Computerized Mine Monitoring - 4.1 Introduction; Underground Mine Communications, Control And Monitoring
Description:Monitoring systems can have numerous uses in the mine. They can aid in the efficient management of the mine by providing environmental trend data, production and maintenance control, and communications. In some cases, they can provide justification to petition the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) fog a variance of one of the mandatory safety standards. They may also increase the gross revenues of the mine by increasing the amount of coal produced or increase profits by reducing the cost of producing that coal. No single system will satisfy the requirement of all mines. Some may require simple hard-wired status-reporting systems; others, multipurpose computer-based systems that collect, analyze, and store data and perhaps control some mine functions. Even though systems vary in complexity, they are all composed of three functional components. The first component is sensors that measure the environmental or production parameters and produce an electrical signal that is fed into the telemetry. The second is telemetry devices that receive the signal from the sensors and transmit it in either analog or digital format to the third com¬ponent, analysis and display equipment. This equipment receives the transmitted signal and either stores it for later analysis or displays it. The analysis-display equipment ranges from simple strip chart recorders with preset alarms to computers, cathode-ray tubes (CRT's), and line printers that can also provide production reports. 4.2 Uses of a Mine Monitoring System A list of potential uses for mine monitoring systems, including both production-related functions and those related to health and safety, was used to develop a questionnaire. It was presented to representatives of the mining community to determine their current monitoring priorities. The responses indicated that the industry's priorities fall into the following two categories: First priority- Production and haulage Maintenance Second priority- Ventilation Communication Fire monitoring Personnel The survey shows that production-oriented systems were the most appealing to the questionnaire respondents. Since even small improvements in production efficiency and maintenance can have a large financial impact, the desirability of monitoring systems that focus on these areas is understandable. The results are summarized in table 4-1. The function that scored 100 was viewed as the most beneficial monitoring function.
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