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Future Fibre Technologies launches new conveyor health monitoring system

Published by , Assistant Editor
Dry Bulk,

Conveyor systems play a crucial role in underpinning efficiency, and ultimately profitability, in bulk handling operations globally. Conveyor maintenance has traditionally been a real problem, with conventional methods of advanced conveyor failure detection often unreliable, subjective, time-consuming and labour-intensive. But that's all about to change.

The release by Future Fibre Technologies (FFT) - a business within the Technology Division of AVA Risk Group Limited - of its new Aura IQ solution is set to revolutionise conveyor health monitoring by using real time data to optimise production and on-site performance, enhance occupational health, hygiene and safety management, and introduce exciting new predictive maintenance and support capabilities to asset management. 


Aura IQ harnesses the power of FFT’s award winning fibre optic detection and sensing technology platform (FFT TM Aura Ai-2), and is combined with development partner, Mining3's advanced signal processing algorithms and predictive analytics, to acoustically monitor and assess conveyor health via the cloud-based analysis, reporting and alerts. 


Aura IQ Cloud and IoT Network

The Aura IQ Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) Network solution provides a means to wirelessly connect one or more Aura IQ Edge Servers to a central cloud reporting and analytics platform. This enables alerts and reports from conveyor assets - located anywhere in the world - to be accessible on any Internet enabled device in near real-time, with no specialist software or equipment.  

Conveyor health monitoring and intelligence platform

Providing deeper insights to maintenance technicians, site personnel, regional operational hubs and global headquarters, conveyors are automatically connected to the cloud via an Industrial Grade Wireless IoT gateway, enabling daily asset reliability reports from every conveyor, at every site around the world.

How it works

Aura IQ is a low cost, highly reliable solution for monitoring, measuring and detecting conveyor roller health - with no power required at the point of measurement.

Aura IQ transmits a series of short, laser pulses along a single fibre optic cable retrofitted along the length of a conveyor. Acoustic disturbances from the conveyor system cause microscopic changes in the backscattered laser light that is then categorised into known parameters.  Data is simultaneously gathered from every metre of the conveyor and processed by Aura IQ to pre-emptively alert operators, either on or off-site (in operational hubs or control rooms), to potential failures before they happen. This includes: 

  • Detecting a broken ball or a cracked cage in a ball race.
  • Observing and tracking idler bearings as they progressively wear.
  • Predicting potential bearing seizures and prioritising roller replacements at the next maintenance shut down.

Commenting on the launch of Aura IQ, Ava Risk Group Limited's Head of Innovation, Extractives and Energy Andrew Hames said that distributed fibre optic acoustic monitoring is the way of the future for conveyor health monitoring. 

"This is a game changing solution which will optimise conveyor performance and create substantial cost savings for operators. A typical conveyor can have up to 7000 bearings per kilometre, which means 7000 potential points of failure. Aura IQ can monitor the condition of every conveyor roller - eliminating the need to "walk the belt" and allowing a controlled and scheduled plan of roller maintenance and replacement to be put in place. With Aura IQ, costly delays from roller failure are a thing of the past, while less manual involvement reduces health and safety risks. Taking a formalised and proactive approach to asset health monitoring means data can also be used to optimise maintenance strategies - reducing reliance on costly manual inspections and demonstrating ongoing compliance with operational standards," Hames says.

Having successfully completed surface and sub-surface testing with some of the world’s largest mining houses and at bulk material handling facilities, Aura IQ now available for sale globally.

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