This September, Codelco ran an article explaining why their Gabriela Mistral division uses ShovelMetrics™ Missing Tooth Detection and Tooth Wear Monitoring to prevent high-risk crusher obstructions. Now, the Chilean mining giant has shared a second story about the value of our solution. Read on to learn how Codelco’s Andina Division uses ShovelMetrics™ to prevent downstream equipment damage caused by broken shovel teeth. You can read the original Spanish article here.
Mining Giant Codelco Uses an Innovative Sensor-based Solution to Detect Missing Teeth
State-owned Codelco has become the world’s largest copper producer because the company focuses on productivity and continually seeks new ways to improve their operations through technology. One of these technologies is currently deployed at its Andina Division.
Codelco’s Andina Division operates the Río Blanco mine, known for its rich deposit since 1920. Early attempts to begin its exploitation eventually came to fruition 50 years later, in 1970, with the establishment of Andina Mining Company.
Located 80 kilometres northeast of Santiago, between 3 700 and 4 200 metres above sea level, this division uses both open-pit and underground mineral extraction techniques and has the most important mineral reserves of any Codelco mine.
In 2017, the Andina Division produced 220 030 metric tons of fine copper and much of that achievement was thanks to a simple solution that detects missing shovel teeth.
Diego Marchant, Condition Monitoring Engineer at the division, explained that the solution is an online monitoring system that uses a camera to identify broken teeth (it uses an LED light during the night). “This technology detects missing shovel teeth through image processing,” he explained.
The technology has been previously tested at the Gabriela Mistral Division. This solution can identify when a tooth breaks in order to avoid later damages during the production process.
The Andina Division is located more than 3 000 metres above sea level in the Valparaíso region. Its operation combines open-pit and underground exploitation methods. Currently, this division exploits minerals at the Río Blanco underground mine and the Sur Sur open-pit mine.