Fenner transforming safety with iBelt BeltGauge

Fenner Dunlop is revolutionising safety within the mining industry with its intelligent conveying products and services. 

The iBelt BeltGauge provides mobile monitoring solutions that reduces the need for manual inspections of mine sites, which can have serious implications to the safety of personnel on site. 

“Some of our customers in the Pilbara have over 100 conveyor systems onsite, which would traditionally mean a larger workforce required to complete the belt thickness reports,” senior diagnostics service coordinator Steve Fidoe said. 

“By investing in BeltGauge, our customers are able to reduce the number of people required onsite – less people means less risk and less time spent onsite.” 

BeltGauge is available in a fixed or mobile unit – the fixed unit provides 24/7 autonomous monitoring, removing the need for any technicians onsite performing hazardous tasks. 

The mobile unit doesn’t eliminate technicians from site, however, it does reduce risk of damage to equipment, the conveyor system and most importantly, the person performing the scan. 

The core hardware has not changed much from the first-generation Online Thickness Tester (OTT), however, the new BeltGauge units are more ergonomic and flexible in design. 

“The previous OTT units were long and weighed approximately 30kgs. This came with vehicle load restraints and potential manual handling hazards, not to mention days lost just getting the equipment to site,” Fidoe said. 

“As you can imagine, equipment that is 3m long is difficult to manoeuvre; clipping together the mobile BeltGauge is a much more streamlined approach.” 

The new unit design has reduced the weight by over 50 per cent, meaning that freight and manual handling are no longer a safety issue. 

“In the past it has been nearly impossible to obtain thickness readings safely for certain applications, such as elevated systems with narrow gangways or short-cycle stacker systems where angles are constantly changing and there is limited space for installs,” Fidoe said. 

The fixed BeltGauge unit is the permanent option for sites wanting 24/7 autonomous monitoring. 

“The fixed unit is a tool that allows sites to effectively utilise their ConMon teams – it doesn’t replace condition monitoring onsite, but instead acts as an additional asset making teams more accurate, more efficient and able to take decisive action in the lead up to shut downs,” Fidoe said. 

“On one site alone, BeltGauge identified at least eight conveyors that were suffering significant wear, which the site was consequently able to address prior to it becoming a major issue.” 

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