If your pepper mill wears out, it’s annoying. But for mines it’s disastrous when their grinders can no longer smash rocks, often costing them $100,000 an hour in downtime.
Now, a three-dimensional laser system, which takes 10 million measurements in 30 minutes, can take over the dangerous work of manually evaluating mining machinery conditions.
Researchers at Curtin University have developed two systems using 3D laser imaging to map the internal wear of crushers and grinders, allowing operators to make better decisions about maintenance and repair as well as improving efficiency and safety and saving big money.
Scanalyse, the company they founded, now sells the technology to dozens of companies around the world.
Scanalyse/Outotec won the 2013 Australian Museum Rio Tinto Eureka Prize for Commercialisation of Innovation for the creation of MillMapper and CrushMapper.