The Longwall 3D Visualizer is a high-fidelity 3D graphics system that allows the user to virtually navigate the complete longwall face while the system is in production (note: this is not a 3D simulator). The 3D Visualizer augments the longwall equipment and utilizes live data from the equipment underground to show equipment operation in real-time. Major visualized system components include: powered roof supports (PRS), armored face conveyor (AFC), stage loader (BSL), crusher, bootend/tailpiece and shearer. Along with the various pieces of equipment, the visualizer also includes views of the main gate and tail gate ends.
Mine personnel and executives have remote access to the longwall operation through portable devices, giving them unprecedented abilities to monitor the system at any time.
Collects critical data
The longwall shearer, PRS, and AFC control systems utilize the Faceboss control system to manage critical machine functions and interface with various control modules on the longwall face. The Faceboss control systems communicate with each other and the other longwall control systems through redundant high-speed fiber and wireless communication networks. The typical data collected includes the following:
From the shearer:
- Current position on the face
- Haulage direction and speed
- Vertical height of each cutting drum
- Position of each cowl blade
- Pitch and roll angle of the chassis
- Elevation of the shearer
From the PRS:
- Roof support advance position
- Position of each sprag
- Pitch and roll angle of each support
- Pitch and roll angle of each support for the base
From the AFC:
- Power usage and load sharing
- AFC and BSL chain tension control
- TTT/VFD operation
- BSL and crusher status
- Tailpiece status
Visualizes data in real-time
An easy-to-use interface allows customized views of the longwall system from any angle. The visualizer tool provides the ability to select specific data points on key pieces of equipment and have them displayed in real time. The interface is customizable to meet the specific needs of the user. Data points are color coded by function and can be organized on the visualizer. This allows system operators to make better informed decisions to improve the overall productivity of the system.
Customize using your specific equipment
The longwall visualization tool uses the same CAD modeling data that was used to design and manufacture the equipment to fully replicate the equipment operating in your mine. This allows operators to rapidly become familiar with key components and the operation of the longwall equipment.
Train your operators
Longwall visualization also allows for mining companies to provide training to operators in a safe environment that fully visualizes and enhances in 3D the equipment and conditions in which they will be working. Trainees get exposure to the complexities in the operation of the various systems without any impact on productivity or damage to equipment, resulting in trainees who are better prepared to make decisions in an operating environment.
Record and playback historical data
The visualization system offers full record and play back capabilities in 3D allowing operators to review and analyze historical data in order to improve productivity and help identify best practices. This replay feature allows the user to select a specific date and time range to replay.
Interface with a proximity detection system
Our longwall visualization system is fully compatible with our longwall proximity detection system allowing system users to not only see the equipment in operation but the location of the operators as well.