Future Fibre Technologies' Aura IQ system will benefit mining and tunnelling customers due to its ability to identify and classify specific early-stage conveyor roller failures, said Atlanta-based Strata.
Aura IQ's automated condition monitoring capabilities reduce unplanned maintenance work, extend the life cycle of idlers and potentially removing personnel from harm.
The Aura IQ system, developed in partnership with research organisation Mining3, works by transmitting a series of short, laser pulses along a single fibre optic cable retrofitted along the length of a conveyor. Acoustic disturbances from the conveyor system cause microscopic changes in the backscattered laser light categorised into known parameters.
Data is simultaneously gathered from every metre of the conveyor and processed by Aura IQ to pre-emptively alert operators, either on or off-site (in operational hubs or control rooms), to potential failures before they happen.
"We are thrilled to be the first to offer this technology to our mining and tunnelling customers," said Mike Berube, CEO of Strata Worldwide.
Aura IQ's technology harnesses the power of FFT's fibre optic detection and sensing technology platform (FFTTM Aura Ai-2), and is combined with development partner Mining3's advanced signal processing algorithms and predictive analytics to acoustically monitor and assess conveyor health via the cloud-based analysis, reporting and alerts.
"[This system] uses the latest in technology and artificial intelligence to replace what is currently a very labour-intensive process," said Future Fibre Technologies group head of innovation, Andrew Hames.
"Maintenance staff walk along kilometres of conveyor belt with infrared cameras, handheld audible devices and for visual inspections, looking for subjective indications of failed rollers and then marking each for follow-up. Our technology not only tracks failure progression and flags wear symptoms, failure modes and wear status but also shows you where to find it."