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Improving Surface Mine Profitability with Phased Array Ultrasonics

Surface mines rely on continued safe operation of equipment to maintain profitability. Equipment failure can lead to profit loss due to lack of product leaving the mine as well as repair. Traditionally, conventional Non-destructive methods have been applied to ascertain component health, and monitor damage mechanisms. Many of the critical inspection areas on surface mine equipment components are hard to access, are in close proximity to other components, and must be performed with minimal down time associated with removing components for improved NDT inspection. In the last few years many large scale and small scale surface mining operations are finding that improvements in phased array technology have allowed for improved NDT inspections to be performed on mining heavy equipment. Success stories of surface operations implementation of phased array technology with application details will be discussed based on field work, training and implementation by the author including dragline inspections. Improvements in phased array equipment and software easing the implementation will be highlighted.

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