Canadian Mining Journal

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MONITORING: LoaderMetrics comes to Canada



VANCOUVER – Motion Metrics recently celebrated the first Canadian LoaderMetrics™ installation at a nickel mine in Atlantic Canada. The Canadian-based company is proud to see its latest innovation adopted in their backyard.

The latest version of LoaderMetrics™ includes:

  • A missing tooth detection system using thermal imaging and artificial intelligence;
  • A blind spot reduction solution to mitigate collision incidents; and
  • An innovative lens cleaning system

As with shovels, the bucket teeth on a loader have the potential to break off, which can lead to reduced digging efficiency, crusher jams requiring a dangerous and costly tooth removal procedure, and damage to downstream equipment such as conveyor belts. As the world leader in missing tooth detection systems for shovels, Motion Metrics initially developed LoaderMetrics using the same camera-based technology used on ShovelMetrics. However, in response to the unique challenges presented by wheel loaders, Motion Metrics engineers developed a solution that is their most sophisticated yet.

LoaderMetrics improves not only productivity but safety.

The latest version of LoaderMetrics uses a thermal camera placed beneath the bucket looking upwards. Given the short amount of time (less than one second) the system has to capture a clear image of the bucket teeth as the bucket dumps to the truck, a thermal camera focuses solely on the teeth, which heat up as they dig. The thermal system is able to work accurately in the dark, removing the need for additional lighting. To protect against the harsh mining environment, the camera is protected by a rugged steel bracket and a strong metal mesh to guard the lens from falling rocks. Surveillance cameras are also located at the left, right and rear of the loader to eliminate large blind spots. The operator can see their surroundings clearly and mitigate collision incidents.

In order to maximize its accuracy, the latest LoaderMetrics system is designed to learn and think like a human. To achieve this, Motion Metrics built a deep neural network by inputting hundreds of thousands of real bucket images from mines worldwide. The images are analyzed pixel by pixel, detecting patterns and more accurately predicting behaviour. Using a patent pending Deep Learning algorithm, system calibration is no longer needed. Users simply enter the total number of bucket teeth and the algorithm takes care of the rest. As a result, the system can detect whether a tooth is missing with more accuracy than ever before.

Lastly, LoaderMetrics includes a lens cleaning system. As the LoaderMetrics camera is located below the bucket, it is exposed to significant amounts of dirt, mud, and debris. The lens cleaning system is integrated into embedded systems and uses antifreeze wash fluid and pressurized air to remove dirt, mud, snow, grime and mist.

LoaderMetrics is an ideal solution for mines operating in Canada’s harsh conditions and just one of many innovations developed in-house by Vancouver-based Motion Metrics. Since 1999 Motion Metrics has been the leader in mining technology, bringing cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to the mining industry.

For more information, visit our website: www.MotionMetrics.com/loaders.


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