Visual Inspection of Ropes in Mining Facilities - Minespect®

Visual inspection of ropes in mines

Securing the safety of mining ropes is an important topic. The visual inspection of Wire ropes is necessary to prevent a catastrophic failure, as well as determining and extending the safe operational limits of mining ropes.

In order to discover a rope degradation the visual inspection should report any evidence of:

  • A rapid increase in the number of broken wires
  • Broken or cut strands
  • Reduction of rope diameter
  • Increase in lay length
  • Severe Corrosion
  • Abrasion, scrubbing or crushing distorting the structure of the rope

A visual inspection should be conducted on a daily basis, but the inspection of mining ropes is difficult due to various circumstances:

  • Availability of trained/experienced inspection personnel
  • Harsh conditions for highly qualified people due to dust or site contamination
  • Speed of rope makes the inspection a difficult task e.g. diameter reduction or variations in lay length
  • Downtime to conduct the inspection must be kept short, therefore problem areas are easily overlooked

Easy to imagine that an inspection may not detect a critical deterioration. Amongst these are:

  • Wire breaks: Each broken wire reduces the strength of the wire rope (see EN 12927-6 or ANSI B 77.1-2011/ANSI M 11.1 for more details). The number of broken wires indicates the need for replacement.
  • Rope diameter: After an initial reduction, the overall diameter will stabilize and slowly decrease during the ropes life cycle. But isolated and quick diameter reductions must be monitored in order to determine the cause of the diameter loss.
  • Changes of the Lay length are an indication of torsion forces that weaken the life time of the rope, especially the lay length in the splice region should be monitored
  • Corrosion promotes premature fatigue failures and thus reduces the lifetime

In order to compare the status of the inspected rope a maintenance record allows to monitor sudden variations. The service records of previous inspections can be used in determining the remaining life of the rope.

With the minespect system we provide a technology the helps you to cover the above standing requrirements

The device is designed and optimised for use at Koepe mine shaft transportation systems for inspecting several parallel hoisting ropes. The inspection can be carried out at high speed, parallel to mining operations. When mining natural resources, the hoisting ropes are the core of every shaft transportation system. They are in constant use, as every interruption to mining operations causes considerable costs. The hoisting ropes undergo daily visual inspection to ensure that they are in perfect condition. Normally the inspection is carried out by two employees who check the rope as it passes them by at a speed of 1 m/s. Damage can be overlooked quite easily, as this task demands a great deal of concentration while often being carried out under great time pressure. The inspection is time-consuming and thus causes not inconsiderable costs. In addition, the inspection is not verifiable, nor is there any adequate documentation of the results and the inspectors are exposed to hazards during the inspection itself.

The Minspect® rope inspection system can be used for precise, safe and swift visual inspection of the ropes. The rope surface is recorded by 4 cameras at a speed of up to 15 m/s. This takes place without any interruption to mining operations, with a considerable cost-cutting effect.

The image data are then processed, producing a diameter and lay length curve across the whole length of the rope , and the surface is examined for any deviations from the normal rope structure. The obtained results are then subsequently assessed by the user.

The inspection device is accommodated in two enclosures which can be pushed into the required position on a slide system. In this way, it is easy to inspect several parallel ropes in succession.

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