Rock Products

APR 2019

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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26 • ROCK products • April 2019 Aggregate Industry T he Internet of Things (IoT), and its subset Industrial IoT (IIoT), are massively transforming businesses. IIoT tech- nologies that continuously collect and analyze critical data from equipment, workers and environments, provide com- panies with invaluable insights into existing operations. This unprecedented level of visibility facilitates intelligent deci- sion-making to enhance production efficiency and improve worker safety while reducing costs and waste. Amid this industrial paradigm shift, aggregates companies now realize that embracing IIoT is essential to secure and bolster their competitive edge. Aggregates production is asset- and energy-intensive while involving high equipment costs, hazardous environments, and complex, precarious extractive processes. As such, operations are expensive with great potential for waste and negative impacts on the envi- ronment and workers. Facing these operational challenges, digital transformation is crucial for this sector. From remote monitoring and predictive maintenance to vehicle management, worker safety and environmental monitoring, aggregate producers can harness IIoT data to optimize their operations in multiple ways. Here are six. 1. Increase Asset Uptime with Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance Dewatering pumps, conveyors, crushers, screens and cyclones are just a few examples of critical assets used across aggregates production. Maximizing uptime of these assets is a central mission for companies to avoid inflated costs result- ing from production downtime. On top of maintenance and servicing expenses, unplanned downtime can incur signifi- cant revenue losses that amount between $30,000 to $50,000 per hour in a typical industrial setting. Leveraging IIoT sensor, communication and computing tech- nologies, companies can remotely monitor live trends in the operations and health status of their equipment to detect anomalies and anticipate machine breakdowns. For example, abnormal temperature and vibration patterns of rotating equipment indicate developing problems like unbal- ance, shaft misalignment, bearing failures and resonance issues. Inspection, reparation and replenishment of spare parts can be scheduled on-demand to prevent failure occur- rence and minimize unwanted production delays. Remote monitoring additionally curtails inefficient and dangerous manual inspection on functioning equipment. 2. Improve Fleet Utilization and Management Quarry activities critically depend on the use of capital-inten- sive mobile equipment like haulers, excavators and trucks to transport extracted rocks from the working face to crushers. Near real-time information on emission, fuel consumption and health status of components (tires, hydraulics, brakes, etc.) enables predictive maintenance to avoid costly failures, while revealing useful insights into emission rates and exist- ing bottlenecks. For example, low tire pressure can increase fuel consumption and reduce gas mileage. Simultaneously, idle times and engine load data helps iden- tify underutilized equipment, enabling companies to make informed decisions on adjusting the size and composition of their fleet, or simply taking one or more off shift. Optimizing 6 Benefits of Industrial IoT in the Aggregates Industry Driving Operational Excellence in the Aggregates Industry with Industrial IOT and LPWAN. By Albert Behr

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