Use of a microcomputer in the design and selection of materials hoisting systems

Lineberry, G. T. ; Patsey, J.D.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
Introduction A computer program was developed for analyzing drum-type hoists before modifying an existing system or designing a new one. Its use permits the preliminary evaluation of a system before seeking technical assistance from mine hoist designers and manufacturers. The user-friendly program accepts a variety of data and analyzes hoisting systems for any balance state. The program can be used to calculate skip capacity to yield a desired production rate, solve for drum face width, select a permissible wire rope, estimate total horsepower of the hoist plant, and estimate annual power cost. Whether required for a large mining complex or for a relatively small operation, a hoisting system must be carefully designed to ensure the efficient, reliable, and safe flow of material. Because shaft sinking and hoist installation can total between 2.5% and 3% of the cost of opening a deep mine, proper hoist selection is critical. Today's mining engineer has at his disposal the most powerful design and analytical aid ever, the micro- computer. There is, unfortunately, limited software for the study of hoisting systems, unlike that for other materials handling equipment (Manula and Albert, 1980; Prelaz et al., 1964; Bucklen, 1969; Thompson, 1985). HOIST reduces a time-consuming set of calculations to a concise package of interrelated subprograms. A literature review revealed no common-user pro- grams to analyze hoisting systems, although at least four major hoist designers/manufacturers/installers have their own in-house programs. To provide a tool with which the mining engineer could preliminarily analyze a materials hoisting system or could check the calculations of a hoist contractor, a computer program was developed. HOIST was written in BASIC for the IBM-PC for ease of program adaptation and to en- courage field use on compatible systems. Details of program development are omitted, since the basic principles of hoisting analyses are relatively straightforward, simple, and readily accepted (Har- mon, 1973; Nordberg, n.d.; Adler, 1957). Program features, intended usage, and benefits of the com- puterized solution are emphasized over theory development and mathematical rigor. Background The mine hoist system that is selected and installed at a mine is the "lifeline" of that mine, with installations lasting 20 years or more. Thorough study is warranted to ensure that productivity demands are met at a minimum cost per ton. The increased cost of a large, powerful, high-speed hoist must be offset by increased production to justify its selection. To optimize this tradeoff, an extensive hoisting analysis should be performed. The analyses to properly size the skip (or cage ) , the drum, and the hoist drive are conducive to computerization, permitting rapid evaluation of changeable operating and design parameters, such as velocity, acceleration, state of balance, and productivity demand. The program is particularly useful in conducting sensitivity trials, such as investigation into the effect of change of productivity on skip capacity and on horsepower of the hoist drive. HOIST is currently limited to the study of drum-type hoists with cylindrical drum(s). However, only minor changes to the program would permit analysis of friction hoists and conical drum configurations. Model development and testing The program is based on accepted equations and physical relationships. Examples of manual calculations formed the basis for decision points and program branching. Data is input in the order that it would be needed if the problems were solved manually. The choices are arranged likewise. HOIST was developed in sections, with manual solutions performed to check program logic. The testing became more rigorous as sections were completed. Output from one section becomes input for following sections, as appropriate. The simplified flow diagram of HOIST is given in Fig. 1.
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