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New technology to measure mining haul-truck loads

CSIRO : 01 July, 2003  (New Product)
New technology to take the guesswork out of measuring the volume of Haul-Truck loads will undergo commercialisation on a trial basis following an agreement between CSIRO and the Queensland based weighing machine supplier, Transcale Pty Ltd.
The agreement provides for a six-month commercialisation trial of CSIRO's Trayscan technology and rights to Transcale for future licensing.

CSIRO's Trayscan is an automated system that measures the volume of material in the tray of haul-trucks using laser-scanning technology. This technology provides the ability to measure the volume in-situ, whilst the truck is moving.

The Chief Executive of Transcale, Mr Dan Valmadre says, 'When this system is coupled with a mine truck weighing system such as ours, it is possible to estimate the density of each load. Density is a rather elusive piece of information that plays a key role in the design and selection of Haul-Truck trays.'

Haul-Truck trays are designed to carry material of known bulk density. In a mine these properties change and it is important to monitor these changes.

'For example,' Mr Dan Valmadre says, 'if a shovel starts to dig material with a high bulk density then trucks with smaller trays can be dispatched, or vice versa, with an appropriate lowering of operating costs per vehicle'.

'It's a very exciting step forward for Transcale and we are looking forward to presenting this system to our customers, I am sure it will enhance the services we provide to our clients all over the world.'

The developer of Trayscan, Dr Elliot Duff of CSIRO Complex Systems Integration says, 'Trayscan consists of a field computer and two scanning lasers which generate 3D profiles of the load. The lasers are robust, accurate sensors that pose no threat to eye safety and can operate in rain and dusty environments'.

The field computer consists of a ruggedized PC, designed to survive in the harsh mining environment, coupled with an embedded communications processor developed by CSIRO.'

'Although the primary aim of Trayscan technology has been to estimate the volume of material in each tray,' Dr Duff says, ' the 3D profile can also be used to measure load-distribution and load profile for improving maintenance and tray design.

With Trayscan it is now possible to monitor the efficiency of various tray designs with respect to different types of material.'

Fragmentation can also be characterized by the texture of the 3D surface. Such information can be used to estimate rock breakage for more efficient blasting.
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