The Sentinel eBoltsA System Description
The Sentinel eBolts–What Are They?
The electronic bolt (eBolt) is a wear indicator bolt which communicates directly with the Kaltech Sentinel software. This provides live remote monitoring of the thickness of liners in both SAG and Ball mills.
By extending the bolt heads and inserting the Sentinel technology into standard steel liner bolts, the extended head of the eBolt wears down as the liner wears, and reports predetermined wear events while the mill is still running.
By utilizing the correct array of eBolts spread out over the known high-wear areas on the shell and feed end liners, the eBolts capture the broad and singular wear events and reports them directly to the user via the interactive software platform.
Mill availability remains one of the most significant markers of efficient mill operation, and a key performance indicator for many concentrator managers.
The eBolt provides the ability to significantly reduce the mill downtime required to perform liner thickness measurements and can inform decisions on mill maintenance planning. Rather than losing several hours of mill availability to assess liner thickness, the eBolt can inform the metallurgist on the necessity of conducting laser scans or more detailed liner inspections.
This results in the reclamation of dozens of additional hours of mill availability and associated revenue each year.
Elimination of Safety Risks
Anytime a mill inspection is required, safety risks are introduced.
The mixing of people and plant necessitates the use of extensive procedures and protocols to manage the risks associated with entering the mill.
The use of eBolts reduces the need to enter the mill, thereby reducing the risks associated with mill entry.
Reduction in safety incidents is a win-win for both management and personnel.
Live Wear Monitoring
The eBolts provide wear indication in the:
- Feed or Shell Ends of SAG Mills
- Feed, Shell and Discharge Ends of Ball Mills
Live liner wear data is captured by each eBolt and displayed remotely via the Kaltech Sentinel software. The software communicates this data via a platform and can be configured to send alerts to the operator if preconfigured conditions are triggered.
Reoccurring problems experienced by mill operators typically include changes to key personnel, changing liner suppliers and/or designs or changing ore types throughout the mine life. A resolution to these repetitive issues can be found by utilizing the eBolt historical data to optimize decision making.
Mills with a tendency for unpredictable or accelerated wear (including charge racing) can be susceptible to potential damage to the mill shell. Utilizing an array of eBolts provides continuous monitoring so that unpredictable events are identified early and mitigated.