Condition monitoring of dragline components through vibration analysis (Technical Notes)

Arora, V. P. ; Mukhopadhyay, A. K. ; Sikdar, B.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Introduction During the past several years, persistent concerns about an economic slowdown in India have tempered capital-expan¬sion plans. This has encouraged companies to find methods of increasing the capacity of existing production equipment. One of the more cost-effective methods of increasing produc¬tion capacity without major capital investment is to improve equipment maintenance to prevent needless machine down¬time. This can have a significant financial impact because of reduced maintenance costs and increased machine availabil¬ity. The maintenance program employs different techniques, but the analysis of the vibration behavior of machine compo¬nents to assess their condition was found to be the most accurate technique for monitoring various machine disorders. A dragline that handles overburden in open pit mines is one of the more capital-intensive pieces of production equip¬ment. It is imperative that the machine be run at its optimum capacity under the prevailing environmental conditions. Condition monitoring of the various components of the dragline through vibration analysis not only improves the machines availability but also ensures a long operation time free from sudden failure. This paper describes the application of vibration monitor¬ing and analysis techniques to assess the components of a W2000 dragline. The paper reveals that condition monitoring through vibration analysis can be as valuable in failure prevention as it is in failure analysis. Finally, the paper presents an approach to a knowledge-based expert system to the quick and correct diagnosis of mechanical faults in a dragline. Equipment A dragline is an intermittent-discharge-type excavator having a long boom at one end. Unlike other excavators, the bucket is not rigidly held by the frame structure. In favorable geomining conditions, the intensive operation of these exca¬vators is the least-expensive means of overburden removal. The basic working elements of this equipment are the hoist system, the crowd and retract system, the wing mechanism and the propel mechanism. The walking dragline is accepted as the most economical machine for stripping overburden at depths of up to 60 m (200 ft). They are electrically powered and the various motions are effected by individual drives. The Ward-Leonard system is used to provide the optimum flexibility in controlling different dc-drive motors. To mini¬mize the cost of mineral extraction, the largest such machine in India has a 24-m3 (850-cu ft) bucket with a boom length of 96 m (315 ft). Draglines are very costly, and considerable financial penal¬ties may arise from sudden stoppages due to component fail¬ures. Thus, operational reliability is of the greatest importance. Active measures are now being taken to minimize downtime by adopting condition-based maintenance techniques. Though a number of techniques come under this scheme, it has been observed that assessing the health of the dragline by measuring vibration is the best method of determining the dynamic behavior of its various rotating components to avoid any catastrophic failure. Based on criticality, the vibration-behav¬ior of the following components are studied: • motor-generator unit, • exciter unit, • hoist motor-gearbox unit, • hoist drum-gearbox unit, • drag motor-gearbox unit, • drag drum-gearbox unit and • swing motor unit The approach Increases in the vibration levels in different subsystems of the dragline were observed due to the presence of faults such as unbalance, misalignment, looseness and bad bearings. A vibration behavior study included the measurement of vibra¬tion level, trend analysis of time-domain vibration signals and vibration frequency analysis at bearing points of the components. A vibration meter, a vibration analyzer and a data collector are used. Vibration-level measurement. When the dragline was assembled and put into operation for the first time, vibration data were collected to generate baseline data for the equip¬ment (based on International Standard ISO 2372). After¬wards, the vibration levels were recorded regularly using a vibration meter. The measurements were taken at all bearing
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