Engineering & Mining Journal

AUG 2017

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Page 43 of 99

MINING TIRES 42 E&MJ • AUGSUT 2017 the current activities-verses-plan are in your mine," Bennett said. "Are we getting the maintenance activities done? Are we up-to-date on the maintenance activities? How much planned or unplanned activi- ty is backlogged? Are we adequately re- sourcing or executing on the maintenance plan? And what might be coming down the pipe? What is coming next week?" The new system is work order-driven, he said. "We will be able to provide the maintenance planner with a planned list of work orders and activities so he can add that information into the mainte- nance schedule." Currently, Tire Management System is optimal for open-pit mining fleets, Ben- nett said. "Customers big or small can use the system," he said. "There are no spe- cial requirements." That means special re- quirements beyond the needed connectiv- ity and a willingness to adopt the Kal Tire Way. "It doesn't require extra manpower," he said. "It just requires renewed focus." The system entails specific process- es and some new terminology. Training is provided. Kal Tire hosts the data. "Because we've got the tool to lay over top of it, we're going to host the data and the cus- tomer is going to have access to the re- al-time stream," Bennett said. The system enables Kal Tire to gauge its performance as well. "We track our- selves with the customer," Bennett said. "Are we getting the results we want? Is the customer's effort being rewarded?" So far, the feedback has been positive, he said. For example, he said, a Canadian miner that reported tire performance issues adopted the system to improve tonnage, distance and speed metrics. "We did the priority mapping with the customer whereby we agreed together what the conditions were that warranted either general monitoring or immediate action," Bennett said. "As a re- sult of the change, the frequency of tire-re- lated emergencies, the need for immediate unplanned action, has been reduced." After- ward, the system functioned as a communi- cations and priorities planning tool. The data from Tire Management Sys- tem can be imported and used by manu- facturers. "It is not unusual the manufac- turers will get data from our system, even if it is just a data dump, and they can do their own analysis," Bennett said. "That empowers them to look at more informa- tion and make better decisions on how to best service that customer." The rollout of the update is phase two of a multiphase, multiyear plan that will culminate in a multiuse system that could employ GPS or other technology to capture data on the mine site. "The technology has to work, but there is also a management of change for the guys in their day-to-day behavior," Bennett said. Changing behaviors means changing minds. For many miners, tire maintenance planning is "an ad hoc activity," Bennett said. The new system facilitates it becoming a planned and scheduled activity, he said. "Seems like a minor step for most folks but it is actually a big deal because engines, transmissions and welding may take prior- ity over tires," Bennett said. "We're trying to raise that profile." Customers are accus- tomed to strategizing to get the most out of equipment and assets, and typically start with "big-ticket" items first, he said. None- theless, "tires represent a significant cost for customers and quality data can be used to make decisions, improve safety and mainte- nance planning while reducing costs." Cool Beads and Hot Data Bridgestone will market a couple of signif- icant innovations later this year. It has a new 400-ton hauler tire and an upgrade to its tire tracking solutions offerings. Both will be marketed as early as this fall. The products come from a long line of test- ed and true predecessor technologies. Bridgestone debuted the 59/80R63 VRF tire with Cooling Fin technology at MINEx- po. The backstory is the technology first saw action in the pit. That would be down at the race track. Eventually it was developed for mining machine tires. For several years, it was tested at Canadian oil sand digs. The 59/80R63 VF, for 400-ton haulers that see "high speeds and payloads," will hit the market in Q4, Rob Seibert, director, Bridgestone OTR marketing, said. Siebert pitches the technology as a solution. "Heat is one of the primary enemies of the tire," he said. "Those large trucks tend to gener- ate significant heat from the longer hauls, the payloads and the stress that can be placed on the bead area of the tire." The solution Bridgestone sells is ven- tilation. Siebert described Cooling Fins as "proprietary fin technology" exclusive to Bridgestone. "The Cooling Fins are uniquely designed in a specific pattern around the bead of the tire to dissipate the heat," he said. Up close, they appear as a row of staggered tiny fan blades. "The Cooling Fins alter the path of the wind and allow the moving cool air to contact the rubber surface, carrying off the heat," Seibert said. The idea is to cool the bead. "In a se- vere haulage application, the bead can be a contributing factor to tires coming out of ser- vice," Seibert said. By increasing the longev- ity of the bead, overall tire life is extended. Cooling Fins can "contribute to a total tire life improvement of up to 10%," he said. That number is backed by longitudin- al studies. Years of testing have culmi- nated in results that "have been very positive," Siebert said. "Over the years of testing we've been able to reduce that bead heat in certain instances up to or approximately 20%." Gathering that data happens in real time, thanks to Bridgestone's sensor tech- nology and the software it feeds. Bridge- stone currently offers a trifecta of tire data solutions. Two are designed to work togeth- er, monitoring tire pressure and helping track tire and rim assets. The intelligent tag sensor, dubbed the B-TAG, collects tire and Kal Tire's upgraded Tire Management System is work order-driven, equipping technicians with a list of planned work orders. (Photo: Kal Tire) Cooling Fin technology was developed for race day. The row of angled fins on the 59/80R63 VF, pictured above, directs a stream of air to the tire bead. The bead, the part of the tire that grips the wheel, is subject to substantial pressure that is measurable as heat. (Photo: Bridgestone)

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