Tag Archives: Zyfra

Zyfra leveraging AI for bucket tooth, fragmentation detection and analysis

Zyfra says it has developed an automated system using artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor the condition of excavator bucket teeth based on its machine vision BucketControl system.

The system is designed to detect the presence or absence of excavator bucket crowns quickly and features functions to alert the excavator operator if a crown is lost or ceases to work.

The application, developed jointly by the AI and Mining divisions of Zyfra, uses an on-board controller to acquire images from the camera, process and analyse them using internal software and sends a signal to the operator if a crown is lost or ceases to work. The wear of the tooth is also assessed, and when a critical value is reached, a notification is sent to the dispatcher, according to the company. This data is transmitted to the server in real time, Zyfra added.

Alexander Smolensky, Business Development Director of Zyfra, said: “With the help of machine vision, you can locate a broken tooth immediately and prevent it from getting into the crushing compartment, whose breakdown threatens the company with a loss of up to $200,000.”

He added: “When mining ore, a broken tooth may cause damage to the bucket, which would entail additional damage worth several million rubles. Our BucketControl system will ensure a cost reduction of 90% when finding a broken tooth.”

The automated system to monitor excavator bucket teeth has been further developed to look at fragmentation. This application measures continuously the size of the pieces of rock in the excavator bucket. “Correlating that size with the location coordinates yields a performance map of rock which measures the efficiency of rock blasting to balance the cost of blasting against the quarry output,” the company said.

Smolensky explained: “In contrast to images taken after the blast, the entire depth of exposed rock is analysed. That enables us to increase excavator productivity by up to 3%, minimises the chances of oversized pieces hitting the crushing compartment, makes it possible to track the quality of blasting operations and ultimately increase rock removal by up to 10%.

“Using the system to analyse previous blasting operations will also help determine the amount of explosives required for future blast works.”

VIST automated solution improves ore quality at EVRAZ KGOK operations

An automated system for monitoring mining vehicles, developed by VIST Group, has been deployed at EVRAZ’s Kachkanarsky mining and ore processing plant (KGOK) operation in Russia, the Zyfra Group subsidiary confirmed.

The iron ore at KGOK is mined in four open pits: the Glavny, Zapadny, Severny and Yuzhny deposits. The ore is removed from the pits by BELAZ trucks and delivered to the crushing plant by rail. Pit machinery includes heavy-duty 130-t dump trucks, modern NP-1 locomotives and 12 m² capacity excavators.

Some 58.5 Mt of ore was mined at the KGOK operations in 2018, which was processed into 3.5 Mt of sinter and 6.5 Mt of pellets, according to EVRAZ.

Work on the autonomous investment project, which required $1.23 million in funding, began in November 2017. So far, 19 communication towers have been installed around all the operations, while 30 excavators and 35 BELAZ trucks have been equipped with sensors and navigation antennae, as well as smart displays in the driver’s cabs, VIST said.

“Thanks to the joint efforts of specialists from KGOK and VIST Group, a sophisticated and up-to-date system for managing mining vehicles has been deployed at the EVRAZ plant,” Alexander Bondarenko, Business Unit Director at VIST Group, said.

“Following Phase 2 of project implementation, which will cover rail transportation and quality control of ore arriving at the plant from the shipping sheds, the system will be the most sophisticated in the Russian ore mining sector,” Bondarenko said.

The VIST Group system tracks and displays real-time information on the locations and operating conditions of dump trucks, dozers, excavators, automatic loaders and “mobile canteens”.

Using the Wi-Fi network installed in four mines, all data on the vehicles’ speed, mileage, fuel levels and rock loads, as well as the locations of the “mobile canteens”, are transmitted in real time to the computer terminals of the plant’s dispatchers and chief specialists. “The data is also seen by the excavator operators and dump truck drivers on smart displays in their cabs,” VIST said.

Thanks to a modular geological model of the ore deposit integrated into the system, it is possible to analyse the quality of the iron ore and control the movements of the dump trucks and excavators, according to VIST.

And, in the event of an unforeseen stoppage, the system redirects the BELAZ truck to be loaded by another excavator.

Denis Novozehnov, Vice President of EVRAZ and Head of the company’s Urals Division, said: “The switch to an automated monitoring system has helped us to reduce ore losses and ensure more reliable quality. We’ve also been able to improve the productivity of the quarry dump trucks.”

BELAZ and ZYFRA enhance mine automation and AI ties

Equipment manufacturer, BELAZ and ZYFRA, a company which specialises in industry digitalisation, have agreed to jointly develop “robotisation technologies” for the mining industry and set up a research centre at BELAZ’s facilities for innovation in the fields of artificial intelligence and autonomous transport.

The strategic partnership agreement was signed on July 10 at the Innoprom-2019 International exhibition, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, by Petr Parkhomchik, CEO of BELAZ-HOLDING, and Igor Bogachev, CEO of ZYFRA.

“The main goal of our partnership is to understand better the current and future digital needs of the mining industry and to offer vehicles that fully meet these needs so that customers do not have to waste resources and time upgrading them on their own,” Parkhomchik said. “Identifying these needs will be the object of our joint research activities with ZYFRA and all our future projects will be based on these studies.”

The companies are already taking their first steps together in the areas highlighted in the agreement. For example, VIST Group, a subsidiary of ZYFRA which develops solutions for the mining industry, and BELAZ have launched production of robotised dump trucks.  The vehicles are being successfully used, in particular, in open pits operated by SUEK, according to ZYFRA.

“Experience shows that thanks to accurate tracking of the geotechnology parameters, fully-autonomous and remotely-controlled equipment improves transport efficiency by 20%, while removing drivers from hazardous work zones,” ZYFRA added. “The company expects the solution will be highly demanded by the markets of Sub-Saharian Africa, Chile, Peru and India.”

The collaboration between BelAZ and ZYFRA will have a focus on AI-based technologies, with the companies planning to conduct joint studies of customer needs and an analysis of the global market for digital AI-based products in the mining industry. This will act as a foundation for creating and improving their own developments in this field.

Immediate plans include working on a predictive analytics system for quarry equipment to help predict breakdowns by analysing historical data and carry out predictive maintenance, ZYFRA said. “In parallel, the two companies have mapped out joint steps in the development of industrial safety solutions. In particular, they are planning to test a driver fatigue tracking system using computer vision technologies.”

The companies also plan to develop an environment scanning system for autonomous dump trucks already equipped with artificial intelligence. The system will be able to not only to perceive and react to objects located around the dump truck, but also build a 3D model of the rock mass to be loaded, determine its sequence of actions and correlate its movements with the dump truck’s position.

Bogachev said: “With such a powerful mining technology business unit as VIST Group, ZYFRA is seeking to work closely with the global leaders in the production of quarry equipment.

“I’m convinced that this combination of competences will benefit all parties. For us, it will mean a stronger presence on the global market, a deepening of our expertise and the opportunity to create products equipped with the most advanced technologies, while the mining companies will be able to order their equipment from the plant with their chosen digital features ready installed.”

The agreement includes partnership in the promotion and commercialisation of digital technologies for mining companies and joint training of personnel for the implementation of digitalisation projects, according to ZYFRA.