Semtech Corp and Transco Industries have partnered up to provide a remote monitoring solution for conveyor belts.
Transco, which specialises in conveyor components, design, installation, maintenance, and repair, has added Semtech’s LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology into its own belt applications for “safer monitoring while reducing operating costs”, Semtech said.
Semtech’s LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology is a long-range, low-power solution for Internet of Things (IoT) that gives telecom companies, IoT application makers and system integrators the feature set necessary to deploy low-cost, interoperable IoT networks, gateways, sensors, module products, and IoT services worldwide, Semtech said.
Jeff Brown, President and CEO at Transco Industries, said: “Semtech’s LoRa Technology enables miners to remotely monitor conveyor belts, therefore reducing maintenance costs and helping to prevent belt failure.
“Previously, mine operations had to contract specialists to monitor factors like belt idler temperature and, typically, this could cost hundreds of dollars per hour. With LoRa-based sensors, managers are able to do this themselves in real-time without the risk of human error.”
Transco’s LoRa-enabled sensors were developed to flexibly fit into existing mining infrastructure including conveyor belts, the company said. “The small and durable sensors connect to private networks based on the LoRaWAN™ protocol allowing the continued relay of real-time data in the extreme conditions found in a mine.”
Miles-long conveyor belts can be equipped with an end-to-end solution consisting of several sensors embedded in the belt itself to measure stress and prevent potential ripping, according to the company. “In the event of a belt rip, LoRa-enabled sensors transmit a signal to the belt control, shutting the belt down immediately to halt the hazardous and expensive rip from worsening,” the company said. Mine operators can then inspect the damage and decide how best to repair the system.
Additional sensors are placed on belt idlers to measure temperature of the idler bearing as sensors report temperature data to allow mine operators to monitor bearing status and prevent overheating and fires.
Transco’s LoRa-based conveyer belt application is used in collaboration with Polysense Technologies, a leader in enterprise IoT solutions for fibre and wireless sensing, Semtech said.
Vivek Mohan, Director of IoT, Wireless and Sensing Products at Semtech, said: “Semtech’s LoRa Technology creates industrial IoT solutions that are highly scalable by number of sensors and gateways to cover even the largest work site or mine.
“LoRa Technology’s easy to deploy, flexible capabilities allow mine managers to leverage real-time data to predict maintenance and increase operating efficiency.”