Home » Archive Industry News » Industry News 2016 » Industry News 02_2016 » Mining 4.0: Groundbraking technology for the control of roadheaders improves both safety and productivity underground
Fig. 1. Roadheader SM150 by IBS with iRoadheader by INMINE. // Bild 1. IBS-Teilschnittmaschine SM 150 mit iRoadheader von INMINE. Photo/Foto: IBS

Mining 4.0: Groundbraking technology for the control of roadheaders improves both safety and productivity underground

Specialist engineers at IBS Industriemaschi-nen-Bergbau-Service GmbH, Bischofs-heim/Germany, have been developing quality roadheaders “Made in Germany” for the mining and tunnelling industries for some 20 years. IBS is part of the Schmitt Werke group of companies. At this year‘s bauma, IBS will be presenting two new and innovative product lines: the iRoadheader by INMINE for the teleremote control of roadheaders from a safe distance and Starter RS2.0 – a smart, state-of-the-art switchgear.

The development face in underground coal mining can be a dangerous and uncomfortable place of work – risks to the miners include gas explosions, gas and rock outbursts, dust, heat, humidity or any combination thereof. IBS, together with the newly founded joint venture company INMINE GmbH, will present and demonstrate the iRoadheader, an innovative teleremote operator assistance and profile control system enabling the machine to be operated safely from 200 m away or more (Figure 1). When equipped with this system there is no longer any need for personnel to be present in the danger zone at the face thereby drastically reducing the risk to their well-being. The system can be fitted to any suitable roadheader or similar development machine and/or retrofitted to existing equipment.

The iRoadheader utilizes remote controls, high-tech radar positioning, HD camera supervision, audio feedback, smart PLC/computer software and robust hardware to provide high quality imaging and data for an “at the face” feeling for the remote operator. The radar positioning systems enable precise negotiation of vertical and horizontal changes in gradient and the excavation of 90° junctions or cross-cuts. An additional benefit is more accurate cutter head guidance and profile control minimising unnecessary overcut. All the components are of extremely robust high quality “Made in Germany” design and also available in full compliance with the ATEX directive for use in underground coal mines. As Dr. René Nitsche, MD of IBS and INMINE says the iRoadheader is already in operation and well-tried on a number of machines. Visitors to the IBS booth can see and try the iRoadheader for themselves on a simulator. The complete system has been developed in cooperation with indurad GmbH, Aachen/Germany, a market leader in high-tech industrial radar solutions. The system is being marketed by INMINE GmbH, a joint venture company co-owned by the two partners.

Fig. 2.  ATEX compliant Roadheader Starter RS2.0. // Bild 2.  IBS-ATEX Kompaktstation RS2.0. Photo/Foto: IBS

Fig. 2. ATEX compliant Roadheader Starter RS2.0. // Bild 2. IBS-ATEX Kompaktstation RS2.0. Photo/Foto: IBS

The second highlight on the IBS booth is the smart switchgear cabinet Roadheader Starter RS2.0 (Figure 2). Fully compliant with the ATEX directive the switchgear cabinet includes many new hardware and software features not yet seen in underground coal mining. This technology with its wide range of functions leads to considerably improved safety, a greater degree of efficiency and much enhanced reliability. A 15” full colour interactive display panel enable the user to access vital status information via menu navigation with the aid of 3D graphics. The system also enables self-explanatory troubleshooting and comes with on-board condition monitoring as standard. An early warning system has been included to prevent avoidable failures and consequential damage to other components. As a result, the life-expectancy of key components such as electric motors is increased considerably. As standard the package includes the hardware for remote control as well as the solenoid valve blocks for the hydraulic system. Fault indicators and status information are not only displayed on the panel but can also be stored on an SD card for later analysis using standard PC office software. The whole system is capable of withstanding relatively high voltage fluctuations which are common in underground operations.

With the aid of an optional client server it’s possible to integrate the RS2.0 into a network and provide permanent remote access, real time data transmission, monitoring, diagnostics, etc. All relevant information can be made available on PC’s or smartphones anywhere on or connected to the network. A remote maintenance module provides enables quick and accurate diagnostics as if the service technician was at the machine. As standard, RS2.0 can be connected using standard intrinsically safe DSL (phone cable) technology. Alternatively, intrinsically safe fibre optic technology is available.

IBS at the bauma: Hall C2, Booth 302

Further information/Weitere Informationen:
IBS Industriemaschinen-Bergbau-Service GmbH