Michelin unveils MEMS4 earthmover management system

The next generation of Michelin’s MEMS mining tyre management system is now available. With the release of its MEMS4 system, the tyre maker has added real-time GPS and accelerator data, and by doing so says its current TPMS offer has been transformed into a “complete monitoring and reporting platform for tyres, trucks, mine haulage and vehicle cycle analysis.”

Michelin believes its new system to be the only TPMS system on the market with the ability to record data uniquely to each tyre serial number. MEMS4 also uses an improved data capture tool (readable by Android mobile devices) that interfaces with a new web-based software platform. Available to buy or rent, MEMS4 has a new transceiver and active antenna to work with the sensors – these send data in real-time direct to the machine cab and the mine’s control room.

According to Michelin, the “breakthrough” advance over the previous generation of MEMS is the upgraded system using GPS and accelerometer data; this allows users to manage not only tyres, but also key aspects of the mine’s transport system. The new functionality gives exact truck position and status, geo-fencing and vehicle cycle analysis. These helps increase safety, productivity, reliability and truck availability, whilst reducing maintenance and tyre costs.

Truck position – each machine is geo-localised in real-time on a map. This not only allows close monitoring of all production and transportation, but shows truck status and any levels of alarm.

Geo-fencing – this facility permits zones to be defined within the mine and rules assigned (such as speed, safety zone alerts and corners) according to the local conditions. Safety is the first priority in all mines and having real-time management of the fleet and operations will contribute to the safest possible working environment.

Vehicle cycle analysis – the accelerometers give precise data about machine and tyre usage, and this can be used for haul road design and optimisation. Similarly, if tyres are seen to be heating up, the dumper can be moved to a less harsh cycle, or truck and cycles alternated to minimise incidents and maintenance. Michelin says this thermal monitoring function will become fully available in 2018.

Tyre management – every individual tyre, whether ballasted or not, is monitored from the moment it is fitted until removal. Monitoring is performed by a sensor (that never needs recalibration and has an average life of 14,000 hours) which constantly measures the temperature and pressure, and even makes allowances for seasonal temperatures with its smart pressure algorithm. With tyres costing up to US$30,000, pressure maintenance is vital as Michelin estimates that tyre life is reduced by 20 per cent for every 1 Bar (14.5 PSI) of under inflation. With MEMS4, the driver and control room are alerted with real-time alarms if any problems with tyre temperature or pressure are detected – and as replacing a tyre can take up to eight hours and cost up to $200,000 in lost production and tyre costs (given production costs of $500,000 per 24 hours of production), minimising tyre incidents and downtime is critical. Additionally, MEMS4 eliminates the need for costly and time consuming on-site tyre pressure checks, as tyre pressures are monitored from the control room.

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