Medium-voltage Drive System Provides Wide Customization Capabilities

Vacon 3000, Danfoss’s first medium-voltage drive, is a “definite-purpose” modular drive specifically configured to the application, which for mines could be slurry pumps, ventilation fans, ball mills, compressors, extruders, mixers, centrifuges and excavators. Designed to meet the specific needs of applications between 3,300–4160 volts, the drive features a customized enclosure to serve the unique needs of the end customer.

Dan Isaksson, vice president of medium-voltage drives, said all other medium-voltage drives on the market today are prepackaged. “There are some differences between different suppliers, but they are all prepackaged by the supplier with some varying options, but intend to serve all applications in all regions for all customers,” he said. “This is great if you are a manufacturer. Unfortunately, average is not good enough. We need definite-purpose products that serve the real needs of that individual specific end-user in that segment for that application.”

The Vacon 3000 drive can be configured for 2-8 megawatt (MW) ventilation fans, 1-8 MW ball mills and 1-3 MW conveyors with multiple motors, as well as other mining applications.

The Vacon 3000 features a fully-
graphical user interface; a simplified precharge unit design that needs no precharging resistors and that limits the inrush of current; flexible front-end configuration options, including a diode front-end-based 12-pulse configuration, and an active front-end option for regenerative braking and low harmonics; passive components for the drive system; and inverter units that are compact, robust and liquid-cooled. The drive can be configured for 2- to 8-megawatt (MW) ventilation fans, 1- to 8-MW ball mills, 1- to 6-MW boiler feed water pumps with speeds up to 4,000 rpm, and 1- to 3-MW conveyors with multiple motors. Primary protective functions include detection of torque and power limit, current limit, overcurrent, overvoltage, undervoltage, loss of auxiliary power, loss of communication, and ground fault.

Danfoss is partnering with training
and certifying system integrators and
original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to market, sell, represent, install, service and maintain the drive systems and products. “We provide this value-added opportunity for system integrators and OEMs. We do this by providing a kit—medium-voltage drive core components—to our partners, who then have the ability to provide specific solutions in that specific segment where they are active,” Isaksson said.

Partner engineers will receive tools, support and training, and will be able to access Danfoss services through a dedicated portal, which will ultimately enable a transfer of knowledge and sharing of expertise to and from various sects, said Claudio Baccarelli, medium-voltage drive partner program director. “We are putting together a certification process where we will ensure that our partners will get their engineering staff certified by us. The partners will have access to all of the services we provide online via a portal.”

Danfoss is optimistic about its opportunities in the medium-voltage drive market, Baccarelli said. “The market is big, about $2.5 billion globally. We want to help our partners to address part of this market with our product.”


‘Digital Mine’ Solution has Potential to Deliver Savings From Data Analysis

GE Mining, a division of GE Transportation, recently unveiled its Digital Mine concept—a suite of technologies that it claims can improve mine performance, reliability, safety and operations. Powered by GE’s Predix, an open, cloud-based operating platform built exclusively for industry, the Digital Mine combines machine sensors, connectivity, data capture, visualization and analytics to support management of an asset’s lifecycle.

GE Mining’s suite of condition-monitoring capabilities collects information such as vibration data, temperature and pressure to inform mine operators of machine health, and also detects impending failures before they occur. Data collected from disparate systems enables the linking of insights across machines and processes, which can lead to better predictivity and decreased likelihood of accidents, all while increasing productivity.

The company said its digital solutions have the potential to help customers reduce equipment failures, deliver up to 5% improvement in mineral recovery, and increase optimization. For example, it cited a gold mining customer that maximized mineral recovery by 1.5%, equivalent to nearly $1 million a year. A platinum mine customer increased smelter throughput by 10% while improving recovery.


Cat Picks Vendor for AR Maintenance Support System

Scope AR, a San Francisco-based augmented reality (AR) systems developer, recently announced a license agreement with Caterpillar to provide an AR-based live support video-calling platform built specifically for the unique remote assistance needs of industries using heavy machinery. The partnership, according to the two companies, is aimed at providing the ability for the Caterpillar dealer network to apply AR technology for live support in repairing, troubleshooting a problem or conducting maintenance on equipment.

“This is about delivering an entirely new, interactive interface for remote workers to more effectively and efficiently communicate with experts in real-time, wherever they are,” said Scott Montgomerie, CEO and co-founder of Scope AR. “With machinery and equipment becoming increasingly complex, we are excited to partner with Caterpillar to provide the technology tools they need to share expert knowledge more quickly and deliver the remote support needed to get equipment back up and running faster.”

The new platform is based upon Scope AR’s Remote AR technology—an AR-based remote assistance application—and will include advanced features specific to the industries surrounding Cat products. The platform combines AR with live video streaming, voice, live annotation, screen-sharing and white-boarding to simulate the effectiveness of having “an expert looking over your shoulder,” providing step-by-step guidance, according to Scope AR.


Wärtsilä Signs to Keep the Power Flowing at Simberi Gold’s PNG Mine Site

Power systems supplier Wärtsilä, based in Helsinki, Finland, has signed a two-year maintenance and advisory agreement with Simberi Gold Co. for scheduled maintenance as well as expert advisory services to ensure continuous and sufficient power supply for Simberi’s gold mine operations on Simberi Island. The 10-MW Simberi power plant, located approximately 900 km northeast of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, operates in isolation from the national electricity distribution network.

Simberi Gold is a subsidiary of St. Barbara, an Australian ASX-listed gold producer and explorer. St. Barbara’s assets include the Leonora operations in Western Australia and Simberi in Papua New Guinea. The Simberi mine, which started production in 2008, produced 110,000 oz of gold in the last financial year.

Wärtsilä said its technical advisory services support customers’ on-site personnel. Advice and recommendations are provided for planning of plant operations, engine maintenance and daily running of the power plant’s equipment. Wärtsilä’s service personnel are available to assist in troubleshooting and provide training of power plant personnel.

“Our first priority is to keep our customers’ operations running as smoothly as possible. With these agreements, we can help Simberi keep the power plant supporting the gold mine in good working condition and prevent unexpected disruptions,” commented John Sydney, director–SUAA and managing director–Wärtsilä Services, Australia.

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