Home > 3D scanning and the future of mining maintenance Part II

3D scanning and the future of mining maintenance Part II

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article image The surveying creates a dot point map available on the cloud.

In the second part of this article, we continue to look at how 3D laser scanning are helping miners maintain their machinery and equipment.

Outotec has used 3D laser scanning at some of the largest mine sites and processing plants in Australia and overseas. 

At one particular mine site spanning over 30 000 m2 – where Outotec was engaged in retrofit and create new design projects – no previous drawings or plans were available. 

Therefore the 3D data produced from the laser scanning was an invaluable asset in providing new, detailed records of the entire concentrator plant – to within tolerances of +/-5 mm. 

Scanning was completed in only eight days, with the data processed in just over two weeks. 

The level of detailed data captured could not have been achieved by traditional surveying methods. 

Using conventional methods for site verification alone would have taken approximately five weeks to complete.

Similarly, another project required a retrofit to an existing thickener within a tightly confined footprint at a site that had been in operation for over twenty years. 

The plant had undergone numerous non-documented modifications and again, was without a history of plans and drawings. 

The entire plant was laser scanned within six days, providing the client with full, current site plans and allowed the new installation to proceed without complication. 

Using MillMapper at another site, several mills were scanned and the data processed via Scanalyse’s forecasting software.

The wear curve from the laser data indicated that the shell liners had worn down to their reline limit and would not last to the original shutdown date. 

The relines were predicted up to four months in advance and gave valuable indication of the actual level of wear on the liners. 

This reliable forecasting gave clear indication of safe operating limits and enabled well organised and preventative maintenance which ultimately saved the mill operator considerable expense and disruption.

The benefits of laser scanning far outweigh the higher back-end office costs associated with the processing and manipulation of data and images. 

Some of the major savings include the potential for reduced installation downtime and commissioning through the accuracy and detail afforded in planning and fabrication. 

Other cost-saving benefits include the need for fewer surveying personnel and detail design engineers.  

Additionally, the need to revisit site to make further investigations, take measurements missed initially, or verify estimates, is eradicated due to the blanket coverage of ‘as-built’ data captured. 

High density data from 3D laser scanning provides a vast array of possibilities to extract, analyse and calculate specific areas to provide informative and high impact imagery, as well as being an invaluable resource to guarantee quality assurance. 

Used in conjunction with other software, the possibilities for predictability of wear, planning and scheduling go far beyond anything traditional surveying methods can offer.

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