Drawpoint control using radio frequency identification systems

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 89, No. 1003, 1996

P.F. Knights, E. Henderson and L.K. Daneshmend, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Centro de mineria, Santiago, Escuela de Ingenieria, Chile

Drawpoint control is critical in determining the cutoff point for load-haul-dump mucking operations to minimize dilution. It is also necessary to ensure even mucking distribution and to prevent possible hang-up of material within a stope. A prototype production monitoring and reporting system has been developed for load-haul-dump operations in underground mines. The system generates accurate and timely information regarding mucked tonnages and drawpoint and ore/waste pass utilization. The monitoring system integrates a PLC-based load weighing system with a radio frequency identification (RFID) system for locating the vehicle. The system records the identification and time of entry and exit of each drawpoint and ore/waste pass visited during a shift, as well as the weight of each bucket load. A trial of the system was conducted at the CANMET Experimental Mine near Val d’Or, Quebec. The monitoring and reporting system functioned as designed, with the exception that the maximum read range of the RFID tags under dynamic conditions was found to be a limitation. RFID systems with greater range capabilities have been identified for a second generation system. The system is the first of its type in North America to demonstrate that RFID tags can be successfully applied to locate trackless underground equipment. Because of their ability to locate equipment and personnel within underground mines, RFID systems should be considered a key technology for future mine information and process control systems.
Mots Clés: Automation, Radio frequency, identification, Production monitoring, Personnel tracking, Process control, Information systems