Dispatch and control system for mining enterprises “KARJER”

The efficiency of mining business depends a lot on the level of mining-transport complex development. This complex includes many different machines and other types of equipment. That is why nowadays they pay great attention to equipment productivity increasing, regular maintenance and service, resources saving, fuel consumption cut, load optimization, etc. Solving these issues is impossible without applying of modern technologies, such as, for example, dispatch control systems.

One of such systems is operative-dispatch system for mining enterprises “KARJER” (hereinafter referred to as KARJER), which was developed by “VIST Group” (Moscow, Russia).  Originally it was used only for BelAZ heavy trucks monitoring. But today we can see many changes both in it’s structure and functionality. Today KARJER is a full-featured system for mine transport control and an effective instrument for enterprise business-processes optimization. It is operated by more than 20 mining enterprises not only in Russia, but also in Ukraine, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Using KARJER allows the User not only to monitor vehicles, but also to carry out detailed analysis of mine transport complex work and to form different types of reports, which are used for further analysis and prediction.
In this article we describe this system’s structure and main hardware-software components. We will also point out the main lines of KARJER development, as they illustrate the general tendencies of such systems modernization. These changes are caused by new information and communication technologies appearance and increasing mining enterprises’ requirements to such systems functionality.

The structure of KARJER system is presented at Pic.1. The main sources of information are different types of sensors (position, speed, course sensors (GPS), car load sensor, fuel level sensor, etc.), actual digital model of mining and company database. The information on current condition and position of vehicles got from these units is used by control centre of the enterprise as well as by various users of a local company network. All the data may be used by other engineering facilities of the company as well.
Depending on the definite requirements and external environment the structure of the system may be changed (different types of vehicles and equipment, number of users, hardware, software, communication systems, etc.).

The Structure of dispath Control System KARJER

The main lines of  KARJER software development

The main accent in KARJER software development is made to open pit operation control. For these tasks solving in the System structure there were included optimization and automatic dispatching modules and technological support for business-processes. There were also added graphical panels, industrial computers and portable devices. The synchronous using of all the listed innovations let the User to get maximum effect.
The functions of all the business-processes participants (driver, dispatcher, mechanic, etc.) are detailed described and coordinated with analytic data got from the system. They also provide using the system intellectual facilities for operation control. Besides that, all users activities are fixed in database. So the User can always find out what, how and when has happened, what was the dialog between the dispatcher and driver in every concrete case, etc.
Today we can speak about two versions of KARJER. The first one was worked out in 2001 and now we offer only support for the existing systems of this type. The first application of the second KARJER version was made at “South Kuzbass” company in 2004. This version is more functional than the previous one. The main difference between these two systems is the place of data processing. In the first version data processing is carrying out at the server. And in the second one – we call it “event-trigger” – at controller. That affects the system functionality a lot. New version of the system is added with shift task module, vehicle technical readiness control module, execution of the plan, etc.

The facilities of data transmitting and objects identification

The main problems of data transmitting from mobile objects to dispatch control centre are speed restriction, channel capacity and quality of radio-covering of the work zone. While there are new types of transport included in the system, the frequency of each unit query is reduced if you use the traditional way of communication “cyclic” query. At the same time the disappearance of the objects from the radio zone becomes critical, as it result in flight information losses.
For solving this problem “VIST Group” specialists worked out alternative variants of data transmitting in the dispatch control system: with the help of digital wireless TETRA, cellular radio GSM, MESH technology and with using radio-identification technology (RFID). Using the up-to-date technologies let to increase greatly the information content, which can be transmitted through the radio channel. It also let the User to use intensively the radio channels to transmit graphical data, results of equipment diagnostics, video surveillance. The final choice of technology is made in accordance with the concrete work conditions and the tasks of the enterprise applying the system.  

The future trends of BelAZ on-board control systems integration. Drag-out electric drive diagnostics.

The on-board systems of drag-out electric drive control, load and fuel control system, tire pressure control system, engine diagnostics system work independently and solve tasks in accordance with their destination. The truck on-board equipment integration allows to get qualitative improvements of system work algorithm in comparison with their autonomous operation. For example for load and fuel control system, which is installed to trucks with the carrying capacity 55-220 tonnes directly at BelAZ plant, there are two possible ways of integration with other types of on-board control systems: such as drag-out electric drive control system, main truck units diagnostic systems (tire pressure control system, Diesel engine control system, etc.).
One of the main tasks of drag-out electric drive control system modernization is working out the algorithm of electric drive control parameters coordination with the truck load. Such a scheme was created by “VIST Group” specialists.

Fuel servicing truck work

The works concerned fuel servicing truck included in system structure started in beginning 2006 and covered several regions of CIS countries at the same time. Today “VIST Group” offers its clients two possible variants of equipment complex, which differ from each other with both their price and functionality. Depending on concrete needs of the customer there can be used different approaches of fuel servicing truck equipment. Complex equipment of fuel servicing truck provides to control all the technological aspects of this type of machines operation, excepting all the possible ways of fuels and lubricants embezzlement.

“VIST Group” integration solutions

Integration of the systems, which are used by the Enterprise, provides sufficient increasing efficiency of business-processes control. Today one of the most actual tasks for mining enterprises is integration between dispatch control systems and mining and geological systems that can result in improvement of extractive minerals quality control. 
In KARJER system there can be used geological models and mining plans, created with the help of all possible types of mining and geological systems. As the result of this integration it is possible to get actual information about percentage of effective component in mineral which is loaded in the truck (and some other parameters), to get the general statistics in according with this percentage, and also to provide work of Optimization module of the system.
The possibility of dispatch control system integration with EAM and ERP-systems is not less important for this industry.

Remote diagnostics system for excavator control

The remote diagnostics system for excavator control today is included in KARJER structure. This system is designed for solving such tasks as preventing equipment failures, electrical equipment parameters control, power consumption control, non-stop automated control of excavator operation and amount of the executed works. The technologies used in this product let the User to control incline, gap of king journal and to make pinpoint positioning of the bucket.

Microprocessor-based control system for railway station of mining enterprise

Today many mining enterprises use railroad for ore transportation from open-pit to processing and crushing plants. The long distance between these plants and the place of material extracting (about 10 km) make this process very un-effective. That results in ineffectiveness of railway transport using and stoppage of that equipment which is not supplied with material. The only way for solving this problem is effective organization of railway transportation dispatching, based on using reliable and actual information about operative situation at rail facilities.
During block-relay interlocking system modernization the most effective investment is switching them to microprocessor base. Microprocessor-based control system, worked out by “VIST Group” specialists let the User to solve this task in complex. This system provides not only traffic control at the railway station, as the most common block-relay interlocking systems do. It also provides a number of additional facilities moving the railway traffic control to a new qualitative level. Besides that, this system was designed specially for working with dispatch control system, and already now can be used as a data source for control and analysis of operational situation at the station in real-time mode. Now this system is used at Stoylensky GOK.

Sensors used in dispatch control system KARJER

One of the lines of load control system development is increasing the number of controlled parameters. “VIST Group” specialists worked out the processor thickener-converter for analogue signals, which provides signals pre-processing in according with inbuilt inclinometer readings, “work history” storage in non-volatile memory of the unit, etc. Elemental base which used in this system let the User get high technical parameters while keeping acceptable price and suitable dimensions of the unit. Using this system results in reducing the number of cables, increasing accuracy and reliability of system measurements. There are also designed and used by enterprises such types of units as angel encoders, current sensors, capacitive level transducer, etc.

All these components and activities are aimed to creating an effective instrument for operational control of mining enterprise work. Applying KARJER by mining enterprise results in the improvement in the efficient operation of machinery throughout a shift, saving resources with the attained mineral output targets, improvement in labour discipline, creation of the basis for the unprejudiced estimation of the operation of the enterprise divisions and sections, as well as in the creation of the prerequisites for the establishment of a system of planned repair and maintenance of the vehicle fleet of the opencast mine.