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Viability study of low-cost sensors and supervisory software for production control in belt conveyor

Grant number: 20/00979-0
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: November 01, 2020 - July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mining Engineering
Principal researcher:Rodrigo de Castro Baker Botelho
Grantee:Rodrigo de Castro Baker Botelho
Company:Dynamine Consultoria em Engenharia Ltda
CNAE: Serviços de engenharia
City: São Paulo
Associated scholarship(s):21/01123-5 - Viability study of low-cost sensors and supervisory software for production control in belt conveyor, BP.PIPE


The mineral sector accounts for 4% of the National GDP. Despite this number, there's a lack of investments and innovation in this industry, especially in the additives and aggregate materials for the building industry. The aggregates for the building industry, sand and gravel, are considered as low cost goods due to the characteristics of its processing, based on crushing and sifting. The extraction is spatially fragmented, 90% consisting of small and medium-sized quarries and sand ports. However, in Brazil the sand and gravel production are the positioned in second and third in terms of production volume of mineral goods, according to the data published by the National Department of Mineral Production. Due the low-cost characteristic, the aggregate producers are susceptible to market changes and cost pressure, constantly looking for cost reduction and process optimization. This is further enhanced by lack of innovation in small productions, which is focused in big players. Considering the context in which they are subordinated, this work objective is to present a study on the viability of a low-cost production control system for small and medium sand and gravel producers, enabling production monitoring and stockpile control, leading to production optimization and cost reduction for small companies. Therefore, the team intends to develop low-cost flow meters to collect data about the production and a supervisory software to manipulate and transmit, in real-time, production data to Operations room and smartphones across the mine. The impact of the proposed software on this kind of operation is hard to be measured, since these companies lean on everyday experience to control their production, thus no previous reliable information is available. As such, the introduction of this technology can already be considered as a game changer for the sector. Additionally, the real-time production control will allow idle time and down time verification, maintenance stop frequency, stockpile control and sales planning, just to cite some. (AU)

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