The Application of Magnetically Attached Vibration Technology to Reduce Idle Time

Published: December 08,2022


The Problem and How it was Addressed

This case study covers Imerys’ use of magnetically attached vibration monitoring technology to reduce excess idling and the fuel burn associated with it.

Whilst excess idling is a known issue within the mining industry, several factors can make it difficult to collect and act on basic metrics:
● Diverse fleets (mixed OEM, size, type, and age)
● Unable to get OEM-neutral data
● Restricted use of OEM platforms and ability to easily access the data
● No centralized fleet management systems (FMS) and/or local FMS
● Data connectivity within the mining environments

Having the ability to measure basic metrics such as idling time and working time (not just engine hours) can mitigate these challenges.

However, there is a gap in the mining technology market because many existing solutions:
● Are cost prohibitive
● Require significant amounts of supporting infrastructure
● Require high levels of ongoing management

After trialling three different supplier technology solutions, Imerys has partnered with MachineMax, an award-winning startup whose technology is both wireless and affordable. The solution is a magnetically attached vibration technology that can be broadly implemented on mobile mining equipment, as well as some stationary machines such as pumps and crushers. In some cases, it has been found to be effective to place multiple devices on the same machine to measure different activities (e.g., a separate device on a drill head to differentiate between the motor running and the actual drill time).

To begin the implementation, a proof of concept (POC) site was selected on the basis of location for ease in engagement and support. The operational management was interested in the data. Following the success of the POC, it was decided to roll out the initiative globally.

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