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Jul 8, 2021

WearSense™ reduces operating costs by monitoring chute liner wear in real-time

Piero Velletri
Piero Velletri
Global Product Manager
Variability in ore type and changes in liner materials can impact the wear rates experienced by the liners used to protect the inner walls of transfer and feed chutes. This variability can lead to increased operational costs due to unplanned maintenance which may be required to replace highly worn liners. Alternatively, high maintenance costs may occur due to the scheduled replacement of plates still in good condition. Regular inspection of the liner condition can reduce these costs but requires the plant to be stopped. This reduces productivity and poses a safety risk for the maintenance personnel who need to enter the chute. Here we look at how WearSense can safely provide visibility on liner condition with actionable insights to reduce maintenance costs.

What is WearSense™, and how does it work?

WearSense is a self-contained wear management system consisting of proprietary IoT sensors that monitor wear and other key parameters, a gateway that connects to cloud-based storage and processing algorithms and a web-based user interface. It is primarily designed to monitor the wear in chute liners and provides near real-time information on remaining material thickness and the ability to estimate the remaining liner life.

The wear sensors, which are the foundation of the WearSense system, are attached to the chute liners and constantly measure the remaining material thickness. Each sensor has a small probe that penetrates through the liner to the wear surface. The probe wears with the liner, providing an accurate indication of the remaining thickness of the liner at that point. The wear sensor continually monitors the probe length and wirelessly conveys this information through the gateway to the cloud database, where it’s processed and stored. The data is accessed through a web-based user interface that provides information on current liner thickness and charts showing liner thickness changes over time.

How is WearSense™ installed, and can I use it with any liners?

The WearSense system consists of two main physical components, the sensors and the gateway. Several types of gateways are available depending on individual client requirements. But in general, the gateway will be installed in a permanent cabinet close to the asset and will be wired to receivers around the asset, which communicate wirelessly to the sensors.

The sensors themselves are usually attached directly to the back of the liner, with the probes penetrating through the liner to the wear surface. If Metso Outotec Taper-T™ attachments are being used to secure the liners, the wear sensor can be embedded directly in the fastener, requiring no additional modifications to the liner or chute wall. The Taper-T™ attachment with the embedded sensor is inserted from the inside of the chute while the liner is installed, with no access required to the outside of the chute.

When combined with a Taper-T™ fastener, the wear sensor can be installed with liner from the inside of the chute.

If the liners are being secured by some other means, a hole is required to accommodate an insert that is welded or screwed into the back of the liner. A clearance hole is also needed in the chute wall to accommodate the sensor, although often existing UT (ultrasonic thickness) inspection openings can be used. The sensor is then screwed directly into the insert after the liner has been fitted to the chute wall. The WearSense system can be used with any metallic or ceramic liners, and the wear sensors have been successfully installed in weld overlay, Q&T plate, cast liners and ceramic tiles.

How does WearSense™ help you decide when to change your liners?

WearSense continually monitors the remaining thickness at each sensor location and reports this information through the gateway to the cloud. When the data has reached the cloud, it is securely stored, processed, and available for viewing in the web app. Since the liner thickness is continuously recorded over time, the data can also be used to estimate the average wear rate, enabling predictions of the remaining liner life.

The web app can be used in two ways to assist in maintenance planning. If the next scheduled maintenance date is pre-set, the shut date can be entered directly into the Liner GA page in the web app, which will then update to show the expected condition of the liners at that date. Alternatively, if maintenance dates are flexible, predictions on the chart view can be used to estimate when the worst liner will reach the end of its serviceable life.

In addition, users can store future planned shut dates directly in the web app. The built-in algorithms will automatically identify the liners that will need to be changed and generate an itemised list that the maintenance planners can use to prepare for the shut-down. As well as assisting in the maintenance planning process, WearSense helps to protect the asset by detecting excessive wear before damaging the chute wall.

Product page
Online wear monitoring
WearSense™ is a wireless online wear monitoring system. It can be fitted to any metallic or ceramic liners independent of attachment systems. It monitors wear in real time and tells you when to change liners.
Jul 26, 2021
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