “ReadyLine” asset health management system provided by Canada-based subsidiary Wenco International Mining Systems Ltd. Doing this will provide an integrated system management solution and enable functions such as a real-time dashboard that displays results such as fuel efficiency tuning adapted to the operations performed by the operator and the characteristics of the rigid dump truck operation site.
The Hitachi Construction Machinery Group says it has “always aimed to serve as a familiar and trusted partner by providing reliable solutions that resolve customer issues. As we move forward with efforts to expand the mining parts and services business, we continue striving to resolve social issues around the world.”
In more detail, with Load Index, accumulated load applied to the welded structure of the boom and arm while digging can be analysed via the machine’s sensors and AI to predict the possibility of anomalies, such as stress fractures. Unlike the common method of installing strain sensors that can detect such issues, the “Load Index” function makes it possible to provide advice on maintenance, inspection, and operation methods based on the state of the welded structure before any structural damage occurs.
With the Operation Data Recorder function up to 10 minutes of machine data is recorded, automatically triggered by vehicle body conditions which may lead to an accident, such as sudden tilting of the ultra-large hydraulic excavator body. This safety feature is designed to provide insights to identify the causes of incidents, should they occur, and support the customer to establish measures to prevent similar accidents from occurring in future.
As well as receiving Monthly and Alarm status reports, with the ConSite Mine Shot app, the customer or service personnel can automatically create inspection reports simply by taking photos of the inspected locations with a smartphone camera, and entering comments about the inspection results. This enables customers to maintain consistent and more accurate machine reports to better understand the status of the machine, and help support data obtained through inspection reports.
In addition to these features, Hitachi Construction Machinery plans to add a function for detecting abnormalities in hydraulic pumps on ultra-large hydraulic excavators, as well as the ConSite OIL service for remotely monitoring the hydraulic oil and engine oil information.