Engineering & Mining Journal

AUG 2017

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MINING TIRES AUGUST 2017 • E&MJ 43 www.e-mj.com temperature data. DirectLink is the soft- ware that receives, assimilates and commu- nicates it in real time. Predecessor software system TreadStat is a repository of data that enables total inventory management. The latter two could both share a common plat- form as early as this fall, a step on the road to further melding the programs. B-TAG, Siebert said, is critical tech- nology for the emergent or mature digital mine. The TPMS was designed to enable users to get "the most out of a product," he said. TPMS empowers users to "make better decisions that affect not just what tire they select or which tire to buy the next time. It facilitates "in-the-moment deci- sions that affect the productivity as well as the management of their operations." The sensor mounts to a patch inside the tire. It gathers and transmits re- al-time data on pressure and tempera- ture. Bridgestone is one recipient and the data facilitates swift cooperation and planning, allowing the company and its customers to be proactive. "Where our customers have enjoyed the most success out of B-TAG is actually using it as an opportunity to increase pro- duction," Seibert said. Bridgestone, he said, works with customers to run the tire based on its actual temperature. "If there are temperature alarms, the customers can adjust their haul profile," he said. "We've seen customers see sig- nificant production increases, up to 18% in certain instances by speeding up." For example, a customer can deploy Bridgestone's B-TAG system to trial pro- tocol developed in response to a tire's TPMH rating, or working capacity. "We've had customers that have had to restrict speed due to ambient temperatures and the TPMH rating of the tire," Seibert said. "The customers were able to then run live B-TAG temperatures against those rat- ings and actually increase the speed of the truck and increase production over 10%." The TPMS also helps miners improve safety, he said. The benefits are "being able to eliminate field pressure checks and being able to do that remotely, im- proving your safety and your efficiency." B-TAG communicates with the user via DirectLink. The program monitors B-TAG data and "also provides historical reporting for customers trying to under- stand the accuracy of their pressure pro- gram," he said. "The mine monitoring control at Bridgestone is able to see that data, too, to help our account managers understand how the tires are being used and any alerts or concerns around them." By the fall, some of that same data may also automatically be fed to Tread-Stat. "We are in the process of launching the next generation of TreadStat," Seibert said. "Our goal is to provide a brand new interactive user-friendly system with custom reports and dashboards," he said. The reports will crunch inventory and tire performance met- rics against forecasts and budgets. "They'll get that in the moment, not after a tire comes out after 12 months of use and then trying to figure out what is going on," Seibert said. Bridgestone plans to offer the pro- grams as a bundle in the fourth quarter, Seibert said. "We are bringing those two programs onto one software platform this year as we launch the new next-generation TreadStat," he said. The bundle would comprise a software suite users can ac- cess with one log on. "They would actually be able to see their tire temperature and pressure history, and also be able to then take a look at the tire records as well." The long-term goal, Seibert said, is to synchronize the programs so data-sharing between the two is automated. "That is a program goal: They do eventually become one system and one reporting mechanism." Ultra-large, Well-received Goodyear debuted at MINExpo the ul- tra-large RM-4B+ hauler tire for severe operating conditions. Since then, the com- pany reported, feedback has been positive. "The RM-4B+ has been well-received by end users in the mining industry, who are deriving real cost-reducing perfor- mance benefits delivered by the tire's many features," said Eric Matson, man- ager, global field engineering. Those features include a high net-to- gross tread pattern, an extra-deep tread pattern, and a cooling compound. The high net-to-gross tread pattern en- ables "increased cut and impact protec- tion in rugged, hard rock applications," the company reported. Matson elaborated. "Net-to-gross ratio is a term that describes the balance be- tween tread blocks and empty space — or voids — in an OTR tire's tread area. Tires with a higher net-to-gross ratio have a higher tread volume," he said. "This helps protect the tire's casing from rock cut penetration, while absorbing impacts from rocks and other foreign objects." The extra-deep tread pattern ensures "longer wear," the company reported. "Our first tire in size 53/80R63, which was the RM-4A+, is an E-4+ with 18% to 24% more tread depth than the standard E-4 haulage tire. However, the new RM- 4B+ is over 5% deeper than the RM-4A+," Matson said. "This extra tread depth al- lows for longer wear, increased casing pro- tection, and overall longer tire life." An "enhanced, cool-running com- pound," called CycleMax tread rubber, "makes it ideal for high-heat applica- tions," the company reported. Technically there are almost a dozen compounds involved, Matson said. "Tires like the RM-4B+ are required to carry enormous loads at relatively fast speeds, which can generate heat buildup in the crown area," he said. "The cool-running compound in the RM-4B+ is formulated to minimize heat buildup while working in tandem with the tire's other compounds." Other features, the company reported, include tread lug blading for addition- al heat resistance, interlocking blading for added stability, a centerline channel for added lateral traction and heat resis- tance, angled main grooves, and a side- wall scallop for improved heat resistance. The 63-in. tire is backed by Goodyear's support and services structure. "Goodyear provides reliable service like on-site con- sultations, site audits, footprint evalua- tions, tire surveys, temperature studies and more, all designed to help mining op- erations optimize their tire investment," Matson said. In addition, Goodyear offers management tools, like EMTrack, a TPMS. Goodyear's newest 60-in. RM-4B+ for rigid haulers features high net-to-gross tread pattern, an extra-deep tread pattern and a cooling compound. (Photo: Goodyear)

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