Vibration analysis of mining shovels

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 95, No. 1065, 2002

P.N. Saavedra and E.A. Salamanca, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile

The maintenance strategies in the mining industry are changing from operative and periodic inspection strategies to a condition-based, predictive maintenance strategy centred in vibration analysis plus complementary techniques. Condition monitoring can also help to improve availability by being able to pinpoint and diagnose problems on operating machinery at an early stage. This reduces unscheduled downtime and production losses. However, in mining, for shovels operating in transient modes, with variable load and/or speed, the FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) standard approach is not directly applicable for analysis. This work illustrates how spectral order analysis and new transforms, called time-frequency transforms (TFT), allow us to monitor the shovel when it is working. Some practical examples showing the application of these analysis techniques to occasional vibrations measured on hoist and crowd transmission of a shovel are also presented. It is shown that at present, it is possible to carry out the vibration monitoring in the mining shovel while it is working, therefore avoiding the high cost of a loss of production which can occurr in traditional monitoring, where the measurement is taken while the shovel is out of production.
Keywords: Maintenance, Condition monitoring, Downtime, Electromechanical shovel, Vibration.