Intelligent inspection robot for mining transportation belt system

There are many types of operating equipment in mining conveyor belt systems and pump stations, and there are many inspection points. Regular and fixed-point inspections are required before and during operation, resulting in high labour intensity and low safety of manual inspection operations. In addition, due to the constraints of monitoring methods, data recording, and data analysis, it usually takes a lot of manpower to obtain effective data results, and the obtained data is difficult to form a systematic and has little reference significance. Based on the above shortcomings, an intelligent inspection robot system for mining transportation belts was developed and designed. Combining artificial intelligence, automatic control, machine vision, the Internet of Things, etc., it successfully freed inspection workers from the harsh working environment and could detect equipment operation in a timely manner. problems that arise during the process, to avoid the expansion of accidents, and to effectively solve the dilemmas and problems of manual inspections in mining enterprises.

 

robot for mining transportation

 

1. Overview of manual inspection in mines

The narrow space of mine belt corridors and tunnels is not conducive to the passage of personnel. Daily manual inspections are labour-intensive and dangerous. They require a lot of manpower and must carry a large amount of equipment, which increases the physical burden and affects the inspection work. The mine pump station is far away from the core production area and can be controlled remotely. However, the mechanical and electrical equipment and auxiliary equipment of the pump station are the focus of inspections. On-site motor temperature, valve temperature, leakage, leakage, and ore spray caused by pipeline damage, etc. Inspection posts also need to be inspected regularly by personnel.

Manual inspections require a lot of manpower. People with different work experience and skill levels have a great impact on the quality of inspections. They are highly subjective and prone to missed inspections and wrong inspections. At the same time, the general environmental conditions of mining facilities are complex. Once a danger occurs, not only can it be dealt with in time, but the life safety of inspection personnel will also be threatened.

2. Mining transportation belt intelligent inspection robot system

2.1 System Introduction

The main equipment of the mine transportation belt intelligent inspection robot system is an intelligent inspection robot that reciprocates on a fixed track. The robot carries cameras, sensors and other sensing equipment to monitor equipment and environmental conditions along the line according to predetermined actions. The system integrates artificial intelligence technology, motion control technology, video analysis technology, sensor technology, wireless communication technology and computer software technology, and can replace manual observation and judgment of the production environment, equipment, process conditions, and production safety conditions.

2.2 System composition

The mine transportation belt intelligent inspection robot system consists of an intelligent inspection robot, a track, a charging system, a wireless communication base station, a computer, and a software platform. The functions of each important component are briefly described below.

The intelligent inspection robot is the core of this system. Its functional structure includes a motion control module, power module, intelligent algorithm module, data acquisition module, communication module, etc., which can realize the collection of video, thermal imaging, smoke, noise and other data. An encoder is installed inside the robot to locate the position. In order to improve positioning accuracy, positioning labels will be placed at corresponding positions on the track to correct the actual position.

The power of the intelligent inspection robot is provided by a DC servo motor. The robot body starts, stops and changes direction smoothly, with excellent braking effect and high-speed control accuracy.

The intelligent inspection robot is equipped with a dual-spectrum thermal imaging camera to identify the temperature conditions of the belt conveyor surface, rollers, motor surfaces, reducer surfaces, bridges, cables, etc. Compared with traditional contact temperature detection, thermal imaging temperature identification has the characteristics of a larger range, accuracy to meet demand and low failure rate. Using intelligent inspection robots to mount thermal imaging cameras can expand the detection span and allow for more flexible deployment. In addition to temperature measurement, thermal imaging cameras also have good smoke recognition capabilities.

The track material of the system is standard No. 10 I-beam. The track is usually installed by ceiling installation. If the ceiling conditions are not met, brackets can also be used. Each part of the track is connected by specially designed seam locking blocks so that a certain gap is left while ensuring stable alignment to avoid the impact of thermal expansion and contraction on the track.

The system consists of a terminal installed inside the intelligent inspection robot and a base station installed along the track for wireless communication, transmitting the collected video and other information to the analysis computer, and issuing control instructions to the motion controller.

The system uses a low-temperature battery power supply, and the power supply system adopts a modular design, which has the characteristics of low maintenance, strong anti-interference ability, high safety, high reliability, adaptability to low-temperature environments, and is not affected by bad weather. The charging method is wireless charging, which has the advantages of no wear, high efficiency, long life, and can achieve fragmented charging time.

The system uses an industrial-grade wireless terminal, which supports the 802.11N standard. It is based on 802.11N MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology, adopts a 2T2R architecture, supports 20/40 MHz bandwidth, and the highest physical layer bandwidth can reach 300 Mbps.

The system uses high-performance, high-bandwidth, multi-functional, outdoor carrier-grade wireless equipment that supports the 802.11a/n standard. The equipment is based on 802.11n MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) technology and adopts a 2T2R architecture. The maximum transmit power can be up to 1 000 MW, with a maximum bandwidth of 300 Mbps, working in the 5.8G license-free frequency band, integrating a 17 dBi 90° dual-polarized sector antenna, the antenna frequency range is 5 150~5 850 MHz, and the equipment uses 1 000 M Ethernet The port design can unleash the maximum potential of the 802.11n wireless protocol.

The system software platform is designed with C/S architecture and is mainly composed of a real-time monitoring module, data statistics module, report system, task management module, system setting module and system integration module, etc., and has the functions of data collection, storage, statistics, retrieval and report output. , intelligent analysis and other functions. The entire interface consists of a menu bar, monitoring window, alarm information bar, robot control button bar, etc.

2.3 System functions

2.3.1 Identification of Roller Drop

Dropping of the idler roller is a common fault in the belt conveyor conveying system. If it is not discovered and repaired for a long time, it may cause belt scratches, wear and other problems, which may affect normal production in serious cases. The system is based on the application of deep learning technology in image analysis and recognition. The computer’s ability to recognize and understand images has been greatly improved. The inspection robot is used to detect the rollers along the way, which has a recognition effect close to that of manual inspection. , and will not be affected by human subjective factors, and can achieve higher inspection efficiency.

2.3.2 Equipment Temperature Abnormality Identification

Abnormal temperatures often occur in the belt conveyor system, such as friction with the belt when the idler is stuck, friction with the belt frame when the belt is deflected, excessive motor power, etc. If left untreated for a long time, it is easy to cause fires, equipment damage and other accidents. It is not possible to detect all abnormal temperature points during manual inspection, and one can only use a temperature measuring gun to detect a few fixed points. Using the thermal imaging temperature detection function of the inspection robot, all temperature abnormalities within the field of view can be accurately identified, and the temperature of the rollers can be detected. Abnormalities will be notified to the staff at the first time to deal with them in a timely manner to prevent problems. expand further.

2.3.3 Identification of not wearing a helmet

Safety production is the lifeline of enterprise development. Some production personnel have weak safety awareness and do not use labour protection supplies in place, and daily supervision is difficult to fully cover. The inspection robot is used to identify production personnel along the route, capture and alarm those who are not wearing safety helmets, which will not be affected by human subjective factors and can achieve higher inspection efficiency.

2.3.4 Alarm records and operating data storage and query

When the system detects abnormal conditions on site, it will automatically alarm and take screenshots. At the same time, it will record real-time video and the above data will be automatically stored for future reference. The system records and stores the operation data of the inspection robot in real-time, including battery power, speed, position, operating mode, etc. The above data can be used to observe whether the inspection robot is in good operating condition and guide the maintenance of the inspection robot.

2.3.5 Comprehensive control and detection

(1) Mobile walking function: The intelligent inspection robot has the functions of moving forward and backwards along the track, adjusting speed, starting, stopping, turning, etc.

(2) Inspection mode: The system has a manual/automatic mode inspection function. The manual mode is a manually controlled robot inspection; the automatic inspection mode is when no one is monitoring, and the inspection robot automatically inspects according to preset instructions.

(3) Video collection function: The system has the function of real-time collection and display of images of the belt conveyor corridor.

(4) Thermal imaging image display function: The system has the function of real-time collection and display of thermal imaging images of the belt conveyor corridor.

(5) Temperature measurement and fire point detection functions: The system has thermal imaging temperature measurement and fire point detection functions.

(6) PTZ control function: The system has a PTZ control function, magnification and focal length control function.

(7) Precise positioning function: The robot has a precise positioning function, and the robot’s control system can make motion control decisions based on real-time position.

(8) One-key return function: No matter what working status the intelligent robot inspection system is in, as long as the one-key return function is activated, the intelligent robot inspection system should suspend the current task and return safely according to the preset strategy.

(9) Alarm function: The device has an audible and visual alarm function. When the device detects an abnormality in the detection data of any type of sensor, the audible and visual alarm should run and issue an audible and visual alarm to attract the attention of the operator.

(10) Communication function: Supports standard industrial communication protocols to communicate various statuses and data to the upper system.

(11) Obstacle avoidance function: The robot can stop walking in time when it detects the approach of people or foreign objects that affect its operation to avoid danger.

(12) Autonomous charging function: The robot has an autonomous charging function and can cooperate with the charging equipment in the belt conveyor to complete autonomous charging. When the battery power is low, it can automatically return to charging.

3. Application of intelligent inspection robot system for mining transportation belts

3.1 Fuyun Mengku Iron Mine Intelligent Inspection Robot System

Fuyun Mengku Iron Ore Pelletizing Plant uses belts to transport finished pellets. The total length of the belt corridor is 250 m. Occasionally, the materials transported by the belts may have incomplete cooling and pellets with temperatures above 500°C. Materials exceeding 150°C can easily cause Belt burnt damage and will have a certain impact on equipment and production. Daily manual inspections are labour-intensive and dangerous. The slurry pump station is far away from the core production area. There are three pumps in total, all of which have been remotely controlled. However, the mechanical and electrical equipment and auxiliary equipment of the pump station need to be inspected.

Fuyun Mengku Iron Mine is equipped with an intelligent inspection robot system at the No. 4 finished product belt and slurry pump station of the pellet plant. In order to ensure the stability of wireless transmission of the entire inspection track, wireless communication base stations are set up along the inspection robot. The communication base station is equipped with a photoelectric converter, and the signal is transmitted to the operation station located in the control room through the optical cable laid along the way. In order to ensure the frequency of inspections and the convenience of charging, wireless charging piles are set up along the inspection robots. The device remains stationary during the charging process, but the situation within the field of view can still be monitored.

The operation data of the intelligent inspection robot system for the No. 4 finished product belt and slurry pump station in the pellet plant are shown in Table 1.

Intelligent inspection system name Automatic running time/h Manual running time/h Charging time/h Operating mileage/km
No. 4 belt inspection at the pellet factory 1827.36 466.56 1283.04 1280.1
Slurry pump station inspection 2090.88 126.72 887.04 111.09

During the inspection period, the intelligent inspection robot system detected a total of 588 abnormalities, including 212 abnormal equipment temperature alarms and 376 other alarms. The system identification accuracy reached more than 95%.

3.2 Tibet Yulong Copper Mine Intelligent Inspection Robot System

Tibet’s Yulong Copper Mine is located in a remote high-altitude and cold mountainous area with a harsh natural environment. The total conveying distance of the three belts in the crushing process section exceeds 3 km. It runs through the mountainous area and is divided into tunnels, belt corridors and open-air parts. Daily manual inspection is difficult and has certain risks. Each of the three belts is equipped with an intelligent inspection robot system. Wireless communication base stations and wireless charging piles are set up along the system to ensure stable signal transmission and continuous and stable operation of the system.

The operation data of the intelligent inspection robot system for transportation belts at Yulong Copper Mine in Tibet are shown in Table 2.

Intelligent inspection system name Automatic running time/h Manual running time/h Charging time/h Operating mileage/km
No. 1 3677.2 931.2 1438.1 2942.26
No. 2 4561.4 316.7 1643.5 3575.23
No. 3 3885.8 545.7 1900.3 3005.01

The intelligent inspection robot system detected a total of 598 anomalies during the inspection, including 295 roller drops, 201 roller temperature overheating, and 102 other alarms. The accuracy of identifying the roller falling is 96.3%, and the accuracy of identifying the roller temperature being too high is 95.7%. The system recognition accuracy reaches more than 95%.

3.3 Benefit analysis

The intelligent inspection robot system for mining transportation belts can work continuously. According to the manually set inspection steps, it can inspect key locations along the belt. The thermal imaging camera it carries can inspect each roller, motor bearing, and motor casing. Temperature detection has an efficiency and level of detail that cannot be achieved by manual inspection. At the same time, equipment, unlike people, will not be affected by mental state, physical strength, sense of responsibility and other factors, and always provides strong protection for equipment and production.

Taking an inspection robot as an example, excluding the necessary charging time during operation, it works continuously for 18 hours a day, and the working time is 6570 hours per year. However, an inspection robot works 8 hours a day and works about 2000 hours a year. h. Therefore, the working effect of one piece of equipment will exceed that of three inspection personnel.

After using the intelligent inspection robot system, the annual cost savings is 300,000 yuan based on the reduction of 2 inspection positions. The intelligent inspection robot system detects small faults in time, prevents major faults, protects the belt conveyor system and the production process, and reduces the economic losses caused by production shutdowns and emergency repairs. It is conservatively estimated to be about one million yuan per year.

4. Conclusion

(1) The mine transportation belt intelligent inspection robot system has strong environmental adaptability and can perform normal inspections in harsh environments. It can go deep into dangerous scenes, monitor the scene in real-time, and handle abnormalities in a timely manner. It can replace inspection personnel, save labour costs, avoid safety risks for operation and maintenance personnel, and reduce physical and mental burdens.

(2) In the future, a comprehensive operation and maintenance management platform will be adopted to highly integrate multi-dimensional subsystems such as intelligent inspection systems, environmental monitoring systems, and circulation monitoring systems, and can be combined with management software to uniformly digitally manage belt corridors and pumping stations. The management platform adds artificial intelligence and big data analysis to further carry out effective intelligent judgment and data mining.

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