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The Pennsylvania State University

The Graduate School


College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

INTEGRATED DATA ENVIRONMENT FOR ANALYSIS AND


CONTROL OF ENERGY CONSUMPTION (IDE-ACE) IN SURFACE
COAL MINING

A Dissertation in
Mining Engineering
by
Dragan Bogunovic

2008 Dragan Bogunovic

Submitted in Partial Fulfillment


of the Requirements
for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy

December 2008

The dissertation of Dragan Bogunovic was reviewed and approved* by following:

Vladislav Kecojevic
Associate Professor of Mining Engineering
Dissertation Adviser, Chair of Committee
R. Larry Grayson
Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering
Maochen Ge
Associate Professor of Mining Engineering
Dongwon Lee
Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology
Yaw D. Yeboah
Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering
Head of the Department of Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering

*Signatures are on file in Graduate School.

ii

ABSTRACT
The U.S. mining industry consumes a significant amount of energy, primarily diesel fuel
and electricity. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy indicates the energy
consumption of about 1,246 trillion Btu (365 billion kWh) annually. The continuous
global increases in energy demand, energy prices as well as the environmental impact
relating to CO2 emissions represent a substantial challenge for the industry.
Currently, coal mines use state-of-the-art technology integrated into sophisticated
systems that monitor production and equipment performance in real-time. However,
frequent data acquisition results in multiple, unrelated, data storages simultaneously
inducing an industry-wide problem of being data rich and information poor.
This dissertation presents the results of research work on the development of an
integrated data environment system for analysis and control of energy (IDE-ACE)
consumption in a surface coal mining operation.
The IDE-ACE is able to provide answers to the crucial questions of when, where, and
how much energy is being used in the mining production chain. A high energy consumer
(equipment) can be isolated by the integrated analytical processes and data recorded in a
centralized database. The system integrates additional features that utilize the existing
real-time data sources in order to optimize equipment working parameters, lower
production costs, and reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission. A case study on an
operating surface coal mine is carried out to demonstrate the practical application of the
developed system. The methodology developed in this dissertation can be used as a
benchmark for calculation of energy consumption in surface coal mining. Additionally,
the results of the study indicate that a case study mine is likely to benefit in energy
savings of approximately quarter million dollars on the annual basis.

iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

List of Tables .... vii


List of Figures .... viii
List of Equations ... xii
List of Symbols ...... xiv
Acknowledgment .. xvi
Dedication . xvii

Chapter 1
1

INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................... 1

1.1 Background ............................................................................................................................. 1


1.2 Problem Statement .................................................................................................................. 4
1.3 Scope of Work......................................................................................................................... 8

Chapter 2
2

LITERATURE REVIEW ...................................................................................................... 10

Chapter 3
3

IDE-ACE METHODOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ................................................................ 20

iv

3.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 20


3.2 Proposed Technical Approach .............................................................................................. 20
3.2.1

Hardware Requirements for IDE-ACE......................................................................... 23

3.2.2

Phase I Process Analysis ........................................................................................... 24

3.2.3

Phase II - Design .......................................................................................................... 26

3.2.4

Phase III Development .............................................................................................. 43

3.2.4.1

Integrated Database Block IDB ........................................................................ 43

3.2.4.2

Database Management Block DMB ................................................................. 49

3.2.4.3

Data Analysis Tool DAT .................................................................................. 51

3.2.4.3.1 CO2 Analysis Emission from the Coal ......................................................... 74


3.2.4.3.2 CO2 Analysis Emission from the Liquid Fuels............................................. 76
3.2.4.3.3 The Performance Indicator (PI) ....................................................................... 77
3.2.4.3.4 Operator Performance Evaluation - Analytical Hierarchical Process ............. 79
3.2.4.3.5 Statistical Analysis and Model Development .................................................. 87
3.2.4.4

Web Reporting Block WRB ............................................................................. 88

3.2.5

Phase IV Testing........................................................................................................ 91

3.2.6

Phase V Deployment ................................................................................................. 91

Chapter 4
4

THE IDE-ACE IN APPLICATION RESULTS AND DISCUSSION .............................. 92

4.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 92


4.2 Data Collection...................................................................................................................... 93
4.3 Dragline Experiment ............................................................................................................. 95
4.4 Data Management Block - Interface Infrastructure ............................................................. 102
4.5 Reporting System Block Interface Infrastructure ............................................................. 116
4.6 Data Analysis Block Interface Infrastructure ................................................................... 122
4.6.1

Design of Experimental Tool (DET) .......................................................................... 124

4.6.2

Dragline Data Analysis Tool (DDAT) ....................................................................... 127

4.6.2.1
4.6.3

Data Retrieval .................................................................................................... 128

Data Analysis.............................................................................................................. 130

4.7 Data Analysis Mobile Equipment .................................................................................... 145


4.8 Data Analysis - CO2 Emission ............................................................................................ 148
4.9 Data Analysis Energy Summary ...................................................................................... 150
4.10

Electricity Consumption/Productivity Model Development ........................................... 152

4.10.1

Significant Variables .............................................................................................. 152

4.10.2

Models Building ..................................................................................................... 154

4.10.2.1
4.10.3

Criterion Selection Procedure ............................................................................ 156


Model Validation ................................................................................................... 161

4.11

Diesel Fuel Consumption Model .................................................................................... 167

4.12

Chapter Summary ........................................................................................................... 170

Chapter 5
5

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.................................................................................. 172

5.1 Summary ............................................................................................................................. 172


5.2 Recommendations for Further Research ............................................................................. 177
6

REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... 178

vi

LIST OF TABLES

Table 2-1: Energy Requirements for a 9,967 ton/day Hypothetical Interior Surface Coal Mine ......... 12
Table 2-2: Energy Requirements for a 27,778 ton/day Hypothetical Western Surface Coal Mine....... 13
Table 3-1: The Relationships Arithmetic .............................................................................................. 40
Table 3-2: The Load Factor Guide (Cat, 2007) ..................................................................................... 53
Table 3-3: Fuel Consumption Based on The Load Conditions (Cat, 2007) .......................................... 54
Table 3-4: Fixed Carbon Content (Stefanko, 1983) .............................................................................. 75
Table 3-5: Numerical Scale for Comparative Judgment of Indicators .................................................. 81
Table 3-6: The Overall Weights Resulting from the Pairwise Comparison .......................................... 86
Table 3-7: Review of Technologies and Tools for IDE-ACE Development......................................... 90
Table 4-1: Summary of the Results ....................................................................................................... 96
Table 4-2: The Analysis of CO2 Results ............................................................................................. 135
Table 4-3: Summary Statistics for Models (Minitab Output).............................................................. 154
Table 4-4: Models and Summary of Statistics for Three Energy Models ........................................... 160
Table 4-5: Regression Results Based on Model-Building and Validation Data Sets Model 1 ........ 164
Table 4-6: Regression Results Based on Model-Building and Validation Data Sets Model 2 ........ 165
Table 4-7: Regression Results Based on Model-Building and Validation Data Sets Model 3 ........ 166
Table 4-8: Regression Results Based on Model-Building and Validation Data Sets Diesel Fuel
Consumption .............................................................................................................................. 169

vii

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 3-1: Methodology for IDE-ACE Development ................................................................. 22


Figure 3-2: Communication Among the System Elements ........................................................... 23
Figure 3-3: Schematic Overview of the Coal Extraction Process (P&H, 2003) ............................ 28
Figure 3-4: Common Coal Extraction Process (SME, 1992) ......................................................... 29
Figure 3-5: A General Relational Database Model RDM........................................................... 33
Figure 3-6: Structure of Inherited Data Sources ............................................................................ 35
Figure 3-7: An Example of Using Preliminary Field List to Identify Table List .......................... 36
Figure 3-8: An Example of the Final Table List ............................................................................ 37
Figure 3-10: An Example of Table and Its Elements for IDE-ACE .............................................. 39
Figure 3-11: The Table Relationship Matrix ................................................................................. 40
Figure 3-12: An ER Relationship Diagram Developed in Microsoft VISIO Case Tool................ 42
Figure 3-13: An Example of SQL Query ....................................................................................... 44
Figure 3-14: The Fuel Extractor .................................................................................................... 45
Figure 3-15: Existing Data Sources in MS Excel .......................................................................... 46
Figure 3-16: The Primary Key Converter ...................................................................................... 47
Figure 3-17: The Overview of Tables in the SQL Server Management Studio ............................. 48
Figure 3-18: The Diagram Fuel Consumption in IDE-ACE Database .......................................... 49
Figure 3-19: Fuel Consumption Ranges ........................................................................................ 56
Figure 3-20: Logic Flow of Determining High Energy Consumer ................................................ 57
Figure 3-21: The Initial Screen for the Experiment ....................................................................... 60
Figure 3-22: The Screen Located in the Dragline Cab .................................................................. 60
Figure 3-23: The Single Report for Operator Performance for One Experimental Target ............ 61
Figure 3-24: The Dragline Cycle Phases ....................................................................................... 62

viii

Figure 3-25: The Form to Gather Data in the Fill Phase ............................................................... 64
Figure 3-26: The Form to Gather Data in the Hoist and Swing Phase .......................................... 65
Figure 3-27: The Form to Gather Data in the Return and Positioning Phase ................................ 66
Figure 3-28: Cycle Detection (Accuweigh, 2003) ......................................................................... 67
Figure 3-29: Payload Weight (Accuweigh, 2003) ......................................................................... 67
Figure 3-30: The Relationship Between the Fill Time SQL and Measured Fill Time................... 69
Figure 3-31: Search Algorithm for the Best Fill Factor ................................................................. 73
Figure 3-32: The Performance Indicator Graphical Analysis ..................................................... 78
Figure 3-33: The Hierarchy Diagram Top-Down Approach ...................................................... 80
Figure 3-34: The Pairwise Comparison Algorithm........................................................................ 82
Figure 3-35: Comparison Matrix for Operator Assessment for the Selected Time Frame
Criterion. ............................................................................................................................... 85
Figure 3-36: Comparison Matrix for Operator Assessment Based on Annual Basis Criterion.. 85
Figure 3-37: The IDE-ACE Web Portal ........................................................................................ 89
Figure 4-1: Typical Cross-Section of the Mine ............................................................................. 93
Figure 4-2: Production Versus Different Cycle Times, Overall Time and Fill Factors ................. 98
Figure 4-3: Production Versus Fill Distance and Fill Speed ......................................................... 99
Figure 4-4: Production Versus Energy Required to Fill the Bucket ............................................ 100
Figure 4-5: The Summary of Experimental Results .................................................................... 101
Figure 4-6: User Interface - Windows Navigation Diagram........................................................ 103
Figure 4-7: The Main Screen of IDE ACE System ................................................................... 104
Figure 4-8: The Equipment Manager Screen. .............................................................................. 105
Figure 4-9: The Truck Production Manager Screen .................................................................... 106
Figure 4-10: The Scheduled Hours and Delays Manager ............................................................ 109
Figure 4-11: The Delay Category/Code Manager........................................................................ 110

ix

Figure 4-12: The Liquid Fuel and Electricity Allocation Forms ................................................. 111
Figure 4-13: The Employee Manager Form ................................................................................ 113
Figure 4-14: The Energy Manager ............................................................................................... 113
Figure 4-15: The History of Energy Prices .................................................................................. 114
Figure 4-16: The Road Condition Manager ................................................................................. 115
Figure 4-17: The Fuel Consumption Report ................................................................................ 117
Figure 4-18: Graphic Descriptive Statistics ................................................................................. 118
Figure 4-19: Electricity Consumption Report .............................................................................. 119
Figure 4-20: Production by Trucks Report .................................................................................. 121
Figure 4-21: The Dragline Analysis Tool (DET)......................................................................... 124
Figure 4-22: The Design of Experiment Form............................................................................. 125
Figure 4-23: The Experimental Target Form ............................................................................... 126
Figure 4-24: The DDAT Form Data Retrieval Objects ............................................................ 128
Figure 4-25: The DDAT Form Data Analysis Objects ............................................................. 130
Figure 4-26: The Chart Form ....................................................................................................... 132
Figure 4-27: The Normalized Form ............................................................................................. 132
Figure 4-28: The Average Values Form ...................................................................................... 133
Figure 4-29: The Summary Form ................................................................................................ 133
Figure 4-30: The CO2 Emission Form ......................................................................................... 134
Figure 4-31: Chart With Percentage Value of Change in CO2 Emission and Number of Buckets
............................................................................................................................................. 136
Figure 4-32: The Operators Performance Tool ............................................................................ 137
Figure 4-33: The Operators Evaluation for Selected Time Period .............................................. 141
Figure 4-34: The Operators Evaluation Extrapolated on an Annual Basis .................................. 141
Figure 4-35: The Operator Evaluation Based on the Minimum Unit Cost .................................. 142

Figure 4-36: The Boom Stress Report ......................................................................................... 144


Figure 4-37: The Pivot Chart Analysis Tool ................................................................................ 146
Figure 4-38: The Fuel Consumption Analysis Tool .................................................................... 147
Figure 4-39: The CO2 Emission Report ....................................................................................... 148
Figure 4-40: CO2 Emission from Facility .................................................................................... 149
Figure 4-41: The DOE Report ..................................................................................................... 151
Figure 4-42: The Correlation Matrix Between Variables ............................................................ 155
Figure 4-43: The Best Subset Regression Method....................................................................... 156
Figure 4-44: The Stepwise Regression Method ........................................................................... 157
Figure 4-45: Minitab Output for Regression Analysis Model 1 ............................................... 158

xi

LIST OF EQUATIONS

AVFC i

FCmin FCmax
2

(3-1) ....................................................................................... 54

CFCi AVFC i WH
FFCi CFCi

(3-2)............................................................................................. 55

CFCi 1
2

y 1.749x 0.5204
FF

BP SF
%
V MD

EC

EC DCS
CF 3,600

(3-3) ........................................................................................ 55
(3-4) ................................................................................................ 68

(3-5)................................................................................................. 70

(3-6) ...................................................................................................... 70

n ( FF )
n ( FF )


(i) P(i) / P(i) E ( j ) / E ( j )
i 1
j 1

BL

FD
L

(3-8) ............................................................................................................. 72

44
CO 2 TC FC [t ]
12
CO 2

(3-7) ........................................................... 72

(3-9) ................................................................................... 74

ELC
44
FC [t ]
EC 0.5862
12

CO2 FL CF [t ]

(3-10) ................................................................. 75

(3-11) ......................................................................................... 76

44
CC 0.99 0.0022
t
12
CF
gal
2000

(3-12) .............................................................. 76

xii

x
y
1
1 / x
1
p
A
1 / y 1 / p 1

1 / z 1 / q 1 / r

z
q
r

(3-13).................................................................................... 81

ES w1 s1 w2 s 2 ... wn s n

(3-14) .............................................................. 84

ES wi si

(3-15)................................................................................................. 84

i 1

Y= 0 + 1X1 + 2X2 + 3X3 + 4X4 + 5X5 + 6X6 ( 4-1) .................................................................. 153


Y= 0 + 1X1 + 2X2 + 3X3 + 4X4 + 5X5

F*=

( SSEr SSEf ) /( p q)
SSEf /(n p)

(4-2) ..................................................................... 153

(4-3) ................................................................................. 153

Y = 11.9 - 2.77 PI + 0.238 FT + 0.0317 HR - 0.0341 CT

(4-4) ....................................................... 158

Y = 0.201 - 0.000823 CT + 0.00395 FT + 0.000615 HR - 0.0414 PI


Y = 4067 - 48.4 CT + 44.9 + BKT - 3.61 HR

MSPR

(Y
i 1

(4-5) ........................................... 159

(4-6) .......................................................................... 159

Yi ) 2
n

Y = 654 + 0.0306 PR + 8.59 HR

(4-7)................................................................................. 163
(4-8) .................................................................... 168

xiii

LIST OF SYMBOLS

Average Fuel Consumption

AVFC

Bucket Length

Bucket Load

BL

Bucket Payload

BP

Calculated Fuel Consumption

CFC

Carbon Content

CC

Conversion Factor

CF

Data Analysis Component

DAC

Data Analysis Tool

DAT

Data Management Component

DMC

Database Management Block

DMB

Difference Between a Production and Energy Consumption

Drivers & Control Systems

DCS

Electricity Consumed by Equipment

ELC

Electricity Consumption

Energy Consumption

EC

Entity-Relationship

ER

Evaluation Score

ES

Fill Distance

FD

Fill Factor

FF

Final Fuel Consumption

FFC

Fix Carbon Content

FC

Foreign Key

FK

Graphical User Interface

GUI

Integrated Data Environment for Analysis and Control of Energy Consumption IDE-ACE
in Surface Coal Mine
Load Factor

LF

Local Area Network

LAN

Material Density

MD

Maximum Fuel Consumption

FCmax

xiv

Minimum Fuel Consumption

FCmin

Normalization Form

NF

Open Database Connectivity

ODBC

Performance Indicator

PI

Primary Key

PK

Production

Programmable Logical Controller

PLC

Relational Database Management

RDBM

Relational Database Model

RDM

Reporting System Component

RSC

Structured Query Language

SQL

Thermal Efficiency of Power Plant

Total Amount of Coal

TC

Total Fuel Consumption

TFC

Unified Modeling Language

UML

Unit-less Energy Consumption Recorded in the DCS Database

ECDCS

Vehicle Information Management System

VIMS

Visual Basic for Application

VBA

Volume of the Bucket

Web Reporting Block

WRB

Wireless Local Area Network

WLAN

Working Hours

WH

xv

Acknowledgment

I would like to express my sincere thanks to my advisor, Professor Vladislav Kecojevic,


for his tireless support and guidance. He has always provided me with useful ideas,
suggestions, and encouragement through the completion of this dissertation. With his
experience, knowledge, high standards in research, and financial support, he helped me to
rapidly overcome the research obstacles and finish this project.
I am also grateful to my thesis committee members, Professors R. Larry Grayson,
Maochen Ge, and Dongwon Lee whose precious comments helped me to improve the
research.
I thank the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering for continued financial
support through the years of my PhD studies. My special thanks to Robert Byers for his
friendship, assistance and professionalism while I was working as the departmental IT
assistant.
I express gratitude to the people in the mining company providing me their data, which I
used for this research.
Finally, I would like to thank all my colleagues and friends from the department for their
collaboration and friendship.

xvi

Dedication

To my wife, brother and parents.

xvii

Chapter 1
1 Introduction

1.1 Background

The mining industry is a vital part of the U.S. economy and comprises the production of
coal, metal, and non-metal minerals. Globally, the U.S. is one of the main consumers and
producers of mineral commodities. Almost 23.5 tons annually per person of different
materials must be mined from U.S. land (DOE, 2004). Furthermore, in the course of a
lifetime, each American will use approximately 1,750 tons of minerals, metals, and fuels
(DOE, 2002). Coal as the low-cost energy source is used to generate the largest portion of
the nations electricity supply. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration
(EIA, 2007) coal was used to generate 51.1 and 50.4 percent of electricity in 2005 and
2006, respectively. The United States is endowed with the largest coal reserves in the
world, and EIA (2007) estimates that recoverable reserves are about 268 billion tons. On
the basis of the current production rate of 1.1 billion tons per year, the U.S. has more than
240 years of coal.
The U.S. mining industry provides essential raw material for electricity generation,
production of cement, agricultural lime, the construction industry, electronics, asphalt,
medicine and many more. In other words, mining is and will remain a viable part of the
economy for many years (Kubach, 2004).

Mining involves three basic processes including (1) Material Extraction; (2) Materials
transport and Handling, and (3) Beneficiation and Processing. Primarily, these operations
have to be performed respecting the health and safety of miners the environment, and
economic viability of operations. The economic viability is associated with an energy
cost which is one of the largest components of the operating costs. The energy sources in
mining operations are diesel fuel, electricity, natural gas, coal, and gasoline, with
participation in total energy consumption of 34%, 32%, 22%, 10%, and 2%, respectively
(DOE, 2007). In surface coal mining, the electricity and diesel fuel are the most frequent
energy sources, while the most significant energy consumers are draglines, shovels,
trucks, belt conveyors, crushers, and bulldozers. According to the Mining Industry
Energy Bandwidth Study (DOE, 2007a) current energy consumption in the mining
industry is approximately 1,246 trillion Btu. It ranks as the sixth nationwide energyconsuming industry in the fuel and electricity category (Pallegrino et al., 2005).
Historically, energy conservation in the mining industry is one of the highest priorities.
Great progress has been made in the rational use of energy during the last three decades.
Ever since 1973, industry in general has been reducing its consumption of energy in order
to offset substantial increases in energy cost. Early studies carried out during the 1980s
show a trend of extensive usage of electricity for trolley-assisted trucks, in-pit crushers,
and belt conveyor systems (Rixen, 1981 and Chadwick, 1982).
During the 1990s there has been phenomenal growth in computing and communication
technology, which has transformed the mining industry from what was once an intensive
labor and highly dangerous occupation to a highly technological industry. These

advances in technology development were key to the mining industrys profitability and
sustainability (NMA, 1998).
Today, in reaching for simultaneous goals of cleaner and more energy-efficient
processes, the industry continuously reduces the costs of production. Initiative for energy
reduction in mining processes is accepted worldwide. The South African Department of
Minerals has set a goal to reduce current energy consumption by 15% by 2015 (Van Der
Merwe, 2007). Recently, a similar approach was established for Canadian open-pit
mines. The Mining Association of Canada (2005) provides comprehensive benchmarking
for energy consumption in mining operations based on measurements collected from
seven Canadian mines.
In an effort to make more efficient use of Americas domestic energy and mineral
resources, the U.S. Department of Energy used to fund research and development
projects related to energy efficiency in mining. As a result, several studies (DOE 2007,
2007a, 2007b, 2006, 2004, 2004a, 2003, 2002, EIA 2001) have been published. The
studies reveal the benchmarks, methods for calculating the energy consumption, and
ideas for energy saving.
The DOEs Mining Industry of the Future (IOF) program encouraged partnerships
between private industries, Federal government, and academia to strengthen the mining
position in the U.S. economy by providing new ideas and process improvements (DOE,
2004). One of the major objectives of the IOF strategy is to increase energy efficiency in
mining by reducing energy requirements and operational cost, and improving
productivity (Mosser, 2007; DOE, 2004b). Cooperatively, the Department of Energy and

National Mining Association identified specific mineral commodities that require


significant energy in extraction and preparation processes (DOE, 2002). Due to lack of
real field data about energy consumption, the DOE has developed a methodology to
determine the energy requirements for eight of the most important commodities that
require a significant amount of energy for extraction. These results have been used to
extrapolate energy requirements for another fifty commodities produced in the U.S.
However, the methodology used for calculation has numerous uncertainties in developing
these estimates, e.g., the ratio of mineral handled per unit of production, material
characteristics, mine region, etc. An additional problem represents a lack of data on
energy consumption from operating mines. Mining companies consider these data as
confidential and often they are not willing to release them to the outside world.

1.2 Problem Statement

The goal of consuming less energy per ton of ore extracted remains one of the key
objectives of the mining industry. A DOE study (2007a) revealed that the mining industry
consumes about 1,246 TBtu/year of energy (3,414 Btu =1kWh). Taking into account an
average electricity price for the industrial sector of 6.25 /kWh, the total cost of energy
consumed in U.S. mining is $22.81 billion. The coal industry alone consumes about 485
TBtu/year which translates to $8.88 billion per year.
According to a number of researchers and available publications (Rixen, 1981; DOE,
2002; MAC, 2005), including a recently published document Mining Industry Energy
4

Bandwidth Study (DOE, 2007), the Material Extraction and Handling, and Beneficiation
and Processing are the processes where most of the energy is being used as well as the
processes where a significant amount of energy can be saved. Surprisingly, the total
savings of 53% of current energy consumption can be achieved through investments in
state-of-the-art equipment and various R&D projects (DOE, 2007). However, the
percentage of energy savings requires additional validation since the methodology used
for the calculation relies on estimation of crucial variables (production and equipment
employed) and does not count for material properties, geometry of mine and many other
variables. These uncertainties emphasize the need for development of a new calculation
method which is based on real data from specific mining processes.
Reducing energy consumption in industry, in general, requires an effective energy
management system (Van Der Merwe, 2007). A number of researchers including Bush et
al. (2002), Dessureault (2007), and Harney (2007) concluded that successful energy
saving requires an endeavor to create a system that will be able to provide the answers to
the questions of when, where, and how much energy is being used in the mining
processes?
In other technologically advanced industries, the application of Information Technologies
(IT) and Information Systems (IS) allows managers and engineers to control the
production chain as an integrated process as an alternative to management of isolated
processes. The IS provides the framework that Harney (2007) considers as vital for
efficient utilization and savings of energy in any mining operation. The author underlines
that reduction in energy costs is feasible through accurate measurement of energy
consumption, identification of high-energy consumption units, awareness of how
5

production affects energy usage, maintaining the records about energy consumptions on a
regular basis, and by conveying information to everyone who has influence on energy
consumption. In other words, significant energy cost savings are attainable by treating the
energy as an asset instead of a non-manageable expense. Management of energy
resources requires an integrated information system capable of recording the changes in
energy consumption. The changes have to be recorded on a regular basis as either realtime or near real-time (Bush et al., 2002). Once the data about energy consumption
becomes available, benchmarking usage and establishing performance goals can be
accomplished.
Most of the modern mining operations use several databases to continuously accumulate
data. Data are collected either automatically (real time) or manually (near-real time). The
manually collected data are usually stored in different databases (MS Access, MS SQL,
MySQL, Oracle, etc.), spreadsheet tables (MS Excel) or paper-based reports. Additional
data source that makes data management more challenging is the existence of automated
systems such as DCS (by Drives & Controls Services, Inc) or VIMS (Vehicle
Information Management System by Caterpillar). These systems store raw data at
permanent locations, while the software supplied as an integral part of the automated
system generates default reports. Any analysis that goes beyond the reports provided by
the system manufacturer requires knowledge of information technology (IT) and database
management. The lack of IT-skilled personnel at the mines would mean that the data
from the likely useful databases becomes useless in the data warehouse. An example
situation is the DCS database which records data about energy consumption, while the
software delivered from the manufacturer provides the reports for production only. As

more data is being collected through the mining production chain, the mines are facing
the problem seen in other high technologically advanced industries: being data-rich
while information poor.
Even though the mining industry strives to seek adequate solutions for high energy
consumption, thorough results are not presented. The complexity of the mineral
extraction process defines two problems that the mining industry has not solved yet: (1)
difficulties in a management process caused by a variety of stochastic processes, and (2)
dissonance in information flow from places where energy is purchased to the auditing
unit.
An integration of data sources by developing an Information Model (IM) for a generic
coal mining process and an associated software application for data management might
help in the endeavor to reduce energy consumption in coal mining. Based on the
experience of other industries that also have disintegrated production processes, the
application of Information Technology (IT) and development of an Information System
(IS) becomes the preferred approach in the attempt to solve the problem of high energy
consumption in the mining industry.

1.3 Scope of Work

The major scope of this work is to:

Develop the Integrated Data Environment for Analysis and Control of Energy
Consumption (IDE-ACE) in surface coal mining;

Develop technology and methodologies that would be incorporated in the IDEACE to isolate high energy consumers based on integrated analytical processes
and data recorded in a centralized database;

Create a novel methodology capable of utilizing the production and energy


consumption data recorded by the DCS system in order to optimize equipment
working parameters and achieve reduction in electricity consumption.

Through this research the following research questions will be addressed:

1. Does the system have potential to provide a matrix for energy savings
recognizable by DOE and applicable for wider usage in the coal mining
industry?

2. What is the difference in unit energy consumption between results obtained by


the DOE methodology and the methodology suggested in this research?

3. Does the suggested Information System provide the answer to one of the crucial
problems in the mining industry, high energy consumption? If so, what are the
overall benefits after the system has been integrated into a mine, and how can
the benefits be quantified?

4.

Assuming that development of an Information System is an acceptable


approach to record and measure the production vs. energy consumption; what
methodology would be acceptable to use along with the Information System in
order to reduce energy consumption by optimizing working parameters without
replacing the equipment or requesting significant capital investment?

Chapter 2
2 Literature Review
In simple terms the mining industry is a complex interaction of disintegrated processes in
which significant amount of energy is consumed. The first step in an attempt to reduce
energy consumption is to identify the opportunities for energy savings. These
opportunities necessitate an energy management program with accurate and frequently
updated data sources. Even though the energy consumption data is partially collected
through the mining production chain, reliable information about energy consumption is
still not available. The major reason for a lack of reliable data comes from the fact that
mining companies do not make energy consumption data publicly available. Usually, this
type of information is considered to be confidential. Due to the lack of real data on
energy requirements the SHERPA Mine Cost Estimation Model (by Western Mining
Engineering, Inc.) is widely accepted as the methodology to calculate energy
requirements for the mining industry in most of DOEs documents.
The purpose of the SHERPA software is to estimate operating costs for mining
operations. The minimum input data requires only an approximate production rate and
haul distances for ore and waste (Western Mining Engineering, 2007). However, the
selection of input data has to be performed by an estimator who understands the mining
production chain, and particularly equipment requirements for a given production rate.
SHERPA does not consider the variability in mining operations defined through the rock
(soil) properties, mining methods, size of equipment, customer requirements, geology of
the ore body, geography, transportation requirements, or many other factors. These

10

uncertainties as well as the questionable validity of SHERPAs database, which may be


caused by minimal hardware requirements (386 processor, 2.5 Mb hard disk, and DOS
operating system), emphasize a need for development of a new generic methodology
specific to coal mining operations.
Historically, most of the publications regarding energy consumption and savings in the
mining industry have come from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), but only two
documents DOE (2002) and DOE (2007) provide quantitative data for energy
requirements in the mining industry.
DOE (2002) revealed the data for energy requirements on mining and beneficiation
processes for eight of the most important commodities (Coal; Potash, Soda Ash and
Borate; Iron; Copper; Lead and Zinc; Gold and Silver; Phosphate Rock; and Limestone).
These commodities are produced in the eastern, interior, and western mining regions of
the U.S. Focusing on the coal mining industry, the document provides data on energy
requirements calculated using SHERPA methodology for hypothetical surface coal
mine in the interior and western U.S. Analysis of these data shows discrepancies
generally categorized as (1) calculation errors, and (2) inappropriate and inconsistent
equipment selection. For example, the total unit energy requirement by all units for the
hypothetical western mine whose production is 27,778 ton/day is 55,359 Btu/ton, while
the total unit energy requirements by all units in the case of the hypothetical interior
mine with production of 9,967 ton/day is 77,317 Btu/ton. Based on these numbers, the
mine that has nearly three times larger capacity employs equipment that consumes about
28% less energy. Moreover, regarding equipment selection neither mine reports the use
of a dragline, even though it is (1) widely used as the overburden prime mover in surface
11

coal mining operations, and (2) recommended for small distances (70 ft.) i.e. for strip
mining in general. A summary of equipment used for both hypothetical mines, along
with remarks (designated by the shaded areas) that are used to point to unjustifiable and
inconsistent equipment selection are provided in Tables 2-1 and 2-2.
Table 2-1: Energy requirements for a 9,967 ton/day Hypothetical Interior Surface Coal Mine

Energy Consumption
Number

Unit

of units

Daily
hrs/unit

Sngl. Unit
(Btu/ton)
4

All Units
(Btu/hour)

2
5
1

14
14
9.38

7,190
5,110
3,860

10,200,000
18,200,000
4,100,000

143,000,000
255,000,000
38,500,000

14,400
25,550
3,860

Rear Dump Truck


Rotary Drills
Service Trucks
Pumps
Bulk Trucks
Water Tankers
Pick-up Trucks
Graders

11
2
2
2
2
1
8
1

14
14
14
14
13.58
2.94
14
0.56

2,330
1,130
477
466
462
443
291
35

18,200,000
1,610,000
679,000
663,000
679,000
1,500,000
1,660,000
619,000

255,000,000
22,600,000
9,500,000
9,280,000
9,220,000
4,420,000
23,200,000
347,000

25,630
2,260
953
931
925
443
2,330
35

21,794

58,200,000
58,110,000

770,000,000
770,067,000

77,300
77,317

Total
Real total

12

All Units
(Btu/ton)

Bulldozer
Front-end Loaders
Hydraulic Shovel

All units
(Btu/day)

Table 2-2: Energy requirements for a 27,778 ton/day Hypothetical Western Surface Coal Mine

Energy Consumption

Bulldozer
Cable Shovel
Rear Dump Truck
Rotary Drills
Service Trucks
Pumps
Bulk Trucks
Water Tankers
Pick-up Trucks
Graders
Total
Real total

Daily
hrs/unit

Sngl. Unit
(Btu/ton)

7
4
11
2
2
2
2
1
8
1

20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
1.2

Number
of units

Unit

All Units
(Btu/hour)
5

1,680
2,490
2,370
813
293
332
293
1,080
149
52
9,552

All units
(Btu/day)
6

All Units
(Btu/ton)
7

16,300,000
13,900,000
33,200,000
2,260,000
813,000
923,000
813,000
1,500,000
4,140,000
1,220,000

327,000,000
277,000,000
724,000,000
45,200,000
16,300,000
18,500,000
16,300,000
30,000,000
82,800,000
1,460,000

11,800
9,980
26,000
1,630
586
665
586
1,080
2,980
52

78,000,000
75,069,000

1,540,000,000
1,538,560,000

55,400
55,359

In June 2007, the Department of Energy released a second document that provides energy
bandwidth in the mining industry (DOE, 2007). The document indicated statistics for
energy consumed in the mining industry and total energy saving opportunities that exist
in the industry if the current processes are improved by implementing more energyefficient practice and by using advanced technologies. As opposed to the previous DOE
study (2002), this report focuses on the average energy consumption of similar equipment
types to estimate the potential for energy savings. The equipment is grouped into
categories based on their processes (e.g., digging, blasting, material handling, crushing,
etc.) within different mining industries (Coal, Metal, and Non-Metal). Again, the data for
energy requirements are either calculated by the SHERPA methodology or have been
inherited from Energy and Environmental Profile of the U.S. Mining Industry (DOE,
2002). An additional weakness of the document is a significant number of ambiguities in

13

the numbers provided in the tables and figures. For example, the number for energy
saving provided in the tables does not match the numbers presented in the charts.
Nonetheless the document shows a methodology to indicate energy saving opportunities
and according to the results the greatest reduction for the mining processes can be
actualized in the coal and metal mining industries. The saving opportunities are
categorized in two groups: (1) Best Practice Energy Savings Opportunity, which results
from investment in state-of-the-art technologies or opportunities existing today that have
not been fully implemented in mine operations; and (2) R&D Energy Savings
Opportunity, which is saving after R&D achieves substantial improvements in the energy
efficiency. The definition of these opportunities, however, is based on subjective
assumptions and in the case of best practice energy savings is described as determined
from a variety of sources describing mining operations that use significantly less energy
compared to typical operations. Similarly, the numbers for R&D energy savings
opportunity are derived from researchers' estimates of practical efficiency
improvements.
In summarizing the two most relevant documents used as the references for energy
consumption in coal mining, it becomes obvious that both have (1) weakness in
methodology and equipment selected to determine energy consumptions, and (2)
variation in numbers as well as numerous subjective assumptions used to derive the
overall conclusions for energy requirements.
An accurate measurement and recording of energy consumption is a key for energy
improvements (Harney 2007; Bush et. al, 2002). Successful energy management has to

14

provide information on how much energy is been consumed by some equipment at any
given time. A method that was successfully used in other, technologically advanced
industries, to integrate the production chains into one system and improve energy
efficiency, was application of Information Technology (IT). An integrated perspective of
the Mining Value Chain with enterprisewide application of information technology (IT)
ensures the ability of every mining process to improve energy consumption, land, capital
and labor. IT offers enormous potential for the mining industry and makes opportunities
to create new values (Sarak, 2007).
Recently, the mining industry has started with implementation of advanced IT
technologies (e.g., truck dispatching system, GPS system, etc.) which are typically multisoftware and multi-vendor. Those advances, however, create issues that mining
professionals have to deal with. According to Dessureault (2007), the first issue comes
from inconsistency of data recorded in a variety of mining processes. This problem
induces a common expression drowning in data, starving for the information. The
second issue introduced by Dessureault (2007) is nonexistence of an industry information
model that can be used to integrate available data into one system. Finally the author
emphasized the significance of IT literacy in mining professionals. Mining professionals
are not usually well educated in effective use and management of IT, yet, they are most
qualified to understand the physical processes behind the data generated.
Morgan (2005) also supports the idea of a common Information Model (IM) for the
mining industry. The IM defines how things are identified and what information about
those things is needed by the business. Well designed IM is a key component for the
design of a centralized database. This database should be able to accept information from
15

multiple sources, as well as to provide an access for different applications (e.g., Microsoft
Office or data query tools). The centralized database that hosts multiple data sources is
called the data warehouse. In general, the data warehouse provides the raw data used for
analysis by utilizing different software tools and data-mining techniques.
Dessureault (2007) further provides importance of data mining and data warehousing in
the mining industry. The author reminds about the variety of system control techniques
such as Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory, Flexible Manufacturing systems (FMS), and Total
Quality Management (TQM). These systems are used in advanced manufacturing and
processing, and they are an integral part of the Information System. Application of a
custom-designed IS or some different data analysis tools allows analysis of raw data
retrieved from a data warehouse by applying standardized business rules and data-mining
techniques. The example of data mining was explained by utilizing the SQL Server 2005
Business Intelligence Studio as a tool to analyze a large database (1.5 Terabyte of data).
With the data-mining algorithms integrated into the software package, the author was
able to distinguish the trends among the datasets retrieved from the database. Utilizing a
series of a neural network and linear regression data-mining module, which is part of
SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Studio, the author managed to build regression
models for diesel fuel consumption. These models were more accurate than models
created by conventional regression analysis using monthly averages as the dataset.
Besides numerical results, the SQL 2005 Server provides a graphical representation of
data. The importance of the graphical analysis comes from the fact that datasets are
extensively large and numerical analysis only is not a convenient way to understand the
underlying trends among the variables. This example clearly states that application of IS

16

in combination with a data warehouse is an appropriate tool for energy management and
identification of areas/equipment with high energy use.
Expansion in the volume of data available in all business sectors of the mining industry
and computer applications in the mining industry have inspired many authors to conduct
research focused mainly on improving productivity and cost performance (Grayson,
1989; Grayson, 1992; Galiev et al., 1997; Lee, 1999; Dessureault, 1999; Morgan, 2005;
Sarkka and Pukkila, 2007; Swords et al., 2007; Dessuerault, 2007; Ersoy and Celebi,
2007).
Besides, numerous research work has been performed internationally in areas related to
the application of Information Systems in the mining industry (Akhmedov et al. 2001;
Kolonja et al., 2002; Ersoy and Celeby 2007; Mundaca, 2007). The overall goal of these
systems is to improve processes and reduce the operating costs. However, these systems
are not designed to manage energy consumption of all production units at a mine site, yet
they recognize Information Systems as a key for productivity improvements in mines
(Dessureault, 2004).
Besides the IT component, an Information System for energy management has to be able
to deal with the complexity of mining processes. Emphasizing the importance of energy
consumption control, Simic et al. (1998) listed the principal factors that have influence on
energy consumption. These factors are: (1) natural; (2) technological; and (3)
organizational. The authors created a model for analysis and monitoring of energy
consumption composed of four blocks: (1) the analytic block for structural design; (2) the
analytic block for project design; (3) correction for the technological block; and (4) the

17

block for an existing technological process. The significance this model is an analysis of
all mining stages and the energy required to achieve the goals in those stages. Analysis
shows that energy saving in mining processes is attainable, yet only through an analytic
approach that includes technical, technological, design and organizational issues. In
conclusion the authors stated that the overall solution for the energy-saving process is
complex, and it requires a new approach seeks for entire system optimization. However,
the system optimization cannot be performed globally. Improvements in order to reduce
energy consumption are possible only by acting on a particular element of the system
(Staniak and Franca, 1996). In addition to equipment optimization and processes
improvements, (Coito et al, 2005) qualified the opportunities in management/personnel
structure that have influence on energy efficiency. The improvements in areas such as
limited capital investment, production concerns, and availability of information could
greatly improve energy consumption.
In summary, it appears that previous research does not systematically identify when,
where, and how much energy is being used through the mining processes. Moreover, the
existing methodology for energy benchmarking in the mining industry is based on
numerous assumptions, while the information systems developed so far do not provide a
mechanism to reduce energy consumption utilizing available data sources.
Therefore the main objective of this research is to develop an Integrated Data
Environment composed of an Information System, which is a tool to accurately record
day-to-day production/energy consumption activities, and sets of methodologies that are
able to control energy consumption based on analysis of existing data sources. The

18

Integrated Data Environment should provide a method to control energy allocation that
can be adapted and used by DOE and across the mining industry.

19

Chapter 3
3 IDE-ACE Methodology Development

3.1 Introduction

The objective of this research was to develop an Integrated Data Environment applicable
for application in the coal mining industry. Generally, the research was developed in two
phases: (1) data collection at a mine site, and (2) computer data analysis. The data were
collected at a surface coal mine, operated by one of the largest North American coal
companies. The computer analysis and system development was performed at The
Pennsylvania State University. The development of the Integrated Data Environment
included a variety of methods applied in Information Technology, Operations Research,
and Computer Programming. Detailed insight into the suggested methodology is
explained in following chapter.

3.2 Proposed Technical Approach

The proposed methodology is inspired by successful examples in other industries where


integration of existing, decentralized data creates an Integrated Data Environment (IDE).
The IDE includes Information Management and Data Analysis in a secure environment
for both internal (intranet) and external (Internet) users, while making data available only
for authorized personnel. However, while the processes are similar, the production chains
for mining cannot be adopted from other industries since the processes and equipment

20

used in mining are unique which requires development of a particular solution. This task
incorporated the sets of methodologies, software, and analysis tools into the Integrated
Data Environment for Analysis and Control of Energy Consumption (IDE-ACE) in
Surface Coal Mining. The IDE-ACE development has a basis in the technological
processes and data recorded at a surface coal mine operated by one of the largest United
States coal companies. Figure 3-1shows the concept of the IDE-ACE that was developed
through this research. The development of IDE-ACE was organized into five phases:
Data Collection and Analysis, Design, Development, Testing, and Integration.

21

Figure 3-1: Methodology for IDE-ACE development

22

3.2.1

Hardware Requirements for IDE-ACE

The development of an Integrated Data Environment is a complex, multistep process that,


besides a software component, requires a computer network infrastructure. The
information system infrastructure necessitates a design of a LAN (Local Area Network)
including the computer servers and other active and passive network components. The
design and operation of the IDE-ACE required two servers. One is a centralized database
server hosting the Microsoft SQL Database and the second, Web server, hosting the webbased application. The web application has a permanent connection with the database
server, allowing remote access to the centralized database. Figure 3-2 shows a simplified
example of the hardware requirement for the IDE-ACE system.

Users

Work Station

Work Station
Printer

LAN NETWORK

ROUTER
SQL DATABASE SERVER

INTERNET

WEB SERVER

WLAN NETWORK

Network Administrator

ON DRAGLINE SQL DATABASE

Figure 3-2: Communication among the system elements

23

However, the example of a network in Figure 3-2 shows three servers. Two servers (SQL
database and WEB) are in a LAN network. The third server, located on the dragline,
establishes a connection with the SQL database through a wireless network (WLAN).
Transfer of data between those two servers is performed on a regular basis; however, this
connection is not permanent. It changes based on the circumstances and a delay between
two consecutive updates which is managed by the network administrator.

3.2.2

Phase I Process Analysis

Phase I provided a broad picture of the processes from which data were to be collected.
The development of information systems requires active participation of developers and
the end users (Merle, 1995). For the analysis stage, one of the most valuable sets of
information is accumulated through interviews (Davis and Yen, 1999). For the IDE-ACE
the initial information was gathered through a series of interviews with mine management
and collection of historical data from the company. The purpose of the interview was to
clarify details about inherited, historical data (legacy and paper databases) and
information about the way the organization uses its data. Interview subjects were mine
management personnel and mine employees (operations, maintenance, accounting, etc.).
A goal from the mine visit was to collect enough data for further analysis. Also, these
interviews revealed important facts used for the development of a general coal mining
model. The expectations to get data in some of the following forms were successfully
accomplished.

24

Access database (.mdb);

Excel spreadsheets (.xls);

Text documents (.doc, .txt, etc.);

Paper-based forms used for day-to-day application; and

Electrical power invoices and fuel supply records.

Besides the physical data sources, the interviews provided information related to the
following questions:

How is the coal mining production chain organized?

How are the data gathered during a shift, day, or month?

Who is responsible for data input?

Does the organization record energy consumption? If so, how do they do that?

What type of reporting system (for energy consumption and production) does
mine management already have?

25

3.2.3

Phase II - Design

In the Design Phase the electronic information collected at the mine as well as the
information from the interviews conducted with mine personnel were used to determine
the relationships among operational processes in both a quantitative and qualitative
manner. The result of this phase was a conceptual framework for a surface coal mining
process designed with standard, data modeling language. The data modeling language
uses graphical notation to describe a system thereby creating its abstract model.
Actually, development of an information system begins by modeling of business
processes that it encounters for activities in a particular production segment. The business
processes usually have a hierarchical structure with basic processes at the top separated
on several sub-processes. The sub-processes are related to different organizational units.
For practical purposes, different tools are available for model development. The tools
used for development have a common name CASE (ComputerAided System
Engineering), while the methodology that is usually adjoined is CADM (Case Application
Development Method). The methodology contains the following stages:
1. Business environment understanding;
2. Business processes identification;
3. Modeling of the steps in the business processes;
4. Business processes analysis;
5. Redesign; and
6. Testing of redesigned solutions.

26

The design phase encounters, also, a data-mapping process. In other words, the data
mapping designs a connection among the elements of the system in order to incorporate
data sources into a single, integrated data environment. The data-mapping process is a
common practice in a software design engineering, and it is frequently incorporated with
other IT methodologies.
The data-mapping process has been used in IDEACE to establish a connection and
develop a basis for a Relational Database Model (RDM). The basis of the IDE-ACE is in
the common surface coal mining process. This process has several interrelated production
stages. For the purpose of this research, the common process is named as a general one
because it is based on the strip coal mining method. The general coal extraction process is
given in Figures 3-3 and 3-4. Figure 3-3 shows an overview of the coal extraction process
including drilling and blasting operations. However, the coal mine used for IDE-ACE
development is not using drilling and blasting operations; therefore, this segment could
not be included in the model. Figure 3-4 shows the structure chart that has a basis on the
processes from Figure 3-3. The analysis of data sources revealed information about the
number of equipment engaged in production, the type of fuel that the equipment uses,
production achievements, etc.

27

Figure 3-3: Schematic overview of the coal extraction process (P&H, 2003)

28

Figure 3-4: Common Coal Extraction Process (SME, 1992)

As mentioned, the surface coal mining process is similar for the majority of surface coal
mining operations, particularly in U.S. interior and western coal mining. Similarity in the

29

extraction process comes from discontinuous mining systems which are mainly employed
in the U.S. surface coal mining industry. Process affects both the coal and overburden
where the shovels, trucks and draglines remove excavated material.
On the other hand, existing alternatives for the coal and overburden removal are a
continuous mining extraction. In this scenario the prime movers are the bucket wheel or
chain excavators, while the material handling is performed by conveyor belts. However,
the continuous mining systems are mostly in application in Europe and Australia.
The mechanical extraction method unifies seven stages merged into a unique production
chain. These stages are: (1) topsoil removal; (2) sub-soil removal; (3) drilling and
blasting; (4) truck and shovel excavation; (5) dragline operations; (6) coal loading and
haulage; and (7) reclamation (P&H, 2003).
Topsoil removal is the phase of removing the material on either stockpiles or immediate
haulage on the spoil sides. Topsoil removal and reclamation processes are highly
correlated. The reclamation process is regulated by law, and each mine has to comply
with the remedy plan that is approved by authorities prior to mine opening.
The drilling and blasting operation is an optional process, and it depends on mine rock
properties. For example, if a coal seam is underneath a hard rock, the drilling process
followed by blasting operations will take place. The overburden at the mine that is used
as the model for IDE-ACE development is a soft material; consequently no drilling and
blasting operations are required.

30

Either blasted or directly excavated, an overburden is removed from a place by shovels


and trucks. The same equipment is also used for coal excavation and haulage to the
stockpiles or the power plant. From the economics point of view, the capital and
operating costs for the shovel and trucks are extremely high. The cost per cubic yard of
material excavated by shovel-truck operations is as much as three times more than in the
case of a dragline (Lund, 2007).
Dragline operations are very productive and mainly employed for overburden removal in
strip mining operations. Its application depends upon the geology and rock properties at
the mine. As the primary energy source, a dragline uses electricity. Because of the
powerful motors integrated into the machine, draglines consume a tremendous amount of
electricity, simultaneously making significant electricity bills. Based on similar research
(Staniak and Francia, 1996) an improvement in some of the phases of the dragline cycle
likely will make savings in electricity consumption of up to 15%. However, to make
improvements it is necessary to recognize the spots in the production chain where
improvements can be applied. This action requires a variety of experiments to be
performed.
The analysis of data from a mine reveals the links among the elements of the surface
mining system. Also, the analysis recognizes the spots in the systems that, if improved,
will result in energy reduction and potential improvement in overall equipment
productivity. For that reason, data mapping becomes an important segment in the
methodology developed for the IDE-ACE system.

31

Regarding the energy consumption, the analysis of data gathered from the mine revealed
that some variables in the model are not related. For instance, a relationship between the
diesel consumption of trucks and production was not established. However, the analysis
of unrelated datasets indicated that if the intersection between a pair of datasets exists, a
relationship between them is likely to be established. The summary of this design phase
provided the inputs for the subsequent stages in IDE-ACE development.
In general, the process followed by data mapping is the development of a relational
database model (RDM). The relational databases are frequent in the software
development engineering. They provide a convenient tool for management of large
datasets.
The integration process defines data elements (columns in the tables) and relates them to
other data elements (in different tables). For modeling purposes, the CASE tool,
Microsoft Visio 2007 was used. The MS Visio 2007 supports a standard data modeling
language - Unified Modeling Language (UML) and Entity-Relationship (ER) diagrams.
The UML has the purpose to define the systems use cases (i.e. how the system will be
used by end users) and software components (define front-end user interface). The ERs
are used to design a Relational Database Model.
The Relational Database Model (RDM) developed in this study sets a keystone for the
IDE-ACE. Ever since 1969 when E.F. Codd introduced the RDM for the first time, it
became a popular data-management method. The RDM provides simplified data
manipulation, data integration and analysis through data visualization. The model
presents a storage mechanism for unification of available data. In a relational database the

32

relations are, basically, the tables in which particular records are stored. Each table
(relation) is composed of tuples (records) and attributes (fields). In the table each record
is designated by a uniquely defined field also known as the primary key (PK). In the case
of RDM, relationships are categorized as: (1) One-to-One; (2) One-to-Many; and (3)
Many-to-Many. Two tables will be related, by some of these relationships, sharing at
least one of the fields. Figure 3-5 shows a schematic view of the relational database
model.

Equipment

Fuel

Shift

Production

Crew

Seam

Figure 3-5: A general relational database model RDM

Regardless of the size and its complexity, the database design requires consistency from
the beginning through the end of the development process. A well defined framework for
a database secures a higher level of autonomy in the later stages of the process. In other
words spending less time in the development process increases a risk of facing problems
with the database through operational application (Hernandez, 1997).

33

A database design process starts analyzing the information inherited from a mine. The
first step requires a transformation of paper-based data sources into electronic form. A
stage that follows relates an existing data source and recognizes logical relationships.
These relationships provide input parameters for centralized database development. A
system that currently exists at a mine is an interaction of disintegrated and robust files.
With this system in place it becomes time costly when information retrieval is requested.
The implementation of a centralized database reduces the time to retrieve information
necessary in the decision-making process. Figure 3-6 shows a structure of inherited data
from the mine. The figure indicates that data stored in the Access Database and those
recorded in the Excel spreadsheets are not related. Therefore, the information for
production and energy consumption are not available without additional data handling.
Besides, the data-handling scenario requires a person skillful to perform this type of
analysis.
The analysis of data with the system at a mine becomes even more challenging when the
paper-based data is necessary to correlate with the electronically stored data sources.
This, as well as the continual increment in volume of automatically generated data,
imposes the application of the RDM as a practical solution.

34

DATA SOURCE

PAPER BASED
DATABASE

LEGACY
DATABASE

Access
Database

Excel
Spreadsheet

Electricity consumption
Equipment data
Fuel consumption
Production
Employee

Equipment availability
Equipment inventory
Lube consumption
Delay
Rainfall

Figure 3-6: Structure of inherited data sources

Hernandez (1997) provides the rules for successful integration of available data sources.
The comprehensive database development includes the following stages: (1) Analysis of
the existing database; (2) Creating data structures; (3) Determining and establishing table
relationships; (4) Determining and defining business rules; and (5) Reviewing data
integrity.
The analysis of existing data sources follows a process of defining the data structure. This
is a crucial step in the database design that identifies the subjects from the interviews and
legacy databases. The following example outlines a citation from one of the interviews
performed at mine.

35

. Most of the equipment is supplied by diesel fuel on the field. The diesel fuel
distribution is done by two fuel trucks. End dump trucks are refilled on the parking lots
close to the pit, while the bulldozers, easy miner and other equipment located on the
benches has been refilled on the spot. We have also fuel pumps where the light vehicles
and small utility trucks are refilled.

The subjects in the sentences above (equipment, diesel fuel, fuel trucks, etc.) indicate
potential fields for the database tables. The process of creating the data structure
continues with defining a list of subjects, which in the post-filtering processes establishes
a list of preliminary fields. Figure 3-7 shows an example of a preliminary field list and
the subjects associated with it.

Figure 3-7: An example of using preliminary field list to identify table list

The remaining process aggregates the subjects from the field list to the final table list
(Figure 3-8) that was used for the overall database design.

36

Final Table List


Name

Type

Description

Equipment

Data

Mechanized equipment used in the coal and overburden


extraction process, as well as the equipment supporting
the production. It contains information required to
identify a particular piece of equipment.

Employee

Data

A person hired by the company to provide a service for


the jobs that he is qualified for.

Figure 3-8: An example of the final table list

The relational database design has an additional important process which makes RDMs
unique. The process is called data normalization and requires steps for efficient structure
of data in the tables. Two reasons validate the normalization. First, it eliminates
redundancy of data (i.e., recording the same data in more than one table), and the second,
normalization establishes data dependency (i.e., storing only related data in tables).
In general, data normalization is a standardized procedure, widely accepted in the
database developer community. The normalization has five stages commonly recognized
as 1NF (first normal form), 2NF, 3NF, 4NF, and 5NF, which is rarely in application.
Contrary, Hernandez (1997) emphasizes the 1NF and 2NF normalization form for the
basic database design.
An additional feature distinctive for the RDM is the concept of the primary key (PK). The
primary key is a column in the table that uniquely identifies the table and the records in
the database schema (database structure). The primary key ensures the referential
integrity of the database and, coupled with the foreign key (FK), establishes the

37

relationships among the tables. The PK is either a meaningful number (e.g., VIN vehicle
identification number) or is generically created by the DBMS (database management
system). The primary key has to:

Uniquely identify each record in the table;

Contain unique values;

Cannot be null;

Cannot be a multiplied field;

Contain a minimum number of fields necessary to define uniqueness;

Cannot be optional in whole or in part; and

Directly identify the value of each field in the table.

Figure 3-10 shows an example of the steps in the database development where the PK
was associated with the field list in the table equipment. The naming convention for the
field names in the IDE-ACE database is standardized. The first three capital letters
describe the table to which fields belong (Figure 3-9), while the remaining segment is a
dedicated name. The field, field, has a descriptive purpose and in more detail explains the
field name. The lasting field, key has been used to mark the primary and foreign keys.

38

Figure 3-10: An example of table and its elements for IDE-ACE

The last, but the most challenging segment in the design phase is a relationship
determination. The relationship is a corner stone in the database development
(Hernandez, 2003). The relationship establishes the link between a pair of tables that are
logically related to each other. Also, the relationship helps to further refine the table
structures and minimize redundancy. To overcome a difficulty of making a relationship, a
table matrix methodology was used. The concept of the relationship matrix is similar to a
pairwise comparison that has wide application in multi-criteria analysis. The relationship
matrix is composed of tables across the top, and then down the left side of the matrix
(Figure 3-11). The names in the matrix have to be in some order. The process of
relationship determination begins by selecting a table on the left and the table across the
top. If it exists, an appropriate type of relationship must be entered in the matrix. The
official relationships among the tables were created by applying the rules in Table 3-1.

39

Table 3-1: The relationships arithmetic

Relationship Row

Operator

Relationship Column

Official relationship

1:1

1:1

1:1

1:1

1:N

1:N

1:N

N:1

M:N

The overall relationship matrix developed for the purpose of this research is given in
Figure 3-11.

Figure 3-11: The table

relationship matrix

40

The ultimate goal of the design stage was to create an entity relationship (ER) diagram.
The ER diagram is a database model designed with the purpose to help a process of
physical database development. ERs are frequently used in software engineering for
creating the conceptual data model of physical systems. These models are the first stage
in the information system design, and they are used to describe information flow within a
database. Various computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools, aggregate with
different types of notation standards, have been used for an ER design. For this research,
Barkers notation was adopted. Among the database developers, this notation is popularly
known as a Crows Foot. The name comes from the symbols at the end of the
relationship lines. The symbols determine a cardinality (maximum) and modality
(minimum) numbers of entity occurrences in a relationship. An example of the ER
diagram used in IDE-ACE design is given in Figure 3-12.

41

Figure 3-12: An ER relationship diagram developed in Microsoft VISIO CASE tool

The IDE-ACE database design was performed on a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 platform.
The MS SQL server has advantages over the MS Access database system in improved
reliability, better performance, reduced network traffic, and scalability. This is
particularly important when the real-time monitoring system, such as DSC database,
becomes a part of the Integrated Database Block IDB. An additional preeminence of SQL
over MS Access is support for the databases where the number of records exceeds 50,000
(Express Technology, 2002).
The version of the SQL Server database used for this research was free of charge. The
version was released for educational purposes and as such lacks advanced features
42

available in Microsoft SQL Server 2005. The shortage of those features was overcome by
utilizing custom codes developed in Visual Basic for Application (VBA) and the
import/export options among the Access, Excel, and SQL platforms.
3.2.4

Phase III Development

This was the most challenging phase in IDE-ACE design (Figure 1, phase 3). It included
development of the following sub-components: (1) Integrated Database Block IDB; (2)
Database Management Block DMB; and (3) Web Reporting Block WRB.

3.2.4.1 Integrated Database Block IDB

The IDB amalgamates multi-data sources into a unique SQL Server environment. The
physical development of IDB was supported by ER diagrams created in the Design
Phase. The tables (entities), fields, primary keys (PK), foreign keys (FK), and other
elements for the database schema in this stage are physically implemented on the SQL
server platform. Furthermore, the data from the multiple sources (Access, Excel, paper,
and DCS) were incorporated into the Integrated Data Environment. Once the data was
imported, the SQL queries (Figure 3-13) were used for data retrieval from the new
database. The fundamental static queries were converted in dynamic queries during the
software development stage. As stated earlier the design of a system such as IDE-ACE
blends a variety of methodologies and techniques for data storage into an integrated data
environment.

43

SELECT
FROM
WHERE
BETWEEN
AND
GROUP BY
HAVING

EQUIPMENT.EQPserial, SUM(PRODUCTION_TRUCKS.PROTtons) AS
total
PRODUCTION_TRUCKS INNER JOIN
EQUIPMENT ON PRODUCTION_TRUCKS.EQPnumber =
EQUIPMENT.EQPnumber
(PRODUCTION_TRUCKS.PROTDate
CONVERT(DATETIME, '2006-01-01 00:00:00', 102)
CONVERT(DATETIME, '2006-12-31 00:00:00',102))
EQUIPMENT.EQPserial
(EQUIPMENT.EQPserial = N'171')

Figure 3-13: An example of an SQL query

Data-cleaning and data-processing techniques are used to prepare data. These processes
verify that existing data values are correct and ready to be implemented into the new
database. The purpose of data cleaning is to eliminate the errors and redundancy, increase
data reliability, and ensure data consistency. A necessity for data cleaning is especially
required when integrating heterogeneous data sources (Rahm and Hond Dai, 2000; Kan
and Tan, 2008). The heterogeneity of the data sources, in this research, results from a
variety of sources (Excel, Access, and paper based) allocated prior to data integration.
The integration should satisfy several aspects. The most important is a detection and
removal of major errors and inconsistencies from the data sets. To perform this task
Rahm and Hond Dai (2000) recommend an application of either commercial or custommade tools in order to minimize (eliminate if possible) manual data inspection. The
mapping functions for data cleaning along with other data transformation should be
specified in a declarative way and be reusable for other data sources. Removing the bad
data from available data sources helps in keeping the new database clean from garbage,
thereby providing reliable and accurate information.

44

Applying the data-cleaning and filtering techniques for this research resulted in
development of a custom VBA (Visual Basic for Application) software tool. This VBA
approach was used because data sources are either in Microsoft Excel or Access formats.
A custom-made toolbar was integrated into Excel and reused for data extraction. A macro
(Fuel Extractor, Figure 3-14) extracts the fuel consumption data from the inherited Excel
spreadsheet (Figure 3-15).
The macro allows a user to input relative coordinates of the first cell in the Excel table
containing the raw fuel consumption data, followed by the number of days in a particular
month and the first day for which a record exists in a spreadsheet. This is an iterative
process and has to be performed for every spreadsheet available.

Figure 3-14: The fuel extractor

45

Figure 3-15: Existing data sources in MS Excel

The process followed by the data extraction is data cleaning. Data cleaning is performed
together with a schema-related data transformation. The clean data matches the
conclusions from the design phase and complies with the standards defined by the ER
diagrams. For data conversion an additional macro, Primary Key Converter (PKC),
(Figure 3-16) was developed. The PKC assigns a unique VIN number to every piece of
equipment existing in the datasets. Due to a large number of data records, this process
was automated to minimize errors.

46

Figure 3-16: The primary key converter

Successful accomplishment of data cleaning provided the input parameters for data
integration into the SQL Server 2005 environment. The integration was performed
utilizing the ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) connectivity and Microsoft Access.
The ODBC presents an interface for accessing data in a heterogeneous environment. It
has application in both relational and non-relational database management (RDMB)
systems. The ODBC connectivity alleviates a need for learning multiple application
programming interfaces, focusing the developers efforts on the primary problem
system development.
Utilizing the ODBC data integration, the tables were imported into the SQL server
environment. Figure 3-17 shows the tables imported into the database and SQL Server
Management Studio.

47

Figure 3-17: The overview of tables in the SQL Server Management Studio

The SQL Server Manager allows modeling of SQL database diagrams. The SQL
diagrams provide developers with a graphical overview of relations among the tables.
The diagrams can reflect the system in whole or only particular segments. Figure 3-18
shows an example of a SQL database diagram where relationships among the tables and
appropriate data types are presented. A completion of the IDE-ACE database
infrastructure initiated the following stage in IDE-ACE development - Database
Management Block.

48

Figure 3-18: The diagram fuel consumption in IDE-ACE database

3.2.4.2 Database Management Block DMB

The development phase continued by designing the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and
the Data Analysis Tool (DAT). The aim of DMB is to provide an interaction with end
users in both error-free data entry and intuitive data analysis.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
A graphical user interface consists of menus, buttons, textboxes, calendar controls, and
other options designed with a purpose of providing a front-end application. Therefore, the
goal of the GUI is to allow user-friendly database management. The IDE-ACE integrates
an error-free data entry through the mechanisms that monitor values entered in particular
49

fields. For example, a system prevents a user from entering a dragline production in a
field for entering the number of steps that the dragline made. This and many other data
validations are organized through pop-up message interaction. The development of the
GUI was performed in the MS Access and MS VBA environments. Utilizing the
advantages of ODBC connectivity, MS Access was connected on the back-end of the
SQL database. Since the SQL database resides on the server, the front-end application
can be deployed through a local network in a required number of instances. The final
version of the IDE ACE is a stand-alone application, allowing the setup on any
windows-based computer system. This is accomplished utilizing the Access 2007
Runtime Library. The runtime library allows users to run the IDE-ACE on a computer
without having MS Access 2007 preinstalled.
The graphical user interface of the IDE-ACE system includes three essential components:
(1) Data Management Component - DMC; (2) Reporting System Component - RSC; and
(3) Data Analysis Component - DAC.
The Data Management Component - DMC provides data entry into the IDE-ACE
database. This part includes data input for the equipment, production, energy
consumption, employee management, and miscellaneous data input such as energy price,
production delays, rainfall, road conditions, coal/overburden seams as well as the work
codes and shift management.
The Reporting System Component - RSC provides feedback by interacting with the
system user. The user has an option to choose from among different variables and
generate custom reports. Chapter 4 provides more details on this subject.

50

The Data Analysis Tool DAT provides an analytical tool to improve existing mining
processes by optimizing current working parameters in dragline operations and pointing
to a high diesel fuel consumer. The DAT has the goal to convert data into useful
information and convey that information to the managers. This is the most challenging
part in the development and includes the application of different methodologies. These
methodologies are explained separately in the following segment of the chapter.

3.2.4.3 Data Analysis Tool DAT

The DAT introduces (1) a methodology for analyzing diesel fuel consumption, and (2) an
original methodology for energy savings on a dragline. The electricity saving is achieved
by optimizing the dragline fill factor through the analyses of data recorded in the DCS
database. This database records vital information for prime movers (dragline and electric
shovel). Common statistical methods are employed for analysis of available data sources.
Also, a regression analysis was used to determine significant relationships among the
variables having an influence on energy consumption. One of the benefits that the system
provides is a comparison of existing energy consumption data with the estimations
provided by DOE.
The calculation and analysis of real diesel fuel consumption is based on the records from
database, retrieving the data for: (1) fuel consumption, (2) production, and (3) equipment
time utilization. The result of such analysis is compared against the data provided by the
equipment manufacturer (nominal fuel consumption). The difference between those
numbers (real fuel consumption versus nominal fuel consumption) designates the high

51

energy consumer. A further step in the fuel reduction process aggregates the service and
maintenance plan and as such goes beyond the scope of this dissertation.
More detailed analysis in order to determine the high fuel consumer is provided later in
the chapter. The equipment employed at the mine is mainly produced by Caterpillar.
Caterpillars handbook (CAT, 2007) provides nominal fuel consumption data for any
piece of equipment. The nominal fuel consumption is determined based on the load
factors (LF) that can be: (1) low, (2) medium, or (3) high. In general, the LF is a function
of rolling resistance, hauling time, road conditions, etc.
Table 3-2 shows a detailed overview of load factors for the equipment available in the
IDE-ACE database. The medium load factor is recognized at the mine providing the data
for this research.

52

Table 3-2: The load factor guide (CAT, 2007)

FACTORS

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

Large amount of
idling. Short to
medium hauls on well
maintained level haul
roads. Minimum total
resistance.

Normal load and haul


time. Varying load and
haul road conditions.
Some adverse grades.
Some high rolling
resistance

Long haul time with


frequent adverse
grades. Continuous
use on very poorly
maintained haul
roads with high
rolling resistance.

Considerable idling or
travel with no load.

Production dozing,
pulling scrapers, most
pushloading.
Agricultural drawbar
work at full throttle but
not always lugging
engine. Some idling
and some travel with
no load.

Steady ripping,
shuttle pushloading
and downhill dozing.
Agricultural drawbar
work at full throttle,
engine lugged to
max. power most of
the time. Little or no
idling or travel in
reverse.

Finish grading, light


maintenance, road
travel.

Average road
maintenance, road mix
work, scarifying, snow
plowing.

Ditching, fill
spreading, spreading
base material,
ripping, heavy road
maintenance, snow
plowing.

Most utility, urban


applications in sandy
loam. Digging less
than 50% of the daily
work schedule. Scrap
handling applications.

Most residential sewer


applications in natural
bed clay. Digging 6085% of the daily work
schedule. Most log
loading applications

Most pipeline
applications in hard
rocky material.
Digging 90-95% of
the daily work
schedule.

Bulldozers
Motor Graders
Excavators

EQUIPMENT

Trucks

LOAD

53

For the analysis, the real fuel consumption was compared against the fuel consumption
that equipment might consume if working in low, medium, or high load conditions. For
every piece of equipment, the CAT handbook provides ranges of fuel consumption values
and these values are recorded in the IDE-ACE database. Table 3-3 shows an example of
fuel consumption ranges for the truck CAT 784C.

Table 3-3: Fuel consumption based on the load conditions (CAT, 2007)

Equipment

CAT 784C

LOW

Medium

High

[gal/hour]

[gal/hour]

[gal/hour]

Min
14

Max
21

Min
21

Max
29

Min
29

Max
38.5

Simultaneously, by querying the database, an on the fly calculation estimates the fuel
consumption. An average value of nominal fuel consumption is recognized as the
multiplier for this calculation. Averaging the fuel consumption is justified by the ranges
of values provided in the CAT handbook. The average fuel consumption value is
calculated as follows:

AVFC i

FCmin FCmax
2

(3-1)

Where, AVFCi (gallons/hour) is the average fuel consumption, i is one of the load factors
(low, medium, or high), FCmin is the minimum fuel consumption for a given load factor
(gallons/hour), and FCmax is the maximum fuel consumption for a given load factor
(gallons/hour).
54

The average fuel consumption is further multiplied by the number of working hours that
the equipment has accumulated over a time period. The result of multiplication is the
calculated fuel consumption (CFC) for selected time frame and load factor i.
CFC i AVFC i WH

(3-2)

The last calculation preceding the fuel consumption comparison adjusts the CFC.
Namely, the equipment with the real fuel consumption was evaluated based on the load
factor of the next larger CFC. For example, let us assume a truck consumes 11,000
gallons of diesel over a time period. Further, let us assume that calculated values (CFC)
indicate the fuel consumption for the low load factor of 6,000 gallons and the medium
load factor of 12,000 gallons. As a result, the equipment consuming 11,000 gallons will
be categorized as the medium consumer because the real fuel consumption is closer to the
value for medium load factor. The mechanism of calculation for this analysis has a
formal definition in:

FFCi CFCi

CFCi 1
2

(3-3)

Where, FFC is final fuel consumption used for the comparison, CFC is calculated fuel
consumption, and i load factor.

55

The equation (3-3) applied on the three load factors eventually defines the low, medium,
and high fuel consumption ranges. Figure 3-19 illustrates these ranges and the positions
of calculated fuel consumptions (CFCi) within the ranges.

LOW RANGE

MEDIUM RANGE

HIGH RANGE

CFCmed

CFChigh

CFClow

Figure 3-19: Fuel consumption ranges

The fuel consumption analysis explained above has a comparative purpose only. It relies
on the assumption of average working/road conditions and it is exclusively used with the
purpose of allocating potentially high energy consumers. However, further analysis has to
confirm or decline initial assumptions. In an effort to determine the high energy
consumer, the algorithm in Figure 3-20 was developed and integrated in the IDE-ACE
code.

56

START

Retrieve data for selected fleet and time frame

Retrieve data for nominal fuel consumption


and calculate the average value AVFC

Set initial parameters


multiplier=AVFC(i)
multiplier_counter=1
equipment_counter=1
equipment_total=n
i - avg. fuel consumption for low, medium,
and high load factor
i=1,2,3

Calculate the fuel consumption for AVFC(i)


using a working hours that equipment
accumulated in a selected time frame
TFC(i)=AVFC(i)*WH

Compare the real fuel consumption for


selected time frame and equipment against the
calculated values from the previous step

NO
Real cons.>Calculated cons.

YES

Add the equipment in the


category i+1

NO
Select next equipment in the fleet for the
same multiplier AVFC(i)

equipment_counter>n

YES

multiplier_counter=3

YES
END

Figure 3-20: Logic flow of determining high energy consumer

57

NO

The Database Management Block designed for analysis and optimization of dragline
operations was developed in three steps.
Step 1 Field trip and data collection at mine site. This step included designing the
experiment and developing a set of procedures to collect data from a dragline. Also,
software tools were designed for data collection and comparison against the data recorded
in the DCS database.
Step 2 - Analysis of data to establish the relationships among the variables having
the influence on energy consumption. The result of this process was the development of
a methodology and algorithm for semi-automated data analysis to achieve the best
bucket fill factor from the data recorded in the DCS database.
Step 3 Integration of results from Step 2 into the Search Algorithm for the Best
Fill Factor and design of Data Management Block. The algorithm was originally
developed for this research and it is based on the general search algorithm widely used in
the computer science.

58

Step 1 Field trip and data collection at mine site


Introduction to Experiment
The coal mine used for the data collection is located in southern part of the United States.
(Due to confidentiality reasons, the name and accurate location of the mine will not be
revealed; however, general information about the mine and geology are provided.) There
are nine coal seams in total with thicknesses ranging from 12 to 60. The top three
seams are not minable because of low coal quality. This region of the U.S. is
characterized by high amount of rainfalls. The mine has complex geology and a
significant amount of annual rainfall (6 ft). The mine produces approximately 3.5 million
tons of coal per year. The operation utilizes diverse mining equipment: Dragline Marion
8200, electric shovel P&H 2800, Caterpillar end dump trucks CAT 785 and 789B (with
payloads of 180 and 200 t, and respectively); bulldozers CAT D11, D10, and D6; as well
as the Huron easy-miner and various auxiliary equipment.
The experiment was performed with the objective of measuring the dragline cycle time in
order to evaluate the bucket fill factor versus the dragline energy consumption and
productivity. For the testing purposes a custom application for data collection was
developed (Figure 3-21).

59

Figure 3-21: The initial screen for the experiment

This data collection application was used for data acquisition directly from the dragline
cab by observing and recording the information from the screen located in front of the
dragline operator (Figure 3-22).

Figure 3-22: The screen located in the dragline cab

60

Included in this objective was the task of analyzing gathered data and generating a report
(Figure 3-23). The results from these reports are stored in the spreadsheets and used for
subsequent statistical analysis.

Figure 3-23: The single report for operator performance for one experimental target

The objective of the experiment also included the data comparison between surveyorrecorded data, and data retrieved from the DCS database. For every experiment target, the
required comparison was performed. The experiment targets were defined as 70%, 80%,
85%, 90%, and 100% fill factors of the 82 yd3 bucket with 15% swell factor and an
61

average density for all burdens of 1.6 t/yd3. For practical purposes the targets were
redefined as pounds of overburden in the dragline bucket. The weights in the bucket were
179,722 lb., 182,539 lb., 193,948 lb., 205,375 lb., 228,174 lb., respectively. Throughout
the experiments the operators were challenged to achieve the weights indicated above.
While digging, the operators were in position to keep the pace of weight in the bucket
while focusing on the number being displayed on the screen.
Analyzing the results, the best fill factor for running the experiment was obtained. The
objective of the best fill factor was to maximize the average production and minimize
energy consumption during the load phase of the overall dragline cycle (Figure 3-24).

Positioning

Time

Return

Dump

Hoist and Swing

Advance

Loading
(Dragging)

Operation

Figure 3-24: The dragline cycle phases

Two additional constrains were considered in this experiment. One of the constrains
limits the fill time in the range of 16-18 seconds (GBI, 2000). The other constrain
(Dragline Productivity Center, 2001) recommends that the dragline bucket in soft and dry

62

material should be filled in up to three buckets lengths. Practically, if the bucket length is
20 ft., a dragline operator should disengage a bucket when it reaches 60 ft.
An additional goal in the experiment includes the comparisons of the numerical targeted
fill factors with those described in words. For this experiment the words Fill as Best as
Possible and No Dozing Effect were identified as targets. Such information provides
visual indications about the moment when to stop the fill and start the hoist phase. For
instance, if the optimum numeric fill factor has a targeted value of 80% (193,948 lb), and
the No Dozing Effect has a target corresponding fill factor of 81%; the operator should
have a visual perception about the optimum weight in the bucket. This concept cannot be
accepted as the general rule and the visual perception has to be adjusted according to the
measurement provided on the screen in a dragline cab. Supporting results and discussion
for this experiment setup are provided in Chapter 4.

Experimental procedure
The cycle time measurement was initialized from the moment the bucket was positioned
on the ground and the operator started the digging phase. The experiment trials were
conducted measuring the different sub cycle times. For experiment purposes, the overall
cycle time is the sum of the following sub times: (1) fill time; (2) swing time full; (3)
swing time empty. When not digging in the regular condition (e.g. front cut), a dump
time of 5 seconds was added to the swing time-full. The sub-time 5 second time is the
average value resulting from the experiment.

63

The fill time is a segment of the overall dragline cycle time. It is measured from the
moment when the bucket touches the ground and the digging phase begins, until the
moment a drag payout phase starts. As soon as the operator started to fill the bucket the
first time stamp was recorded. The second time stamp was recorded when the operator
started to hoist the bucket, i.e., when the drag payout phase starts. The difference between
these two time stamps determines the bucket loading time per cycle.
The form in Figure 3-25 was designed to record not only the loading time, but also the
material weight, volume, and dump height used for the later bucket fill factor calculation.
The loading time that was ranging between 16-22 seconds allowed the surveyor enough
time to enter required data in the form.

Figure 3-25: The form to gather data in the fill phase

In the experiment, the swing time-full equals the maximum value of drag payout, hoist,
and swing time. The reason being is that all these phases in the dragline cycle operators
are performed simultaneously. Moreover, some of them are not even possible to perform

64

without simultaneously running two or more activities. The swing full phase ends when
the material from the bucket is dumped on the spoil. In the case when a hoist phase ends
before a swing phase (swing limited situation), the application provides an option to take
the time stamp at that particular moment (Figure 3-26).

Figure 3-26: The form to gather data in the hoist and swing phase

Similarly, the swing time-empty starts the moment the boom begins the movement
toward the high wall and ends once a bucket touches the ground. This phase also
accounts for several single phases being performed at the same time (swing empty, drag
in, positioning, and lowering). In the event where the swing phase ends earlier than the
lowering phase, the form in Figure 3-27 allows recording of the end of swing phase. This
usually occurs when the operator tries to position the bucket on the high wall and/or
when digging the maximum depth. In either case, the dragline operates in a hoist-limited
condition.

65

Figure 3-27: The form to gather data in the return and positioning phase

As the surveyor gathers the data in a dragline, the DCS system simultaneously records
new events in the SQL database. The system integrated in a dragline has sets of PLCs
(Programmable Logical Controller) that sample 20-50 times per second and store 20
parameters per cycle in the database. The records in the database are average values of
measurements taken in the single dragline cycle. The data flow from the moment when
the cycle starts until the moment the data is being stored in the database has three steps:
(1) Cycle Detection, (2) Payload Weight, and (3) Write to Database. (Accuweigh, 2003).
The DCS system starts to measure and record the events for the new cycle the moment a
material in the bucket is dumped (Figure 3-28). The PLC system initiates the weighting
material procedure at the moment the material in the bucket is heavy enough to invoke
the system trigger (Figure 3-29); however, the actual loading time begins earlier, i.e., at
the moment the bucket is first dragged through the waste material, finishing when the
bucket is ready to be hoisted (Dragline Productivity Center, 2001).

66

Figure 3-28: Cycle detection (Accuweigh, 2003)

Figure 3-29: Payload weight (Accuweigh, 2003)

67

Analysis of the Weight on rope vertical component with drag/crowd influence


component of Payload Weight algorithm implies a need for comparing the results stored
in the DCS database with the real (in-situ) measurements. This comparison has an
explanation in a delay existing between the loading time recorder by DCS system and the
real fill time recorded by the surveyor.

Step 2 Data Analysis


The bucket fill factor, together with the cycle time, is one of the crucial parameters that
determine the draglines optimal production for a given bucket size and the mechanical
properties of material.
As mentioned, the difference in the bucket loading time measurements existing between
the DCS and in-situ measurement requires statistical analysis in order to establish a
relationship between measurements. The regression analysis of variables Fill Time SQL
(predictor, x) and the Measured Fill Time (response, y) resulted in following equation
with R2=0.7279.

y 1.749x 0.5204

(3-4)

This equation was used as the correction equation for the SQL time retrieved from the
database and it is implemented into software code of the IDE-ACE system. This
correction means that every fill time recorded in the database will be adjusted on the real
fill time. The regression analysis was performed using MS Excel and Minitab statistical
software. Figure 3-30 shows the relationship between the measured load time and the
SQL load bucket time.
68

Fill Time SQL vs. Measured Fill Time


35

Measured Fill Time [sec]

30
y = 1.749x - 0.5204
R2 = 0.7279

25
20

Fill time
Linear (Fill time)

15
10
5
0
-

10

15

20

Fill Time SQL [sec]

Figure 3-30: The relationship between the Fill Time SQL and Measured Fill Time

The experiment was performed in the multi-seam environment. The seams are dissimilar
in their material properties and this variability was used to advantage to develop a model
potentially applicable for many surface coal mines. In other words, application of the
system developed for the multi-seam coal extraction can easily be adjusted for singleseam operations. Based on the experiment setup, when varying the bucket fill factor,
different production capacities, and accompanying energy consumptions were obtained.
Deeper insight into the DCS database schema and the records available in the database
indicates that the system records energy consumption in the digging phase only. Due to
this fact, the energy consumption for the remaining phases of the overall dragline cycle
was accepted as a constant value.
The main focus in this experiment was related to the relationships between the energy
consumption and production rates. However, more details on the experiment results and
discussion are provided in Chapter 4.
69

The Equation 3-5 brings into relationship the variables to calculate the targeted fill factor
(FF).

FF

BP SF
%
V MD

(3-5)

Where: BP is bucket payload [t], SF is swell factor, V is volume of the bucket [yd3], and
MD is material density [t/yd3].
The IDE-ACE integrates conversion of unit-less numbers recorded in the DCS database
into the standardized unit, kWh. Namely, the DCS system records the information
provided from the PLSs in the raw format. That format has to be adjusted in order to
measure the electricity consumption in kWh. For this purpose, the DCS manufacturer
provides a conversion coefficient. The conversion coefficient is not a unique number,
therefore the calculation has to be adjusted for different applications. To alleviate this
variability in the conversion coefficients, the IDE-ACE has integrated interaction with the
system users, allowing adjustment of the coefficient values. This feature compensates for
variability and allows the system to be relevant to different surface coal mines. For
conversion of unit-less numbers into kWh the following equation was used.

EC

EC DCS
CF 3,600

(3-6)

Where: EC is energy consumption [kWh], ECDCS is unit-less energy consumption


recorded in the DCS database, CF is a conversion factor provided from the system
manufacturer.

70

As mentioned, the conversion factor differs from one DCS system to another. In order to
evaluate the electricity consumption the IDE-ACE system user needs to contact the DCS
manufacturer and inquire about the information for the particular dragline. The data the
manufacturer needs to be supplied with are the dragline model, the name of mine, and the
name of the company running the mine. The replay from the DCS Company contains a
single number that has to be entered in the IDE-ACE and used for the conversion.

Step 3 Integration of Results into Algorithm


This step summarizes the analysis of the experimental results in order to establish the
relationships among the variables and the results. The main focus is on the relationship
between the energy consumption and the production rate. This relationship designates
two functions: production, f1(x) and electricity consumption, f2(x). The maximum
difference between those functions f1(x)-f2(x) in characteristic points (targeted fill factors
on the x axis) designates the best fill factor for given conditions. This maximum
difference is distinguished as the delta () and it is used for further model (IDE-ACE)
development and data analysis.
A calculation for delta includes several steps. The process starts by normalizing the
results recorded for both electricity consumption and production in the SQL database.
The normalization justifies different orders of magnitude of electricity consumption and
production rates. The order of magnitude for the production rate is 3, while the order of
magnitude for the energy consumption is 6. Respecting this difference, the numbers have
to be normalized and transformed into values between 0 and 1. Upon normalization, the
71

difference between the production and electricity consumption () is calculated. The


process of normalization is defined by equation (3-7):
n ( FF )
n ( FF )


( i ) P ( i ) / P ( i ) E ( j ) / E ( j )
i 1
j 1

(3-7)

Where: i=1,2,n(FF); j=1,2,n(FF); n(FF) is a number of targeted fill factors, P(i) is a


production for i-th targeted fill factor; E(j) is an electricity consumption for j-th targeted
fill factor.
As the experiment showed, the maximum delta is not the only constrain being considered
to evaluate the best fill factor. The fill time and bucket lengths constrain are also
integrated into the analysis and algorithm development. As a calculated value, the bucket
length is a function of the fill distance and bucket length. The bucket length is a technical
detail accepted from the manufacturer, while the fill distance is the experimental
outcome. The number of bucket lengths is calculated utilizing the formula:

BL

FD
L

(3-8)

Where: BL is number of buckets [unit-less number], FD is a fill distance [ft.], and L is a


bucket length [ft.].
All three constrains (delta, fill time, bucket lengths) are integrated in the search algorithm
for the Best Fill Factor (Figure 3-31).

72

START
Design an experiment and select
targeted fill factors FF

Input data from experiment sheet.


Retrieve Production P(i) and Energy E(i)
data into arrays P(i) and E(i)

Normalization

n( FF)

n( FF)

i 1

j 1

(i) P(i) /
NO

P(i) E( j) / E( j)

i=1,2,... FF j=1,2,FF
n(FF) number of targeted fill factors

Store (i) into array_delta

i>FF

YES
Fill Factor for criteria MAX difference
FF*( )=MAX (i)

Store FF*( ) in final_array

Retrieve fill time and FF from database


NO
i>n(FF)
and
16<FT<18

YES
Store Fill Factor for criteria Fill Time into
array_filltime

FF*(FT)=MIN(array_filltime)

Store FF*(FT) in final_array

Retrieve bucket length and FF from


database
NO
i>n(FF)
and
3BL<4

YES
Store Fill Factor for criteria Bucket
Length into array_bucketlength
FF*(BL)=MIN(array_bucketlength)

Store FF*(BL) in final_array

The Best Fill Factor, FF*


FF*= MAX (final_array)

Figure 3-31: Search algorithm for the best fill factor

73

END

3.2.4.3.1 CO2 Analysis Emission from the Coal

In this research, the CO2 emission is expressed in terms of tons of CO2 emitted from the
weight of the coal being burned in a power plant in order to generate electricity and
supply equipment at the mine. Estimation for the CO2 emission is also performed for the
facilities (maintenance and office buildings) located at the mine site.
The calculation for CO2 emission has basis in the combustion process of fixed carbon
content that is restrained in a volume of coal. Carbon dioxide forms during a coal
combustion process when one atom of carbon (C) reacts with two atoms of oxygen (O),
(C+O2 CO2). Since the atomic weight of carbon is 12 and that of oxygen is 16, the
atomic weight of carbon dioxide is 44. Therefore, the equation used for CO2 calculation
(Nevers, 1995) is defined as:

44
CO 2 TC FC [t ]
12

(3-9)

Where: TC is a amount of coal for which one calculates the CO2 emission [t], FC is a
fixed carbon content that coal contains [%/100], 44/12 is ratio of molecular weight of
CO2 to the molecular weight of carbon C. The values of fixed carbon content are
provided in Table 3-4.

74

Table 3-4: Fixed carbon content (Stefanko, 1983)

Coal

Fixed Carbon Component

Btu value [Btu/lb]

Anthracite

86% - 98%

>15,500

Bituminous

45% - 86%

10,500 - 15,500

Sub bituminous

35% - 45%

8,300 - 13,000

Lignite

25% - 35%

4,000 - 8,300

The fixed carbon content used for calculations in this research is 32.5%. It was calculated
based on the coal quality specified in Btu per lb of coal. The coal from the mine has an
average value of 5,200 Btu per pound.
Additional calculation to determine the amount of CO2 emitted from the electrical
equipment was performed. The process converts the electricity consumption in kWh to
the amount of coal burned at the power plant that supplies the mine with the electricity.
This calculation accounts for power plant efficiency, Btu value of coal burned, carbon
content for the coal, and conversion factors. A calculation of the amount of CO2 from the
equipment running on electricity uses following formula:

CO 2

ELC
44
FC [t ]
EC 0.5862
12

(3-10)

Where: ELC is the amount of electricity consumed by equipment [kWh], is the thermal
efficiency of power plant, 0.5862 is a conversion factor used to convert Btu/lb into
kWh/t, EC is energy content of the coal (5,200 Btu); FC is a fixed carbon content
[%/100], and 44/12 is the ratio of molecular weight of CO2 to the molecular weight of
carbon C.

75

3.2.4.3.2 CO2 Analysis Emission from the Liquid Fuels

Similar to the carbon content in a coal, the liquid fuels contain carbon residue (Speight,
1999). The carbon dioxide emission from the liquid fuels (FL in gallons) is a product of
the fuel amount (FL) and the conversion factor (CF).
CO2 FL CF [t ]

(3-11)

The conversion factor varies based on the fuel type. According to the EPA (2005), the
diesel fuel conversion factor is 0.0112; the gasoline has a value of 0.0097. These factors
are calculated based on the carbon residue (carbon content) in one gallon of diesel or
gasoline fuel. The carbon content for the diesel is 2,798 grams, and for the gasoline it is
2,421 grams (EPA, 2005). The oxidation factor for all oil and oil products is 0.99.
Practically, this means that 99% of fuel burns out while 1% remains un-oxidized. The
conversion factors for the CO2 emission for liquid fuels are calculated based on the
formula:

44
CC 0.99 0.0022
t
12
CF
gal
2000

(3-12)

Where: CC is carbon content for the fuel [g], 0.99 is oxidation factor, 44/12 is ratio of
molecular weight of CO2 to the molecular weight of carbon C.

76

3.2.4.3.3 The Performance Indicator (PI)

The Performance Indicator (PI), in this research, is being used as a reliable variable for
various evaluation processes. The importance of the performance indicator resulted from
analysis of data collected through the experiment.
The PI is an indicator of an operators efficiency in terms of electricity use and
productivity for a given electricity input. In general, the performance indicator is either
positive (+) or negative (-), (Figure 3-32). The negative performance indicates that an
operator spends more energy which produces an overburden. In other words, the specific
energy consumption in terms of [kWh/t] is negative. To determine the PI, the input
variables required are the energy consumption and the production rate records
accumulated over the time frame when the operator worked. The energy consumption in
the digging phase is the electricity that an operator spends during the digging phase of the
overall dragline cycle.
The PI calculation requires several steps and the process is based on the normalization
procedure and the difference between production and energy consumption. The PI sign
designates the operators qualified for the succeeding steps in the process of determining
the best operator respecting the optimal energy consumption. Therefore, an analysis of an
operators performance can be performed graphically and mathematically. An example of
the graphical analysis is demonstrated in Figure 3-32.

77

Figure 3-32: The Performance Indicator

graphical analysis

Figure 3-32 illustrates the energy consumption and production rates among the operators.
The operators are displayed on the x-axis while the y-axis contains both the normalized
energy and production rates. The positive difference between the production and energy
consumption designates the energy efficient operators. The case with the negative PI is
opposite. Therefore, the negative difference points out, in terms of energy, the most
inefficient operators over the selected time frame.
A mathematical calculation of the performance indicator is based on the normalization of
energy and production rates. (This process of normalization was explained in detail in
previous parts of the IDE-ACE methodology discussion). Once the data is normalized,
the algebraically calculated difference between the production and electricity
consumption determines the sign of PI. The cardinality of the PI set is determined by the
number of the operators with positive (+) PIs.

78

A constrain that further diminishes the cardinality of PI set is based on the number of
working hours an operator accumulated over a selected time frame. An accumulated
number of hours that is less than one standard deviation eliminates the operator from
further analysis. More detailed explanation for this type of analysis follows in the next
segment of theses.

3.2.4.3.4 Operator Performance Evaluation - Analytical Hierarchical Process

The operator performance assessment is an important issue in many industries and


professions. For the assessment, the multiple criteria analyses are usually adopted
(Bernold et al., 2002; Johannes et al., 2007; GBI, 2001). Also, different methodologies
are applied to estimate the operator performance. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is
a method for dealing with problems that involve the consideration of multiple criteria
simultaneously. AHP was developed by Thomas L. Saaty (1980) and ever since it has
been modified and adjusted for a variety of applications. In spite of some shortcomings
(Dyer, 1990; Ramananthan and Ganesh, 1995), the literature shows that the analytic
hierarchy process has been successfully applied in the practice.
The AHP has been applied to problems for many disciplines. In the surface mining
industry, it is widely accepted for solving problems in equipment selection,
environmental impact, and decision-making processes (Komljenovic and Kecojevic,
2006; Bascetin, 2004; Bascetin, 2006; Bascetin, 2003; Herzog and Bandopadhyay, 1996).
One advantage of the AHP is that it provides a comprehensive and logical analysis of
problems for which considerable uncertainty exists (Komljenovic and Kecojevic, 2006).

79

The essence of this process is a decomposition of complex problem into segments and
development of a hierarchy with the objective (goal) at the top, and criterions, sub
criterions, and alternatives at the bottom (Pohekar and Ramachandran, 2004; Bascetin,
2004). The hierarchy diagram in Figure 3-33 shows a decomposition of problem in this
research. The N Operators is an alternative that changes depending on the time frame for
which an evaluation is running. For example, selecting the best dragline operator over a
period of one day gives the alternative of four operators. Similarly, running the analysis

ALTERNATIVES

CRITERIA

GOAL

over a one-month time frame gives the alternative of 12 or more operators.

Select the best dragline operator

Unit
Production
[t/h]

Unit energy
consumption
[kWh/t],

Fill time
[s]

Cycle time
[s]

Angle
[deg.]

Working
hours
[h]

Annual
Production
[t]

Annual
Cost
[$]

N
Operators

N
Operators

N
Operators

N
Operators

N
Operators

N
Operators

N
Operators

N
Operators

Figure 3-33: The hierarchy diagram top-down approach

Going further in the process, the criteria at a given hierarchy level are compared in pairs
assessing their relative importance. This process is called pairwise comparison. For this
comparison, Saaty developed the scale ranging from 1-9. The values 2, 4, 6, and 8 are

80

used to determine compromise values of importance. Table 3-5 shows the levels of
comparison and assigned descriptions.
Table 3-5: Numerical scale for comparative judgment of indicators

Level

Description

Equal importance

Moderately more important

Strongly important

Very Strongly Important

Extremely more important

Based on this level one makes a judgment and assigns relative weights to the criterion
(indicator). For this process, the pairwise comparison method necessitates the application
of a comparison matrix. The formal representation of this matrix is as follows:
x
y
1
1 / x
1
p
A
1 / y 1 / p 1

1 / z 1 / q 1 / r

z
q
r

(3-13)

Saaty (1990) explains several different approaches to calculate the relative weights
utilizing the pairwised comparison. The method averaging over normalized columns to
estimate eigenvalues of the matrix is used for the purposes of this research. It consists of
steps defined through the algorithm shown in Figure 3-34. The result is a weight with a
value between 0 and 1. Totaling the individual scores from this analysis gives a score
equal to 1; otherwise the calculation of weights is not valid.

81

STEP 1
Calculate the sum of each column.

STEP 2
Normalize the elements in each column by
dividing the column sum. Add normalized
elements to each row.

STEP 3
Divide the row total (Step 2) by the number
of criteria compared.

STEP 4
Calculate relative weights for criteria
judgments from other experts (if more
people analyzing data).

STEP 5
Calculate the final score (FS).
FS=Relative weight*Score

Figure 3-34: The pairwise comparison algorithm

The pairwised comparison technique was applied in order to obtain the weights of the
criteria used for operator performance assessment. These weights are further employed to
calculate the evaluation score that is used to determine the best operator. Eight criteria
have been used to assess dragline operator performance. These criteria are:

82

1. Fill time [s] - the time that operator needs to fill the bucket with the material;
2. Cycle time [s] - the total time required to complete full dragline cycle (fill
time, swing with full bucket, dump, swing with empty bucket, and positioning
the bucket);
3. Angle [deg.] defined as the average angle over a one-hour period. The angle
is measured from the moment the operator starts swing with full bucket until
the end of the dump phase;
4. Working hours [h] - specifies the total number of hours an operator worked
in selected time period;
5. Unit production [t/h] - designates the production that an operator achieved
over a one-hour period;
6. Unit energy consumption [kWh/t] - designates the electricity consumption
per ton of overburden, over a one-hour time frame, in the digging phase of the
overall dragline cycle;
7. Annual Production [t] - an extrapolated value calculated from unit
production and the cycle time.
8. Annual Cost [$] - appoints an extrapolated value resulted from the annual
production and unit electricity cost [/kWh].

The operator assessing process contains three categories: (1) assessment for the selected
time frame, (2) assessment on an annual basis, and (3) minimum cost. These categories
are assimilated in the IDE-ACE as optional buttons available on demand.

83

The assessment for the selected time frame utilizes the top six criteria listed above, while
the assessment on an annual basis integrates all criteria. The assessment according to
minimum cost [$/t] does not use the criteria weights; however, it evaluates the
performance based on the cost of electricity that an operator spent removing the total
amount of overburden over a one-hour time frame. The ranking of the scores starts in
deseeding order, pointing to the least expensive operator.
Again, it is important to mention that the operators with negative performance indicators
and less working hours than one standard deviation are disqualified from the evaluation.
The weights calculated by the pairwised comparison are further used to determine the
overall evaluation score, which is used as the criterion to evaluate an operators
performance. The evaluation score (ES) is calculated as follows:

ES w1 s1 w 2 s2 ... w n sn

(3-14)

ES w i s i

(3-15)

i 1

Where: w is the weight for each criterion, s is the score for each option, and n is number
of criteria used for the evaluation.
Applying AHP and pairwised comparison on this research, reveals two comparison
matrixes. The first matrix is for the assessment based on the criterion selected time
frame (Figure 3-35), while the second is for the assessment using the annual basis
criterion (Figure 3-36).

84

Table 3-6 shows a comprehensive list of weights and the name convention used in the
method of establishing operator performance.

Criteria

1.00

5.00

7.00

7.00

5.00

5.00

0.20

1.00

0.33

7.00

7.00

7.00

0.14

3.00

1.00

7.00

7.00

5.00

0.14

0.14

0.14

1.00

5.00

7.00

0.20

0.14

0.14

0.20

1.00

7.00

0.20

0.14

0.20

0.14

0.14

1.00

Figure 3-35: Comparison matrix for operator assessment for the selected time frame criterion.

Criteria

1.00

5.00

5.00

7.00

5.00

0.20

1.00

0.33

7.00

0.20

3.00

1.00

0.14

0.14

0.20

5.00

5.00

5.00

7.00

7.00

7.00

7.00

7.00

7.00

5.00

5.00

5.00

0.14

1.00

5.00

7.00

7.00

7.00

0.14

0.14

0.20

1.00

7.00

5.00

5.00

0.20

0.14

0.20

0.14

0.14

1.00

5.00

5.00

0.20

0.14

0.20

0.14

0.20

0.20

1.00

1.00

0.20

0.14

0.20

0.14

0.20

0.20

1.00

1.00

Figure 3-36: Comparison matrix for operator assessment based on annual basis criterion.

Some of the spaces in the above matrixes are filled with predetermined values while other
spaces have to be filled in by an analyst. The predetermined values are located in the
main diagonal of (A, A), (B, B), etc., and have the value 1. The analyst assigns the values
only for half of the remaining spaces because the second half is used for the reverse
comparison, and must be reciprocals of the first half. The relative importance of the
85

criteria is the analysts arbitrary decision influenced by personal experience and expertise
in the field.
Table 3-6: The overall weights resulting from pairwised comparison
Scores
Criterion

Description

Selected Time Frame

Annual basis

Unit Production [t/h]

0.42

0.32

Unit Energy [kWh/t]

0.18

0.18

Fill Time [s]

0.21

0.19

Cycle Time [s]


Angle [deg.]

0.09

0.12

0.07

0.08

Working hours [h]

0.03

0.06

Annual Production [t]

Annual Cost [$]

0.03
0.03
1.00

1.00

The last operator performance category developed through the IDE-ACE system focuses
on the maximum stresses on the dragline boom. Among the other reasons that justify
design of this tool, the latter two are identified as the most important.

1. Correlation between the best operators, and the operators producing the maximum
stress;
2. The boom lifetime expansion.

Not all DCS systems are coupled with strain gages used to measure the stresses;
therefore, the maximum stresses category is an optional feature included in the IDE-ACE
system.

86

3.2.4.3.5 Statistical Analysis and Model Development

Having indicated a system of data collection and processing, the following is to perform
the analysis of the results and to establish correlations among the variables. Regression
analysis is a statistical tool widely accepted for investigating relationships among
variables. Particularly for this research, a linear multiple regression analysis is used to
analyze the data from the database and build the forecasting models. Both the model
building and model validating processes are performed with data stored in the centralized
IDE-ACE database and accumulated over the period April July of 2007.

The

forecasting models developed through this research focuses on:

Productivity in terms of cost per ton[$/t];

Energy Efficiency [kWh/t];

Productivity in terms of tons per hour [t/h];

Diesel Fuel Consumption [gal].

The regression analysis is a useful tool in a variety of applications; however, if a model


includes statistically insignificant variables, the forecasting results might be misleading.
The final mark on a regression analysis is validation of the best model using different
criteria (R2, R2adj, Mallows C-p, reduction of variance). If the initial regression analysis
neglects the statistical significance of the model, a variety of remedy measures are
available (e.g. centering the variables). Besides which, the regression model might
include interaction, higher order terms or even both. In any case, the analysis and
discussion chapter documents the development of regression models.
87

The regression analysis for this research was performed using the Minitab statistics
software package. This package allows for both simple and multiple linear regressions,
and the multiple linear regression appears to be a useful tool for the mathematical
description of data associated with any real-world process. For the multiple regression,
the stepwise (forward and backward selection, and backward elimination), as well as the
best subset methods were used. The final best model resulted from one of the formerly
mentioned techniques. The results and conclusions are provided in chapter 4.

3.2.4.4 Web Reporting Block WRB

One of the advantages of Information Management Systems is to provide data access via
intranet or Internet. In e-commerce or banking applications this is very a disseminating
means to convey information to the end-user. From the IDE-ACE point of view this will
make energy consumption/production reports available to any authorized user. The
database access privileges will be defined through user groups. To meet the objective of
this research, ASP.NET is the programming language of choice. (The ASP.NET is a free
technology that allows designers to create dynamic web applications. ASP.NET is part of
the Microsoft.NET platform and the Internet Information Service (IIS).) The ASP.NET
application will reside in a Dynamic Link Library (DLL) on the server. When a user
sends a request to the server, DLL interprets a code and sends HTML back to the user
(Darie and Ruvalcaba, 2006). A combination of ASP.NET (dynamic part) and HTML
(static - visual part) Web pages will result in the overall Dynamic pages shown in Figure
3-37.

88

Figure 3-37: The IDE-ACE web portal

The connection between ASP.NET code and HTML pages was performed in Microsoft
Expression Web. Similar to the Access VBA environment, all text in MS Expression
Web is color-coded, which makes navigation through the program code very convenient.
Finally, ASP.NET allows database connectivity, making it an excellent tool for data
89

retrieval through the customized SQL queries. (SQL is a standard language used to
create, modify, and maintain databases.) For the purpose of this research, a query for data
retrieval (SELECT statement) will be used to convey information through the ASP.NET
application. The maintenance and modification of the database will be performed through
the Database management Block (DMB).
To summarize, the Development Phase and its three stages, the IDB, DMB, WRB are
developed using the technologies presented in Table 3-7.

Table 3-7: Review of technologies and tools for IDE-ACE development.

Block

Technology

Tool

IDB

Relational Database

-MS SQL 2005 Express Edition

DMB

Windows Based Application

-Visual Basic for Application (VBA)


- MS Access 2007
- MS Access 2007 Runtime Library

WRB

ASP.NET and HTML

-Microsoft Expression Web

90

3.2.5

Phase IV Testing

The testing phase starts as soon as the IDE-ACE graphic user interface is finished. This
phase reveals remaining bugs in the code and tunes up the system outputs. (The input is
historic data obtained from the company.) The testing phase required more frequent
interaction between the mine management and the Pennsylvania State University. More
tight collaboration will be necessary to adjust and validate the results using the new sets
of data.

3.2.6

Phase V Deployment

The last stage in the process is deployment of the Integrated Data Environment for
Analysis and Control of Energy Consumption (IDE-ACE) in surface coal mining. This
phase includes training for employees who will use the system and present the
advantages that IDE-ACE provides.
Finally, the development phase will evaluate the system in real application and on-thefly resolve unexpected issues.

91

Chapter 4
4 The IDE-ACE in Application Results and Discussion

4.1 Introduction

The development process was the most demanding task in the IDE-ACE design. Included
in this task was the development of the Integrated Database Block (IDB), Database
Management Block (DMB), and Web Reporting System (WRB). Relying on the software
technologies discussed in Chapter 3, the specific methodology for the IDE-ACE system
was developed. The most beneficial outcomes of the integrated data environment were its
data recording, reporting, and analysis potential. The near real-time data availability
endows mine managers with flexibility in evaluating the energy consumption/production
issues soon after they occur. The results and discussion of this process, as well as the
benefits of this system, are outlined in this chapter. Furthermore, the chapter addresses
the application of regression statistics in order to develop the linear regression models.
The models show the correlation among the most significant variables as predictors, with
specific electricity consumption, and specific production as the response variables.
The IDE-ACE was developed to provide support to the operations managers in the
analysis and control of energy consumption (ACE). By integrating the multiple data
sources in a unique environment, the managers are in a position to make better and
timelier decisions in an attempt to reduce the energy consumption. An existing energy
crisis and serious environmental issues related to carbon dioxide emissions make the
energy-saving ideas even more significant.
92

4.2

Data Collection

The data used for this research originate from a surface coal mine located in the southern
region of the United States. Generally speaking, the multiple production chains of the
mine result from the complex geology of the coal seams and are aggravated by intense
weather conditions (6 ft. of rainfall). Regardless of this complexity, the mine produces,
on an annual basis, approximately 3.5 million tons of coal and about 42 million tons of
overburden. A typical cross-section of the mine is illustrated in Figure 4-1. The
production is organized on the shift basis. On the shovel-truck operations, the operators
work two eight-hours shifts. On the dragline operations, the operators also work two
twelve-hour shifts.

Figure 4-1: Typical cross-section of the mine

In general, the equipment operators are divided into the crews. One supervisor is
associated with every shovel-truck crew, but the supervisors are not in charge for the
dragline operation. For this operation, immediate responsibility is associated with the
shift coordinators. The shift coordinators are also qualified to supervise the shovel-truck

93

operation, and in the management hierarchy structure the shovel-truck supervisor reports
to the shift coordinators.
Among their other duties, the shovel-truck supervisors are responsible for recording the
daily production rate after every shift. (The MS Access database keeps the records for the
daily production rates.)
A measurement of energy consumption is scheduled on a daily and monthly basis. A
consumption of liquid fuels is recorded on the daily basis. The total amount of diesel fuel
consumed by a piece of equipment is noted daily in the Excel spreadsheet. On the other
hand, the electricity consumption is recorded on a monthly basis and currently no
electronic records are available for it. Moreover, only the accounting department keeps
the paper-based records (monthly receipts) for electricity consumption.
The mine management have organized the current data recording system by utilizing the
multiple Excel spreadsheets, the Access database, and paper-based records. However,
these data are not related, though the useful back information and the analytical tools are
not available.
For the development and the testing purposes of the IDE-ACE system, the mine
management provided the production, diesel fuel consumption, and electricity data
accumulated over one year (January December of 2006). In addition, the data recorded
over a period of five months (April 2007 August 2007) by the DCS system were also
available. However, due to a confidentiality agreement, some of the results in this
analysis are not revealed.

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4.3 Dragline Experiment

In addition to cycle time the bucket fill factor is one of the crucial parameters that
determines the optimal dragline production for the given bucket size and properties of
material. The goal in this experiment was to determine the changes in the electricity
consumption and production rate by varying different bucket fill factors. The illustrations
provided in this analysis focus on a single seam, however, the analysis for the remaining
two seams was performed in a similar fashion.
Table 4-1 shows a summary of results for experiments performed on a single seam.
Besides the raw information such as production, energy consumption, fill factor, etc., the
table also contains the data calculated based on the literature recommendations.
Descriptive statistics and graphical data analysis confirmed the relationships among the
variables, which were adopted for the search algorithm development. As previously
mentioned, the experiment was performed on three seams, however, one of the seams is a
mixture of the virgin and re-handled material, and the analysis of results for this
compound seam have shown some discrepancies. These discrepancies disqualified the
seam from further consideration. The results from the other two seams confirm
consistency and they are used to determine the pattern in data changes.

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Table 4-1: Summary of the results

96

Figure 4-2 shows the relationships between the production, cycle time, and the targeted
fill factors. (The targeted fill factors are given along the x-axis.) Also, both y-axes are
occupied. One of them displays the time, while the other shows achieved production rate.
The fill time is particularly important because it is the only segment of the overall cycle
time influenced by the operator performance. The swing times for both empty and full
buckets are more or less a function of the digging geometry associated with the particular
digging pattern.
Further analysis includes the average angle and the overall cycle time. Integrating all
constrains, one is able to distinguish the optimum targeted fill factor, which in this
example was 80%.
Two bars on the far right side in Figure 4-2 provide the results for the in words defined
fill factors. Comparing the results with the in words defined fill factor, No Dozing
shows correlation with 80% targeted fill factor. The result of analysis indicates that the
targeted 80% fill factor presents the optimal value for this seam. Therefore, even if only
visually observing the bucket, the operator should meet the optimal fill factor and
disengage the bucket once the material in front of the bucket starts to move. Further,
restrain from disengaging the bucket results in a so-called dozing effect, which
consequently increases electricity consumption and reduces the productivity.

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Figure 4-2: Production versus different cycle times, overall time and fill factors

The chart in Figure 4-3 illustrates production versus fill distance and fill speed. Again,
along the x-axis, the targeted fill factors are presented, while the y-axis contains only the
production [t/h]. Likewise, to conclusion from the previous chart, the chart in Figure 4-3
infers that the optimal fill factor is achieved for the targeted 80% fill factor. For this
target, the fill distance of 65 ft., and the fill speed of 260 fpm are recorded. The argument
supporting this conclusion confirms the recommendation of three bucket lengths to fill
the bucket (Dragline Productivity Center, 2001). The bucket length for the dragline used
in the experiment is 21 ft., which divided by the fill distance gives approximately 3.1
bucket lengths.

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Production vs. Fill Distance and Fill Speed - D SEAM


350

6000

Fill Distance [ft]

Fill Speed [fpm]

79% Achieved Average Fill

Production [t/h]

5,044

300
4,818

291

4,732

289

272

91%

83%

4,638

260

76%

79%

4,939

5000

269

4,258

250

292

279

82%

70%

78%

4000

200
3000

110

150

Production [t/h]

4,816

2000

104

100
81

81
71

65

69

1000

50

0
100%

90%

85%

80%

70%

Best Fill

No Dozing

Targeted Fill Factor [%]

Figure 4-3: Production versus Fill Distance and Fill Speed

The chart in Figure 4-4 provides the relationship between the energy required to fill the
bucket and the production achieved over a one-hour period. Similar to the previous
charts, this one also displays the production on one of the y-axes. The other y-axis
contains the energy required to load the bucket. The units for the production are tons per
hour [t/h], while the energy to load the bucket does not contain the units. Namely, the raw
energy consumption data recorded in the database are unit-less and require additional
calculation to be converted in kWh. This conversion is explained in the remaining part of
IDE-ACE methodology.

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Production vs. Fill Energy - D SEAM


450,000

6,000

Energy to Fill
400,000

79% Achieved Average Fill Factors

Production

385,390

5,044
4,816

4,818

4,939

5,000

4,638

4,732

350,000
332,106

4,258

319,712

302,391

4,000

250,000

232,015

229,293

91%

222,843

79%

83%

76%

3,000
82%

70%

78%

200,000

150,000

Production [t/h]

Energy Load Bucket [Ws]

300,000

2,000

100,000

1,000
50,000

0
100%

90%

85%

80%

70%

Best Fill

No Dozing

Targeted Fill Factor [%]

Figure 4-4: Production versus Energy required to fill the bucket

The result available on every one of three charts indicates the achieved average fill factor.
This number provides the fill factor that the operators actually achieved for some of the
targeted fill factors. For example, running the dragline for a one-hour period, the operator
achieved, on average a fill factor of 88%, while the target was the fill factor of 85%. This
implies that the average material weight in the bucket was about 5,820 lbs. more than the
operators were expected to get.
Evaluating the results achieved for 80% and 100% fill factors, a decrease in the overall
dragline cycle time of 14 seconds in favor of 80% fill factor was noticed. The 100% fill
factor was evaluated because the experience from the on-site research indicated that most

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of the operators tend to fill the bucket as best as possible, making this fill factor a
common practice.
Assuming the same results for the targeted fill factor over a period of one year, i.e., 8,760
scheduled hours, and 69% availability, the production for the targeted 80% fill factor will
be 28,683,425 tons, while the production for the targeted 100% fill factor will be
28,287,792 tons. The general data used for this comparison, along with the results from
the analysis, are provided in Figure 4-5.

Dragline:
Bucket capacity:
Scheduled hours:
Overall Utilization:

General data
Marion 8200
82 cyd
8,760 hours/year
69%
Data verification

100 % FF
Cycle time
Production/cycle
Annual Production
Energy Consumption

80 % FF
80
104
28,287,792
385,390

sec
tons
t/year
unitless

Cycle time
Production/cycle
Annual Production
Energy Consumption

Production Difference:

395,633 tons/year

66
87
28,683,425
229,293

sec
tons
t/year
unitless

Figure 4-5: The summary of experimental results

Even though the material weight in the bucket for the 100% fill factor is about 16%
larger, the production on an annual basis is smaller at 395,633 tons or 1.4%. At the same
time, removing the overburden with the 80% fill factor reduces the energy consumption
to about 36%.

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The overall conclusion from the experiments conducted for the given seam is that the
optimal production was satisfied for the targeted fill factor of 80%. The achieved fill
factor of 76%, average distance of 65 ft. (3.1 bucket lengths), and the fill time of 15
seconds corresponds to targeted fill factor. At the same time, the energy requirement to
fill the bucket was optimal.

4.4 Data Management Block - Interface Infrastructure

The software development stages are defined as follows: information collecting


requirements, developing the design, debugging, and testing. The downside of the
process is the design of the software and visualization (design of GUI) of its components.
Decisions must be made to determine the logical connections and communication among
the system components. For larger projects, design of software is a team effort; however,
for smaller projects the design is usually left up to the system developer. In either case,
experiences show that no matter how good the rest of a system is, if an ineffective GUI is
built the end users will not like it (Ambler, 2004).
The communication among the components integrated in the IDE-ACE is given in the
user interface (UI) flow diagram (Figure 4-6) or windows navigation diagrams (PageJones, 2000).

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IDE ACE
Application

Open Button

Open Button

Open Button

Data Management Block - DMB

Reporting System Block - RSB

Data Analysis Block - DAB

Equipment
Equipment

Data Analysis

Operator
Performance

Charting

Report by Month

Report by Month

Send Report

Send Report

Charting

Production

Horizon

Material

Employee List

CO2 Emission
Diesel
Electricity
Gasoline

Energy Summary
Print Report
Preview Report

Delay List

Charting

Preview
Report

Energy Price

Print Report

LEGEND

Fuel Consump.
Analysis

Miscellaneous

Supervisor
Performance

Pivot Chart Table

Production

Crew
Performance

Road Conditions

Dragline

Production
Report

Crew
Performance

Truck

Production
Report

Delay
Code

Mobile Equipment

Dragline

Shovel/Trucks

Delay
Report

Minimum
Cost

Delay
Category

Minimum
Cost

Shift

Work Codes

Web
Access

Horizons

Fuel
Type

Rainfall

Fuel
Price

Delay

Fuel
Report

Annual Basis

Energy

Fuel
Location

Selected
Time Frame

Miscellaneous

Advanced Report

Basic Report

Preview Report

Preview Report

Delays

Print Report

Scheduled Hours

Print Report

Dozer Hours

Equipment
Selection

Front End Loader

Equipment
Selection

Design
Experiment

Electricity

Electricity

Liquid Fuel

Dragline

Liquid Fuel

Energy

Truck

Production

Dragline

Send Report

Open Button
Add, Save, Delete, and Records Navigate Buttons

Figure 4-6: User interface - windows navigation diagram

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When a user opens the IDE-ACE, the interface (Figure 4-7) shows the main screen,
which is organized in three blocks. Clicking on a button opens different modules of the
system and simultaneously establishes and maintains the connection with the database as
long as the form is opened.

Figure 4-7: The main screen of IDE ACE system

Generally, the three blocks (DMB, RSB, and DAB) in Figure 4-7 enable navigation
through the entire system. From the system application point of view, the shift
supervisors and personnel employed to complete the data-entering process will frequently
be using the Data Management Block. Deeper insight into the structure of this block
(Figure 4-6) provides the overview of available utilities. The major advantage of the
DMB block is its centralized data management, i.e., every input, change, or data removal
from the database is performed in this block. The inputs, for example, include equipment
management, daily energy purchases, production rates, prices changes, delays, etc.
Figure 4-8 shows the equipment management screen. The IDE-ACE is designed to be
applied on different mines; therefore, the first time a user will primarily have to record

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the equipment data in the database. The given screen allows input of essential
information for the equipment that is the subject of the reports and analysis tools
available in the IDE-ACE system. The information that user has to enter are provided by:

Equipment Manufacturer (VIN number, Manufacturer, Model, Type, Tires,


Fuel Consumption Data)

Internal Organization Policy (Serial Number, Date of delivery, Fleet, Fleet


Name)

Required by the System Design (Energy Type, Equipment Purpose)

Figure 4-8: The equipment manager screen.

Once the equipment is in the database, the user clicks on the Production button, which
launches the form in Figure 4-9. The screen shows the details organized in tabulated
forms: Trucks, Dragline, Front End Loaders, Dozer Hours, Scheduled Hours, and
Delays. Each of these forms will be discussed next in some detail. The elements on each
form are the objects (the term object is commonly recognized in the object-oriented
programming) and further in the discussion the elements on the forms will be referred to
as the objects.
105

Figure 4-9: The truck production manager screen

The results from the data mapping bring out the relations between the processes of the
mining production chain. The processes are modeled through the IDE-ACE system,
allowing that every detail that constitutes the production chain will be recorded in the
database. The form in Figure 4-9 captures the information for the shift, the truck, the
loader, the horizon, the haul location, the truck cycles, the production in tons, and the
operator running the particular equipment during a shift. Indicated information, along
with the records for the diesel consumption, allow for quantification of the truck
operators performance. However, this feature of the system is currently unavailable
because the mine management does not have such data recorded at present.
Consequently, this data will be available once the system becomes integrated in the mine
business environment.
Besides the truck production records, the IDE-ACE database stores the data for the front
end loaders and dragline production rates. Separate forms have been developed with the
purpose of keeping the production records for these two equipment categories up to date.

106

The front end loader is a multi-purpose piece of equipment. It is used as the


loading/haulage equipment on distances up to 1,000 ft. For a scenario where a loader is
being used to move the coal from the stock piles to the hopper, an appropriate form was
developed. The operator running a loader keeps the record of production by completing
the daily sheet that a supervisor at the end of the shift uses to enter data in the IDE-ACE.
This form allows mine management to keep records for the wheel loader production
when working as the haulage equipment.
A similar form was designed to keep records for the changes in a dragline production.
The supervisors have to complete this form with the data recorded by the dragline
operators at the end of the shift. The data are summary statistics that operators have
displayed on the computer screen in the draglines cab.
The key to operational success on a mine site lies in providing accurate, real-time,
guidance information important to those who operate the machine (Leica, 2006). The
mine-supplied data for this research uses a state-of-the art GPS dozer guidance system.
This system accurately displays the grade and elevation at the benches while
simultaneously providing the operators with vital information required to achieve better
coal recovery and to reduce the costs for auxiliary operations. The guidance system
communicates with the mine design software (Carlson Software), which measures and
keeps the records of the bulldozer production rates (volumes of the material pushed).
However, the information missing was the number of hours that dozers have been
working on a particular seam. To record this information an appropriate form was
developed.

107

Even though, the IDE-ACE for this case study was developed for the multi-seam
operations, it can be easily adjusted for the single-seam operations by managing the
Horizons through the Horizons Management Form, which is available in the
Miscellaneous segment of the DMB. (The horizon is described as the seams from
which either coal or overburden has been produced.)
The delays in the production due to equipment failures, weather conditions, or any other
reason, are something that an operations manager wishes to record as accurately as
possible. Having accurate records for production delays allows for a faithful overview of
productivity, a pro-active maintenance approach, and an application of other activities for
reducing unscheduled equipment downtime.
Figure 4-10 outlines the remaining two forms available in the Production Manager.
These forms record the shift-scheduled hours and any type of delays that occurred during
the shift. The form Scheduled Hours records the hours during which a machine is
expected to operate, while the form Delays records the delays that occurred during the
scheduled time frame. The difference between these two times determines the equipment
productivity. The overall equipment productivity is a function of the calendar, scheduled,
available, and operating hours.

108

Figure 4-10: The scheduled hours and delays manager

Two objects, Delay Code and Delay Category, manage the available and operating hours.
The available hours remain when the hours for mechanical and electrical delays are
deducted from the scheduled hours. Similarly, the operational hours remain when the
operational delays are deducted from the available hours. Hence, the operating hours are
the times when the equipment actually works, i.e., produces.
The delay code and delay category are managed through the Miscellaneous segment of
the IDE-ACE system. The operational delay, i.e., Delay Category (Figure 4-11)
recognizes:

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1. Off Shift: Equipment was not planned to operate and maintenance was
performed;
2. On-shift: Hours for which Operations had intentions to operate equipment but
could not because it was down for maintenance;
3. Idle: Non-maintenance delay during which the equipment is not running;
4. Operational: Non-maintenance delay occurring while equipment is operating.

Figure 4-11: The delay category/code manager

When it is adopted, the delay code system used in this case study is established by the
mine providing the data; however, the delay manager allows for the changes and

110

adjustments to other mines by simply adding the new delay categories and the codes in
empty database. Problems interrupting smooth data entry into the database are overcome
by looking at the set of existing delay codes provided in a report.
The integrated perspective of the IDE-ACE ensures data capture at a deep level in the
mining production chain. An integration of data using the IDE-ACE reporting and
analysis tools provides answers to the crucial questions: when, where, and how much
energy is being used to achieve a production. More importantly, management gets an
insight into whether the equipment uses more energy than specified. The Data Analysis
Block brings out more details on this subject. Nevertheless, this analysis requires detailed
information by recording daily energy consumption. The input of data into database is
enabled through the forms Liquid Fuels Allocation and Electricity Allocation (Figure 4-12).

Figure 4-12: The liquid fuel and electricity allocation forms

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The liquid fuel allocation form reveals that some of data are missing. This inexistence is
caused by the fact that some information have never been recorded. Because of that, a
detailed analysis of diesel fuel consumption at this point is unavailable. Once the system
is installed and data is recorded, the reports will provide information on who the operator
was for a particular shift, how much diesel fuel a piece of equipment has consumed, who
the fuel delivery employee was, and what delivery truck was used. That information is
the source for detailed analysis on the diesel fuel consumption. With such reports, the
managers will be able to control the fuel consumption and make decisions in order to cut
the expenses for the diesel fuel.
Figure 4-12 further shows the electricity consumption manager. The design of the
manager allows daily input of changes recorded by the electricity meter. By entering the
data in the system, a user chooses one of the electricity meters. The mine in this case
study uses a single electricity meter to measure the electricity consumption on the
dragline, electric shovel, pumps, and the facility. The version of IDE-ACE used for this
case study was adjusted for a particular situation and it recalculated the electricity
consumption based on the percentages provided from the mine.
The Employee Manager (Figure 4-13) allows recording of information valuable for the
detailed reporting system. The form shows basic information for the employee, such as
ID, employee name, his or her position, address, and other general data.

112

Figure 4-13: The employee manager form

The Data Management Block was developed with the purpose of centralized data input
and management. The Energy Miscellaneous Data Manager (Figure 4-14) is a feature
implemented in the application enabling the centralized input for energy management.

Figure 4-14: The energy manager

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The forms are developed with the purpose of managing the prices, the fuel locations, and
the fuel type being applied at any mine site. The diesel, gasoline, and electricity are the
only energy sources used at the mine from this case study. However, the natural gas and
the coal are also implemented in the system as options for other use cases. In this
example, the diesel fuel is distributed either on the stationary pumps, or by the fuel
trucks. The gasoline is distributed only on the stationary pumps and is mainly used for the
pickup trucks and other utility vehicles.
The fuel price manager form is a unique segment in the application that allows the user to
add new prices or make changes to the existing ones. The changes in this form affect the
results in the report and the analysis blocks of the IDE-ACE. Every new entry in the
database makes the price history list and allows convenient overview of changes. The
prices in Figure 4-15 have been entered for demonstration purpose only. Zeros recognized
on the form means that the price on given date was not changed.

Figure 4-15: The history of energy prices

114

The remaining forms in the miscellaneous segment of the DMB accomplishes a work of
recoding the changes in Rainfall, Horizon, Work Codes, Shift and Road Conditions, but
only the form, road conditions (Figure 4-16), will be explained in some detail.

Figure 4-16: The road condition manager

Recording the road condition during the first several months after the IDE-ACE
integration in the mine business environment has experimental purposes. The trial period
will assess the feasibility of continuing with its application.
In either case, the idea of recording the changes in the road conditions on the shift basis is
to correlate those data with the fuel consumption data. The reality that wet road
conditions affect fuel consumption is well known; however, focusing on a particular mine
to determine the rate of fuel consumption change as a function of the road conditions is
not available yet. Justification of this idea in the real application will provide the
managers with information on whether to adjust the road maintenance procedures or
115

continue with an existing practice. It is expected that the procedure will be beneficial,
particularly in the regions reached with the rainfall.

4.5 Reporting System Block Interface Infrastructure

The Reporting System Block (RSB) was designed to support reliable back-information
converted from the data stored in the database residing on the database server. With this
approach, all relevant information is available immediately after the data is entered in the
database. The data update is scheduled at the end of every shift, so that system provides
near real-time back information. The changes in the energy prices, horizons, shifts, and
equipment created in the DMB affect all reports available in the RSB. While the focus in
this research is on the energy reporting system, the production reports will be available
also.
One object frequently integrated in the IDE-ACE interface is a date selector. Utilizing
this object, a user determines the time frame (start date end date) for generating a report
for the fuel consumption.
While adding new piece of equipment in the database, a user has to input the fleet to
which a particular piece of equipment belongs. The fleet is important because along with
the date frame, it makes the key required to generate a report for particular equipment. In
the case study, the end dump trucks belong to fleet 170, the bulldozers to fleet 130, etc.
After confirming the fleet and time frame, the IDE-ACE system starts a calculation by
comparing the dates between the fuel consumption and energy price tables. The

116

algorithm sets the initial fuel price as equal to the price on the start date; if no fuel price is
found on the start date, the initial price is set to equal the first preceding price available in
the price table. Another scenario, frequently expected, is when the start date succeeds the
last date available in the price table. When faced with this scenario the algorithm takes
the last energy price from the database and calculates the fuel costs. The whole
calculation process happens in a few seconds and the user is able to follow the progress
by watching the progress bar on the screen.
The Fuel Consumption Report (Figure 4-17) shows the summary statistics for the fuel
consumption and the fuel cost for the equipment belonging to fleet 170 from the time
frame of January 1 to December 31 of 2006.

Figure 4-17: The fuel consumption report

117

The same report also illustrates the carbon dioxide emission by a single piece of
equipment and the total amount of CO2 emitted by the fleet. The summary further
indicates the total and average fuel consumption per fleet as well as the overall cost of the
fuel. The report provides printing, previewing, and charting options. The monthly report
(Figure 4-18) for fuel consumption, in both numerical and graphical forms, is accessible
at touch of a button. The x-axis on the chart contains the time frame in months, while the
y-axis contains the diesel consumption in gallons. The numbers allocated at top of the
bars indicate the total diesel consumption for particular month.

Figure 4-18: Graphic descriptive statistics

The IDE-ACE system also has convenient and straight forward process of summarizing
electricity consumption. Typically, a user selects the time frame and the equipment, hits

118

the confirmation button, and reads, prints, or sends the comprehensive report via e-mail
to a corporate office (Figure 4-19).

Figure 4-19: Electricity consumption report

Prior to data integration this type of report did not even exist. Secondary to the timeintensive process of manually checking the paper records stored in the accounting
department and creating the comprehensive report.
The electricity consumption report provides the results stored in a few variables. The
variable unit energy is the amount of electricity consumed by a piece of equipment
over a one-hour time period. The total electricity and the total hours are values manually
entered in the DMB. Calculating the difference between the total hours for two
consecutive months defines the monthly hours variable.

119

The variables total cost [$/month] and unit price [$/h] are calculated values based on
the total hours and the total electricity consumption that both the equipment and the
facility have accumulated over one month.
The last variable available in the report (Figure 4-19) is the amount of carbon dioxide
emitted from the power plant in order to generate the amount of electricity that particular
equipment or facility has used on the monthly basis. If the equipment (e.g. the water
pumps) does not have an integrated gage to measure the number of hours, the IDE-ACE
notifies a user that some of the results may not be available on the report.
Besides descriptive statistics, the report includes a graphical analysis of electricity
consumption. The example in Figure 4-19 depicts a chart showing the electricity
consumption for a dragline over a period of one year. The variable time is presented
along the x-axis, while the y-axis keeps the values of consumption in kWh.
Along with the fuel consumption reports, mine management is also interested in the
production reports. The production reports and analysis tools are not as detailed as the
fuel consumption reports. The production reporting system generates the reports most
frequently required for day-to-day operations. The design and type of reports were
determined by interviews with mine managers and analysis of the legacy databases. A
more detailed production reporting system is planned for development after IDE ACE
implementation in the mine environment.
The currently developed reporting system provides feedback for the shovel trucks and the
dragline production rates. Both reports are explained in some details. The manager
chooses between the shovel trucks or dragline productivity reports.
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The Shovel-Truck Production Report differentiates the reports (Figure 4-20) according to
these categories: Truck, Loader, Horizon, and Material. For either of these categories, the
summary report shows the production rate for the coal and the overburden, including all
trucks over a selected time frame.

Figure 4-20: Production by trucks report

Along with production rates, the managers are interested in getting the crew performance
feedback. This feedback is vital for sustaining production improvements. By running the
Crew Performance tool, a manager determines the best crew over a selected time period.
This information helps in making the decision to juggle the operators among the crews.
For example, a low-performance operator can gain on his or her productivity if working
with a more successful crew member.

121

Two additional reports available in the IDE-ACE system are the Equipment and
Miscellaneous reports (Figure 4-7). The equipment report allows convenient navigation
through the equipment-related data stored in the database. The miscellaneous report
generates a summary for the energy price, the delay list, and the employee list. These
reports have a more or less similar level of detail, so information other than that presented
above will not be provided.

4.6 Data Analysis Block Interface Infrastructure

The Data Analysis Block (DAT) in particular, addresses the application of the data
mining and the novel algorithms developed in this research. All in endeavor to resolve
some of the contemporary issues with data excess in the surface coal mining industry.
The DAT is the most comprehensive segment developed in this research. It desegregates
a complexity of algorithms and analytical tools in a user-friendly, analytical-reporting
mechanism to control energy consumption in surface coal mines. Simultaneous with
analysis functions, it assesses the operators performance in the near real-time. The
results are provided as a windows form or a hard copy report.
Bearing in mind all that has been mentioned previously; the remaining pages of this
chapter show analysis of interfaces and the discussions of results. Again, due to
confidentiality reasons some of the results will not be provided. (However, appropriate
explanations in these cases are provided.)

122

In general, the DAT consists of four options. Each option provides analysis and reports
for a particular type of equipment or fuel type. Choosing one at a time, a user can select
Dragline, Mobile Equipment, CO2 emission, or Energy Summary.
The dragline data analysis tool models the dragline experiment procedure in order to
determine the best fill factor and to analyze operator performance.
The mobile equipment tool assesses the diesel fuel equipment in order to pinpoint the
high fuel consumers.
The CO2 emission tool summarizes the emission of carbon dioxide released from burning
three primarily used types of fuel in the mine.
The energy summary tool provides the comparison between the energy consumption
estimated by DOE for a hypothetical mine, and the real energy consumption. This
segment of the data analysis tool provides an explicit answer to one of the research
questions What is the difference in the unit energy consumption between results
obtained by the DOE methodology and methodology suggested in this research? In order
to evaluate the real energy consumption, the segment also assumes collaboration among
academia, the mining industry, and the DOE. Application of IDE-ACE in this scenario
requires that a mine supply a periodic report on its energy consumption to DOE as the
compensation for this free-of-charge system integration. If this scenario happens, it is
expected that recognition of IDE-ACE by DOE might help to change the attitude of the
society towards the mining industry.

123

4.6.1

Design of Experimental Tool (DET)

The Dragline Performance Analysis Tool consists of three options (Figure 4-21). First,
the Design Experiment Tool allows a user to repeat the dragline experiment procedure to
determine the best fill factor.

Figure 4-21: The dragline analysis tool (DET)

This is a two-step process. The first step includes a design of the experiment with the aim
of defining the target fill factors that dragline operators attempt to achieve in randomly
selected one-hour time frames. The second step is retrieval and storage of data from the
DCS database. Data retrieval follows the optimization procedure that utilizes the novel
algorithm (Search the Best Fill Factor algorithm) suggested in the methodology.
Prior to operator beginning the experiment, a manager initiates the Design Experiment
form (Figure 4-22) and fills in the required fields.

124

Figure 4-22: The design of experiment form

A click on the Set Target Fill Factors button checks for the inputs, and if no error is
reported, the manager continues with the design by setting the targeted fill factors. The
interaction between a person and the system is organized with pop-up message boxes
(Figure 4-22) wherein a user has to enter required information. The code behind the form
verifies the data entry. If, for example, a manager wishes to set more than seven fill
factors, the system responds with a warning message. Otherwise, the process runs
smoothly until all targeted fill factors are entered in the system. The confirmation
message indicates that the results are ready for distribution to the dragline operators.
The design of the experiment results in the Experiment Target Report (Figure 4-23). All
experiments are permanently stored in the database or erased by running the Clear
Database procedure. To make the experiment reusable, the manager has an option to
create the report with the existing results in the database.

125

Figure 4-23: The experimental target form

Finally, every dragline operator receives a hard copy of the experiment target report and
during a shift, attempts to hit the targeted weights in the bucket. It is the operators
arbitrary decision when to start the experiment; however, the experiment has to be
performed during the production process, i.e., when the dragline works in the front cut
mode. The indication of material weight the operator sees on the screen located in the
dragline cab. The time that the operator enters in the report must be recorded from the
clock located on the computer screen in the cab because it is synchronized with the clock
on the database server. The operators role finishes at the end of the shift when he or she
turns in the experiment target report to the shift coordinator, who then forwards this
document to the manager.

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4.6.2

Dragline Data Analysis Tool (DDAT)

Having the experiment target report in hand; the manager opens the Dragline Data
Analysis Tool (DDAT). The tool has two basic functions: (1) to retrieve data from
integrated environment and (2) to analyze retrieved data. These two functions are related
processes in the endeavor to determine the best fill factor. The data retrieval is a two
layered procedure. In the first layer, the DDAT queries the database, performs the
calculation, and stores the data temporary in the arrays. This calculation includes
correction equations (Chapter 3) to adjust DCS records to the exact values. The algorithm
integrated in the second layer permanently stores the results from the arrays into
database, making them available for further analysis.
Typically, the dragline analysis procedure starts by determining the date from the DCS
database in order to extract the production and energy consumption records. Besides
these two datasets, the cycle time, fill time, operator name, and the time stamps are also
extracted. Both the data retrieval and the data analysis are performed using the same
form, yet different data entries, designated by the shaded areas in the succeeding two
figures, are required. Figure 4-24 emphasizes the fields that the manager needs to fill up
when entering the data from the experiment target report.

127

Figure 4-24: The DDAT form data retrieval objects

4.6.2.1 Data Retrieval

Starting from the top left corner of the screen, a manager initiates the data retrieval by
adjusting the date when an experiment took a place. The following action sets the time
when the operator attempted to achieve the targeted fill factor. The time format is
hh:mm:ss (e.g. 14:35:16 military time), and for user convenience can be entered either
by typing on the keyboard, or using the up/down arrows. It is important to recall that the
events in the DCS database are recorded in GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), and so the
difference with respect to the local time zone must be adjusted. For example, if the
128

experiment took a place at 13:35:30 hour, the manager has to add five hours (assuming
that a mine is located in the U.S. central time zone) on top of the time recorded by
dragline operator.
To reduce typos, seven typical fill factors (70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, and 100%)
are predefined and integrated in the combo box. A user selects one fill factor per
iteration. If an atypical fill factor was targeted in the experiment, its value can be
manually entered.
Finally, the bucket length, the seam on which the dragline was working during the
experiment, the operators name and the draglines serial number also have to be entered
in the form.
When given a data entry a user confirms by clicking the button, Retrieve Data, initiating
a procedure in the code that checks for errors on the form; if all entries are correct the
algorithm retrieves the data from the DCS database. Simultaneously, the algorithm
records the current results in the table and displays partial information on the screen in
the Current Results area. The current results are limited on: 1) production for the selected
time, 2) production per hour, 3) energy to load the bucket (dimensionless unit from the
database), 4) average fill time, 5) average cycle time, 6) fill distance, and 7) number of
bucket lengths.
Even without running the analysis of retrieved data, the average fill time (recommended
to be 16-18 s) and the number of bucket lengths (recommended to be 3-4 bucket lengths)
infers the preliminary conclusion concerning the tested fill factor. For example, the
iteration in Figure 4-24 shows that 100% fill factor with the fill time of 21.08 s, and the
129

5.26 bucket lengths is unlikely candidate for the best fill factor. Nevertheless, the result in
the data analysis segment will confirm or deny this assumption.
4.6.3

Data Analysis

The same form (Figure 4-25) used for the data retrieval carries the data analysis process.
Since the analysis requires more frequent communication with a user than the data
retrieval process, the interaction is performed by merging the pop-up input boxes in the
GUI. In the boxes a user enters: 1) database conversion number, 2) number of draglines
unscheduled days, 3) the power plant thermal efficiency, and 4) average Btu/lb for a coal
burning in a power plant that supplies a mine with electricity.

Figure 4-25: The DDAT form data analysis objects

130

Likewise, as with the data retrieval procedure, a manager running the analysis sets the
start and end dates, i.e., time frame. The time frame ranges from one day, up to the entire
dataset available in the database. The data analysis segment relies on the data extracted
from the DCS system and temporarily recorded data in the IDE-ACE database. These
reside in the table as long as the user accumulates the results from the experiments and
restrains from wiping the table. Cleaning the table is irreversible action, so user
confirmation is required to accomplish this action.
The systems feature of storing the results from multiple experiments reduces a margin of
error in an effort to determine the best fill factor. An increase in the number of
experiments stored in the database increases the validity of the overall best fill factor.
Utilizing the IDE-ACE system, the operation management continually measures the fill
factors and determines the best fill factor as the material properties change.
The data analysis outcome is organized in seven tabulated forms. Each of these forms is
next discussed in some details.
1) Chart form graphically displays the results of the normalization process. It
points on three variables:
(i)

Energy that dragline consumed in the digging phase of the overall dragline
cycle over a period of time,

(ii)

Production that dragline operators achieved over the same period of time,

(iii)

Delta stands for a difference between two functions, the energy and
production rate.

131

Figure 4-26: The chart form

2) Normalized form gives numerical results from the normalization process.


Again, the normalization process standardizes the values for production and
energy consumption to be in the range between 0 and 1. The ranking on the list is
based on the maximum difference between normalized production and electricity
consumption. The first number on the list induces the best fill factor for running
an analysis.
3)

Figure 4-27: The normalized form

3) Average Form provides the mean values for the energy consumption (unit-less
number) and the total production (lb) during selected time frame.

132

Figure 4-28: The average values form

4) The tabs, Best Fill Factor and The Worst Fill Factor, graphically visualize the
extremes in the fill factor determined for the running experiment. These forms do
not show any analysis other than a fast summary of the results displayed on a
user-friendly manner.
5) Summary Form provides detailed overview of the results that the operators
achieved during the experiments. The summary integrates the results only for the
time frame defined on the form. The report holds the statistics for every operator
who participated in the experiment by summarizing the achievements in terms of
date, targeted fill factor, production, energy, fill time, cycle time, fill distance, and
the number of buckets.

Figure 4-29: The summary form

133

6) CO2 Emission Form holds the data for the CO2 emission during digging phase
of the dragline cycle. The report also indicates crucial details in terms of
electricity consumption in kWh, the amount of coal that has to be burned in the
power plant in order to generate the amount of electricity used for digging the
phase. A given quantity of coal reveals the amount of CO2 emitted in the
atmosphere. Besides this, the report also indicates the number of buckets per hour
and the cost of energy per bucket. The costs of electricity on the hourly and
annual basis are also provided in Figure 4-30.

Figure 4-30: The CO2 emission form

The statistical analysis of the results from Figure 4-30 coupled with the best fill factor
(80%) induces the numbers provided in Table 4-2.

134

Table 4-2: The analysis of CO2 results

FF
70
* 80
85
90
100

Buckets per Estm. annual # of


hour
buckets
47
284,068
52
314,288
44
265,936
44
265,936
43
259,892

CO2
% change in
[t/year]
CO2
3,252
0.93
3,498
1.00
3,786
1.08
4,339
1.24
5,033
1.44

% change in
buckets
0.90
1.00
0.85
0.85
0.83

* the best fill factor for selected experiment

A comparison of percentage change in CO2 emission against the reaming fill factors
indicates continual increment starting from 85% fill factor. The same conclusion holds
for the percentage of change in the number of buckets. The most extreme increase
occurred for a targeted 100% fill factor when the CO2 emission increased from 3,498 t to
5,033 t on an annual basis. This represents an increase of 44% in CO2 emission with
simultaneous reduction of 17% in the number of buckets (production). This example

80% is the best fill factor for given

confirms the hypothesis that it is not worth spending extra time in the digging phase to

get additional percentage in the bucket fill factor. Moreover, this same practice induces a
double detriment: increased environmental impact and reduced production.
Eventually, the example records a decrease in CO2 emission of 7% for the fill factor of
70%. This is, for sure, a benefit from an environmental standpoint; however, this fill
factor reduces the number of buckets (production) for 10% or 30,220 buckets.
The final conclusion of analysis confirms that an 80% fill factor is optimal for the mine
used in this case study. This conclusion is, graphically justified in the chart in Figure
4-31. The full line indicates the trend in the percentage of CO2 change, while the dotted
line indicates the trend in the percentage of change for the number of buckets. Starting

135

from 70% to 80% fill factor, chart indicates approximately the same rate of change. A
minor change is noticeable for 70%, where decreased environmental impact induces
decrease in the production rate. However, the trend for both lines continuing from 80%
significantly changes; indicating that an operator who is spending more time in the
digging phase negatively affects both CO2 emission and the production rate. Eventually,
this implies extra expenses on the electricity, and likely expected carbon tax bills.

Percent of change in CO2 and # of buckets on annual basis

Percent of change [%]

1.60
1.40
1.20
1.00
0.80
0.60
0.40
0.20
50

60

70

80

90

100

110

Targeted Fill Factor [%]


% change in CO2

% change in buckets

Figure 4-31: Chart with percentage value of change in CO2 emission and number of buckets

The remaining dragline analysis tool is the Operators Performance (OP) (Figure 4-32).
The OP tool evaluates the production rate and the energy consumption for every operator
working over a selected period of time. In addition, the tool allows analysis of single or
all production seams at once. Along with a given tabulated summary, the tool contains
four comprehensive reports ranking the operators based on the multi-attributes decision
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methods. More particularly, the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) was used for
validating an operators performance. Furthermore, the minimum energy requirement for
the digging phase of the dragline cycle, i.e., energy efficiency, and the maximum stresses
on the boom are distinguished as two additional criteria for an operators evaluation.

Figure 4-32: The operators performance tool

Generally, the OP enables the basic and advanced reports. These two are explained in
more detail further in the chapter.

1) Basic report briefly summarizes an operators performance, providing the fast


facts of eleven resulting variables about the production and energy consumption,
including all operators working over selected period of time.

137

2) Advance report provides a detailed summary of production and energy


consumption performance for all operators working over a selected period of
time. The advanced report aggregates the results from the basic report and totals
the number of variables on eighteen.

Both the basic and advanced reports use the same GUI to set the time frame and the seam
for running analysis. Besides the time frame and the seam, the advanced report requires
input for the bucket volume, specific gravity, swell factor, and the annual working hours.
A user confirms a given input by clicking the calculator button; which launches the
algorithm to check for the errors in the input boxes. If no error is reported, the results are
displayed on the screen; otherwise, a user gets a message describing the error and the
variable that produced the error.
Once the results are displayed on the screen, a user continues interaction with the system
by either glimpsing the results on the screen and focusing the candidates for the best
operator, or more likely, by running the Analyze Operators Performance tool. For user
convenience, four fully automated analytical mechanisms that rank the operators have
been developed:

1. Selected Time Frame explicitly measures an operators performance as


calculated over a selected period of time, based on the data from the DCS
database. The method uses the most significant variables, and utilizing the
AHP (analytical hierarchy processes) processes, calculates the overall
evaluation score. The evaluation score is a criterion for the final operators

138

ranking. The largest evaluation score determines the best operator over a
period of time.
2. Annual Estimation is similar to the analysis for a selected time frame,
but includes an additional two variables: (1) extrapolated values for the
annual production, and (2) the annual electricity costs. The extrapolated
values result from a calculation based on the mean values of the cycle
time, average bucket weight, projected number of hours the dragline will
operate over the year, and the electricity price. These extrapolated values
are included in the AHP process, which results in the new evaluation
score. As in the previous case, the largest evaluation score determines the
best operator over a period of time.
3.

Minimum unit cost ranks evaluated operators based on the productivity


in terms of $/t. The operator with the minimal cost per unit produced holds
the top position on the rank list. The list is not result of the multi-criteria
analysis, yet the simple ranking is used to determine the best operator.

4. Boom stress report evaluates the operators based on the stresses induced
on the dragline boom during the production cycles. This report includes
operators who load the boom with the stresses greater than 90% of the
average

maximum

stresses.

This

limit

recommends

dragline

manufacturer with the purpose of evaluating the likelihood of replacing


the existing bucket with the larger model.

Back in Chapter 3, the Performance Indicator (PI) was introduced. After recognizing its
importance, the PI has been excessively used for the analytical purposes. The PI was
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developed based on the results from the dragline experiment and it represents an
important criterion not only for the evaluation purposes, but also for the model
development process. (More on the PIs importance, from the regression analysis
standpoint, is included in the remaining segment of this chapter.)
When faced with the report in Figure 4-32, a manager instantly recognizes the operators
with the negative (-) performance indicator. Immediately, these operators are eliminated
from further discussion and the manager continues evaluating the results looking at the
set of criteria: the unit costs [$/t], unit energy cost [$/h], unit energy [kWh/t], average
cycle time, average fill time, average bucket weights, average angle, and the unit
production rate. Consequently, the evaluation of criteria becomes a challenging task that
is alleviated by the analysis tools available in the IDE-ACE.
After running the analysis tools for the time frame between Jun 1, 2007 Jun 31, 2007,
the D Seam and being given the working parameters for dragline (bucket volume of 82
yd3, specific gravity of 1.53 t/yd3, swell factor of 1.2, and 6,044 hours on the annual
basis), the results in Figures 4-33 and 4-34 indicate that operator J is the best operator
in both categories (selected time frame and annual estimation). This implies that operator
J, running the dragline with optimal amount of specific energy [kWh/t], maximizes the
production rate. The experience shows that operators ranked on these two lists do not
match constantly for the same input data. For example, during July of 2007, operator D
had the best evaluation score over the selected time frame; however, the values
extrapolated on the annual basis show Operator E as the one with the best evaluation
score. The report indicates better productivity of about 3%, or 590,323 lb compared with
operator D.
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Figure 4-33: The operators evaluation for selected time period

Figure 4-34: The operators evaluation extrapolated on an annual basis

The commercial benefit of this system is also apparent from the results shown in Figure
4-32. Namely, the analysis for the minimum unit cost indicates that operator B is the least
expensive operator. The operator achieved a cost of 0.0109 $/t, or extrapolated on an
annual basis, $257,587.00. The same report reveals the efficiency for Operator I, who, as
one of the best workers in the mine; achieved a cost of 0.0171 $/t, or extrapolated on an
annual basis, $478,498. The difference gives $222,913 variation in the electricity costs
for digging phase only. Assuming two scenarios, where all operators perform like these
two, the annual savings based on the total electricity purchase is about 23%. A similar,
141

but less favorable example (data from July, 2007, Seam D) indicates a savings of about
15%.
Emphasizing the economic aspect of the dragline operations, the IDE-ACE system
incorporates a report (Figure 4-35) where the priority has the least expensive operator. In
this example, the positive Performance Indicator corresponds to the operators with
minimum unit costs; however, this is not the rule when evaluating the operators
respecting this criterion.

Figure 4-35: The operator evaluation based on the minimum unit cost

Comparing the operator performance over a selected period of time and based on the
annual basis with the minimum unit cost, shows that Operator B is the least expensive
operator, i.e., $0.0109 per each ton of material removed. Assuming the same production
rate over a year, this operator will spend $257,585 and remove in total 23,571,948 t of
material. On the other hand, the reports in Figures 4-33 and 4-34 indicate that Operator J
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was the most productive. His unit energy consumption was 0.188 kWh/t i.e. 0.0122 $/t,
which places him in the third position it the minimum unit cost report. However, on an
annual basis, this operator produces 27,387,701 t, which is equivalent to $334,787. The
results imply that Operator J produces about 14 percent more than Operator B, increasing
the electricity bill for $77,202. Additional analysis and evaluation of the production
schedule plan has to be performed in order to justify whether the increase in production
of 14% is worth $77,202.
The most recent analytical tool integrated in the IDE-ACE system points to the operator
that maximizes the stress on the dragline boom. This feature is developed to justify
likelihood of replacing the existing bucket with the larger model. The advantage of this
scenario is that the operator will more quickly fill the same weight of material in the
bucket, while simultaneously reducing the digging time. Consequently, a decrease in
electricity consumption, which implies an increment in the productivity, is likely to
happen. An additional reason that validates the stress monitoring system is the increase of
the dragline boom lifetime. Hasell (2008) summarizes the results from research
performed at the mine and indicates that operating the dragline with up to 90% of the
average maximum stress will increase the boom lifetime for 37%. Hasell further explains
that the numbers recorded in the DCS database are unit-less, just as in the case of the
electricity consumption. Therefore, the report illustrated in Figure 4-36 does not contains
the units.

143

Figure 4-36: The boom stress report

The algorithm integrated in the code behind the report retrieves only the operators
exceeding 90% of the maximum boom stress. The values for the maximum (max) and
minimum (min) stress are measured by strain gages integrated on the left and right side of
the boom. The dragline experiment was performed over a period of 43 days in order to
determine that the best fill factor did not include the boom stress monitoring segment;
therefore, the detailed analysis and correlation with energy consumption is omitted from
this research.
As a state-of-the art machine, a dragline performs diverse procedures in day-to-day
operations. The most intensive energy operation is the digging phase, where based on the
experiment, about 30% of total electricity was spent. This number came from the total
amount of electricity consumed by the dragline over a period of time, and the results from
IDE-ACE. The results from analysis indicate that savings in average of 19% is attainable
144

during the best practice application. This percentage of savings came from the analysis of
data for months of June and July of 2007.
The results encourage application of the IDE-ACE system as the analytical-control tool in
order to optimize dragline performance and reduce electricity consumption. Future
application of the system will confirm its usefulness. The initial response from the
managers at the mine in this case study confirms the potential that the system has.

4.7 Data Analysis Mobile Equipment

Another comprehensive segment of the IDE-ACE system considers the analysis and
control of equipment running on the diesel fuel. The segment integrates the algorithm to
recognize the high energy consumers. As previously mentioned, the algorithm is based on
the manufacturer recommendation for the equipment running in low, medium, and high
load conditions (Chapter 3). The details from this analysis, to some extent, are provided.
Another segment integrated in the mobile equipment analysis tool is the Pivot Chart
Analysis. The pivot chart is powerful data analysis tool that enables data visualization.
Pivot charting is a straightforward process, and for this analysis not many explanations
are provided. Briefly, by utilizing this feature, a mine manager can disaggregate the
liquid fuel consumption on a daily basis for every piece of equipment running at the
mine. The graphical features visualize the data displaying the equipment that manager
have selected. Figure 4-37 shows an example of a pivot chart displaying the data for a
fleet of end dump trucks.

145

Confidential information

Figure 4-37: The pivot chart analysis tool

From an analysis standpoint, the Fuel Consumption Analysis provides back information
about the high-energy consumer. By running this analysis tool, the mine managers are
able to identify the equipment that potentially consumes more fuel than a manufacturer
recommended. Figure 4-38 shows an example of the diesel fuel consumption for fleet 170
over a one-year period. The analysis is performed by comparing the real with the
recommended fuel consumption. A detailed calculation method, along with its algorithm,
is provided in Chapter 3. The key indicators (color coded asterisks) focus on the
equipment belonging to particular fuel consumption category. The least favorable
scenario occurs when a manager notices a red asterisk (*) beside the particular
equipment. The example in Figure 4-38 points out three potentially high fuel
consumption trucks. Analyzing the results, truck 171 actually consumed 71,442 gallons
of diesel fuel during 2006 year. The consumption that the manufacturer specified for
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maximum load conditions and the given number of working hours is 61,290 gallons.
Therefore, this truck consumes about 15% more diesel than recommended and it is
certainly a high fuel consumer.
Similarly, trucks 180 and 182 are also designated as the high-energy consumers. This
case shows that the fuel consumption is less, yet close to the maximum value provided by

Confidential information

the manufacturer. Therefore, this equipment is labeled as the high-energy consumer.

Figure 4-38: The fuel consumption analysis tool

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4.8 Data Analysis - CO2 Emission

As mentioned earlier in the research, the mine in the case study uses three types of fuels:
diesel, gasoline, and electricity. For each of the categories, the IDE-ACE provides the
calculation and summarizes the results about CO2 emission. The calculation is based on
the fuel consumption over a period of time (liquid fuels) and the amount of coal burned in
a power plant supplying a coal mine with electricity (electrical equipment). Typically, a
user needs to choose one of the available fuels and continue the process by selecting the

Confidential information

fleet and the time frame. The confirmation of the entries generates the report in Figure 4-39.

Figure 4-39: The CO2 emission report

148

The report shows that the total CO2 emission from front end trucks over a period from
January 1 December 31 of 2006. Besides the gas emission, the report indicates the total
amount of fuel that the fleet has consumed.
A similar report indicating the emission of CO2 from the coal burned to generate the
electricity for the facilities (main building, maintenance building) is illustrated in Figure
4-40. The figure also shows the chart with the electricity consumption from where it is
noticeable that the facility consumes more electricity over the summer time than during
the winter season. The pick in the electricity consumption, i.e., CO2 emission, is in July
when the average temperature for that region of the United States reaches the maximum
value (Weather, 2008).

Figure 4-40: CO2 emission from facility

149

On the importance of accurate CO2 emission, records indicate the world-wide carbon tax
initiative. The carbon tax (CO2 tax) is a tax on the carbon dioxide emission from burning
the fossil fuels. The idea proposes an additional tax that a company will have to pay for
using equipment running on fossil fuels. The climate change activists and the Carbon Tax
Center (CTC 2008) suggest the prices for a carbon tax ranging from $10 to $15 per ton of
carbon dioxide emitted.
For example, the coal mining company used in this case study, only from the most energy
consuming equipment, emits about 70,000 t of CO2 on an annual basis. Nearly 47%, is
from the coal burned in the power plant to generate the electricity supplying the
equipment. Assuming that the carbon tax is set on $10 per ton, the company will have to
pay $700,000 annually. If a carbon tax becomes reality, the results from dragline
optimization will have a double effect. The first benefit will be an immediate decline of
electricity consumption, i.e., reduced electricity bill. The second benefit will result from a
decrease in CO2 emission from the power plant. In this particular case, both benefits total
about a quarter million dollars or 27% in total savings from the electricity point of view
when comparing 80% and 100% fill factors.

4.9 Data Analysis Energy Summary

The energy summary report is a custom feature of the IDE-ACE system. The idea of this
report is to supply the DOE with accurate information about the energy consumption of a
surface coal mine. This feature calculates the energy consumption and compares it with

150

the energy consumption estimated by DOE (DOE, 2002). DOE has provided the
information that a typical interior surface coal mine consumes about 77,000 Btu/t on
the annual basis. The specific energy that has been consumed at a mine from the case
study equals 10,871 Btu/t, without energy from the gasoline. Assuming that energy from
the gasoline equals the total energy consumed at mine, the overall energy consumption
per ton of material moved equals approximately 20,000 Btu/t. Finally, comparison of
DOEs estimates with the real energy consumption, including the gasoline component,
reveals that the real fuel consumption is about 3.85 times less than what the DOE had
stated.
In the future, assuming that DOE supports this project and surface coal mine X agrees to
supply DOE with the data for the specific energy consumption. The IDE-ACE generates
a report in Figure 4-41 and a user, by clicking the button, sends the report via e-mail to a
corresponding person in DOE. The report includes the total production and the total
energy consumption for both shovel/trucks and dragline operations.

Confidential information

Confidential information

Figure 4-41: The DOE report

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4.10 Electricity Consumption/Productivity Model Development

The purpose of this analysis is to examine and model the energy consumption and the
production rates commissioning the process in terms of several possible explanatory
variables. Three models:
Model 1: Productivity [$/t];
Model 2: Energy Efficiency [kWh/t];
Model 3: Productivity [t/h].
were fitted to numerous combinations of the explanatory and dependant variables. In
order to determine the relationships and significant variables, statistical tests must be
performed. The procedure for one of the models is described in detail, while the rationale
for the remaining two models is identical.
4.10.1 Significant Variables
The results of dragline experiment confirmed the importance of the performance
indicator (PI) variable. However, in order to use this variable as one of the predictors, the
statistical tests have to be carried out to prove this assumption. The variables from the
experiment: cycle time (1), fill time (2), bucket weight (3), angle (4), hours (5) are
included for the model development. A sixth variable, Performance Indicator (PI) (6)
was used to define a full regression model. As the last variable entered in the model, the
PI was statistically tested to confirm its significance. The PI is a categorical (qualitative)
variable and as such requires a dummy variable to be used for a model development. The
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dummy variables are the indicator variables and take the values 0 and 1. They are also the
only way to quantify the qualitative variable.
For the testing purposes the initial full model (equation 4-1)

Y= 0 + 1x1 + 2x2 + 3x3 + 4x4 + 5x5 + 6x6

(4-1)

is reduced on the model given in equation (4-2).

Y= 0 + 1x1 + 2x2 + 3x3 + 4x4 + 5x5

(4-2)

To test statistical significance the F test (Equation 4-3) with hypotheses H0: 6=0 and Ha:
60 was performed.

F*=

( SSEr SSEf ) /( p q)
SSEf /(n p)

(4-3)

Where: SSEr is the sum of square error for the reduced model, SSEf is the sum of square
error for the full model, p is total number of variables in the full model, and p is total
number of variables tested.
Prior to the regressing analysis, a t-paired test was performed on the predictor variables.
The test of hypotheses H0: 1 2 = 0 and Ha: 1 2 0
means with =0.05, and confidence interval of 95%.

153

confirmed equality of the

For the calculation of SSEr and SSEf the MINITAB software was used and the results for
all three models are presented in Table 4-2.
The test was performed sampling 26 data from the population; therefore, the assumption
for the normality of data is satisfied.
Table 4-3: Summary statistics for models (Minitab output)

MODEL 1 [$/t]
m
df
SSE(reduced)
SSE(full)
MSE(full)
F*
Area
p-value

MODEL 2 [kWh/t] MODEL 3 [t/h]

1
25
0.000035258
0.000019051
0.000000762

1
25
0.0082875
0.0038007
0.000152

1
25
386047
373337
14933

21.268613137
0.999898
0.000102

29.518421053
0.999988
0.0000120

0.851135070
0.63495
0.36505

Based on the p-values and =0.05, the Performance Indicator (PI) shows statistical
significance for models 1 and 2. However, the p-value for the model 3 is greater than ;
therefore, the null hypotheses cannot be rejected. In other words, the PI does not have a
statistical significance; therefore, the regression analysis for the model 3 will be
performed with the variables in the reduced model (Equation 4-2).

4.10.2 Models Building


Analyzing data and building the model is a multistep process. The procedure in this
research will be provided in some detail.
154

The correlation among the variables is the one of the tests required prior to the model
development. The correlation test measures the association between variables and ranges
from minus one (perfect negative correlation) to plus one (perfect positive correlation). A
correlation of zero means there is no relationship between variables. Testing for the
correlation between the variables was performed using Minitab and results indicated that
high correlations were not present. Only two pairs (fill time, cycle time; and angle, cycle
time) with moderately high correlations are noted (Figure 4-42). The same conclusion
results after running the matrix plot test.

Results for: Model Building_table.MTW


Correlations: cycle_time, fill_time, bucket, angle, hours, PI
fill_time
bucket
angle
hours
PI

cycle_time
0.615
0.093
0.827
0.035
-0.227

fill_time

bucket

angle

hours

0.113
0.395
0.022
-0.449

0.101
-0.088
0.235

-0.206
-0.182

0.022

Figure 4-42: The correlation matrix between variables

Multicollinearity is another procedure required prior to the model building.


Multicollinearity means that some predictors are correlated with other predictors. The
variance inflation factors (VIF) are used to test the multicollinearity. If VIF is greater
than 10 the regression coefficients are poorly estimated (Kutner, et al., 2004). The
maximum VIF of 1.9 in all three models indicates that multicollinearity is not an issue
with variables used for the models.

155

4.10.2.1 Criterion Selection Procedure

This step determines the best model based on selected coefficients. Several methods
exist and most of them are integrated into statistical software. Minitab has integrated four
methods: Forward Selection, Backward Selection Stepwise Selection, and All Subset
Methods. Since a detailed description of regression methods is common knowledge and
appears in many statistics textbooks, this research does not cover them in depth.
However, the Minitab outputs obtained for all methods integrated in the software are
aggregated in Figures 4-43 and 4-44, respectively.

Best Subsets Regression: $/1000t versus cycle_time, fill_time, ...


Response is $/1000t

Vars
1
1
2
2
3
3
4
4
5
5
6

R-Sq
71.1
34.3
76.4
75.4
80.4
77.4
81.4
80.7
81.7
81.5
81.8

R-Sq(adj)
70.3
32.7
75.2
74.1
78.9
75.6
79.4
78.7
79.1
79.0
78.7

Mallows
C-p
17.6
88.1
9.3
11.3
3.6
9.4
3.7
5.0
5.2
5.5
7.0

S
1.0414
1.5687
0.95156
0.97244
0.87825
0.94378
0.86806
0.88345
0.87369
0.87684
0.88336

Figure 4-43: The best subset regression method

156

c
y
c
l
e
_
t
i
m
e

f
i
l
l
_
t
i
m
e

b
u
c
k
e
t

a
n
g
l
e

X
X

X
X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X X
X X X

h
o
u
r P
s I
X
X
X X
X X
X
X X
X X
X X
X X
X X

R2 & C-p criteria

Backward elimination
Alpha-to-Remove: 0.1
Step
Constant
cycle_time
T-Value
P-Value
fill_time
T-Value
P-Value
bucket
T-Value
P-Value
angle
T-Value
P-Value
hours
T-Value
P-Value
PI
T-Value
P-Value
S
R-Sq
R-Sq(adj)
Mallows

Forward Elimination
Alpha-to-Enter: 0.25
4
11.91
-0.034
-1.38
0.177
0.238
3.37
0.002

4
10.42

0.180
3.13
0.003

0.032
2.86
0.007
-2.77
-9.13
0.000
0.868
81.40
79.39
3.7

-2.80
-9.14
0.000
0.878
80.45
78.90
3.6

Stepwise
(forward and backward)
Alpha-to-Enter: 0.15
Alpha-to-Remove: 0.15
3
10.42

0.180
3.13
0.003

0.031
2.79
0.008
-2.80
-9.14
0.000
0.878
80.45
78.90
3.6

Figure 4-44: The stepwise regression method

Based on the results from the criterion selection analysis, the best model accepted to
describe a behavior of unit electricity cost is given in equation 4-4. The initial two
models, defined in terms of unit production [$/t] and unit energy consumption [kWh/t],
are redefined in production and electricity consumption per 1,000 tons. This adjustment
came from absolute values of regression coefficients, which for the unit energy
consumption have small values (e.g. 0.0119).

157

Model 1 Productivity in terms of cost per ton [$/t]:


Y = 11.9 - 2.77 PI + 0.238 FT + 0.0317 HR - 0.0341 CT

(4-4)

Where: Y is the response variable indicating the cost per 1,000 t [$/1000t], PI is the
performance indicator, FT is a fill time [s], HR is the total number of hours [total time],
and CT is a cycle time [s].
The results from the Minitab analysis; with statistics for every predictor variable in the
model, 1 are provided in Figure 4-45.

Regression Analysis: $/1000t versus cycle_time, fill_time, hours, PI


The regression equation is
$/1000t = 11.9 - 0.0341 cycle_time + 0.238 fill_time + 0.0317 hours - 2.77
PI
Predictor
Constant
cycle_time
fill_time
hours
PI

Coef
11.909
-0.03406
0.23759
0.03173
-2.7745

S = 0.868057

SE Coef
1.679
0.02473
0.07044
0.01111
0.3039

R-Sq = 81.4%

T
7.09
-1.38
3.37
2.86
-9.13

P
0.000
0.177
0.002
0.007
0.000

VIF
1.6
1.9
1.0
1.3

R-Sq(adj) = 79.4%

Analysis of Variance
Source
Regression
Residual Error
Total

DF
4
37
41

Source
cycle_time
fill_time
hours
PI

Seq SS
9.518
44.784
4.901
62.820

DF
1
1
1
1

SS
122.023
27.880
149.904

MS
30.506
0.754

F
40.48

P
0.000

Figure 4-45: Minitab output for regression analysis Model 1

158

Utilizing the same procedure the remaining two models were developed. Again, the
model 2 has included all variables as the Model 1. However, the model 3 includes only
three predictors (cycle time, weight of martial in the bucket, and hours). The variable
Performance Indicator (PI) is missing from the model because the test of the variables did
not provide enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis, i.e., the variable was not
significant. The overall models 2 and 3 are provided in equations 4-5 and 4-6.

Model 2 Energy Efficiency [kWh/t]


Y = 201 - 0.823 CT + 3.95 FT + 0.615 HR - 41.4 PI

(4-5)

Where: Y is the response variable indicating electricity consumption per 1,000 t


[kWh/1000t], PI is performance indicator, FT is a fill time [s], HR is the total number of
hours [total time], and CT is a cycle time [s].

Model 3 Productivity in terms of tons per hour [t/h]


Y = 4067 - 48.4 CT + 44.9 + BKT - 3.61 HR

(4-6)

Where: Y is the response variable indicating hourly production [t/h], CT is a cycle time
[s], BKT is weight of material in the bucket [t], and HR is the total number of hours [total
time].

159

The summary statistics for all three models are provided in Table 4-3.
Included in the table are: the number of predictor variables in the model (n), sample
variance (S), F-test value, coefficients of determination (both R2 and R2adj,), as well as the
Mallow C-p.

Table 4-4: Models and summary of statistics for three energy models

R2

R2adj

$/1000t

0.868 40.48

81.4%

79.4%

3.7

kWh/1000t

0.013 41.50

81.8%

79.8%

3.6

t/h

122.63 145.21

92.0%

91.3%

2.2

Model

M-Cp

The models 1, 2, and 3 were developed with the intent to validate the specific cost and
energy consumption per ton (i.e. 1,000 tons), as well as the dragline productivity. With a
system such as IDE-ACE, which is integrated in the mine environment, the models are
unlikely to be used; however, based on the statistics they provide a reliable tool for
forecasting one of the three response variables. The models are useful for estimating an
operators performance in terms of energy consumption and productivity. The same
analysis is available to validate crew performance.
The challenges with these models come with the data retrieval from the database.
Namely, two models contain the dummy variable (performance indicator), which is the
result of calculation using data stored in the database. The third model (productivity) can
be adopted for application without data retrieved from the database, yet the

160

measurements for required predictor variables are necessary. The issue with the data
retrieval can be bridged querying the database from some of the software (Excel,
Minitab, etc.) containing that feature.
In either case, based on the historic data, the manager can forecast future performance
and manage production achievements.

4.10.3 Model Validation


The model validation procedure has the purpose of checking the best regression model
against an independent variable. The validation procedure essentially uses independent
set of data and checks for the model predictive ability.
For the model validation, the data set was split based on the dates. The validation
procedure uses the data from the second half of April, May, June, and July of 2007, that
was recorded in the DCS database. The number of observations available for the model
validation purposes was forty-two.
The literature reports a variety of methods used for model validation purposes. The three
most frequently used methods are (Neter et al., 1996):

Validation using the new data. This method checks for consistency in the
regression coefficients by comparing the results from the model building and the
model validation data sets. The presence of consistency provides strong support

161

that the selected model is applicable under broader circumstances than those
related to the original data.

Reestimation of all good models derived from the model building data set with
the new data. This means that if the best model from the new data set is the
same as the best model from the model building data set, then a conclusion
about the model efficiency is confirmed.

Calibration of the predictive capability of the selected (best) regression model.


The overall regression model is the one that best describes the behavior of a
given data set. For a different set of random outcomes, the analysis may likely
result with different models in terms of predictor variables. A means of measuring
predictive capability of the selected the best model is to use this model to
predict each case in the new data set and then calculate the mean squared
predictor error (MSPR). The concluding inference about the model considers a
difference between the mean square error (MSE) of the selected regression model
and MSPR. If the MSPR is fairly close to the MSE then the selected best model
provides an appropriate indication of the predictive ability of the model.
Otherwise, MSPR is an indicator of how well the selected regression model will
predict in the future.

For the regression analysis performed in this research, the reestimation and model
calibrations were performed. The reestimation procedure with the new data set confirmed
the same best models as in the model building data set.

162

For the model calibration method, the data from the validation model were imported in
the model building set and using Minitab features, these values were fitted in the
regression models. The results are the predicted values (PFITS) further used with the
validation dataset to calculate the mean square error predicted (MSPR) (Equation 4-7).
n

MSPR

(Y
i 1

Yi ) 2
(4-7)

Where, Yi is the value of the response variable in the i-th validation case, Yhat is the
predicted value for the i-th validation case based on the modelbuilding data set; n is
number of cases in the validation data set.
The same procedure was performed for all three models and the results are provided in
Table 4-5. The same table contains the coefficient of determination (variability) for both
the model-building and model validation dataset, as well as the coefficients of
correlation. Table 4-5 also points on the difference between estimated standard deviations
and some other statistics pertaining to the fitted model.

163

Table 4-5: Regression Results Based on Model-Building and Validation Data Sets Model 1

Statistics

Model-building
data set
11.909
1.679

Model-validation
data set
10.189
2.033

bCT
s{bCT}

-0.03406
0.02473

-0.05415
0.30093

bFT
s{bFT}

0.23759
0.07044

0.34206
0.06296

bHR
s{bHR}

0.03173
0.01111

0.02594
0.01216

bPI
s{bPI}

-2.7745
0.3039

-1.7544
0.3057

SSE
MSE
MSPR
R2
R2adj
r

27.88
0.754
81.4%
79.4%

28.51
0.771
1.580
76.3%
73.7%

b0
s{b0}

Model:

0.902

Y = 11.9 - 2.77 PI + 0.238 FT + 0.0317 HR - 0.0341 CT

164

Table 4-6: Regression Results Based on Model-Building and Validation Data Sets Model 2

Statistics

Model-building
data set
201.49
25.28

Model-validation
data set
194.03
30.01

bCT
s{bCT}

-0.8229
0.3742

-1.1843
0.4565

bFT
s{bFT}

3.954
1.061

4.9206
0.9293

bHR
s{bHR}

0.6146
0.1673

0.4643
0.1794

bPI
s{bPI}

-41.397
4.576

-28.342
4.513

SSE
MSE
MSPR
R2
R2adj
r

6323.7
170.9
81.8%
79.8%

6211.0
167.9
369.6
77.3%
74.8%

b0
s{b0}

Model:

0.904

Y = 201 - 0.823 CT + 3.95 FT + 0.615 HR - 41.4 PI

165

Table 4-7: Regression Results Based on Model-Building and Validation Data Sets Model 3

Statistics

Model-building
data set
4066.5
385.0

Model-validation
data set
3665.0
315.7

bCT
s{bCT}

-48.354
2.761

-42.846
4.272

bBKT
s{bBKT}

44.897
3.659

43.978
2.702

bHR
s{bHR}

-3.610
1.575

-1.558
1.825

b0
s{b0}

SSE
MSE
MSPR
R2
R2adj
r

Model:

571446.0
15038
92.0%
91.3%
0.959

627151
16504
15038
89.0%
88.1%

Y = 4067 - 48.4 CT + 44.9 BKT - 3.61 HR

166

The correlation coefficients r, ranging from 0.902 to 0.959, between dependant and fitted
variables indicate strong correlation and justifies application of the models. The same
conclusion can be reached by comparing the coefficient of determination in the validation
data explained by the model with the coefficient of determination of the regression
model.
The results in Tables 4-5, 4-6, and 4-7 indicate that the MSPRs of the validation set are
close to the MSE of the regression model. The fact that the MSE is larger than MSPR
indicates that the models describing behavior of the model-building dataset better than
data in the model validation dataset. The difference in the coefficients of determination
confirms this conclusion.

4.11 Diesel Fuel Consumption Model

Another model developed in this research explains the behavior of diesel fuel
consumption for the end dump trucks. The procedure for the model development is
similar to the formerly explained, so the rationale that follows is brief in details providing
the crucial statistics to justify the model.
The variables selected for the model development resulted from the pre-analysis
procedures. The initial model with four predictor variables (production, working hours,
engine power, and truck payload) is reduced on two predictors. The truck payload
predictor was eliminated from the analysis due to perfectly positive correlation with the
engine power. Running all the regression methods (Forward Selection, Backward
Selection Stepwise Selection, and All Subset Methods) using Minitab removed the engine
167

power from further analysis and confirmed that only the production and total number of
hours that equipment has accumulated are statistically significant.
Further analysis revealed that multicolinearity is not an issue, which is adjusted by a
small

VIF factor of 1.2. In addition, the correlation of 0.438 supports the decision to

accept these two predictor variables for the model building. The model that is suggested
for prediction of diesel fuel consumption is formulated as follows:

Y = 654 + 0.0306 PR + 8.59 HR

(4-8)

Where, Y is the response variable for the diesel fuel consumption [gal], PR is the
production rate [t], HR is the number of hours truck operated [total hours].

For validation purposes, the totals of the fuel consumption for three months for every
truck in the fleet was used. The summary of results for both model-building and model
validation is illustrated in Table 4-8.

168

Table 4-8: Regression results based on model-building and validation data sets diesel fuel
consumption

Statistics

Model-building
data set
653.9
591.1

Model-validation
data set
941.4
755.9

bPR
s{bPR}

0.030561
0.002764

0.034258
0.004556

bHR
s{bBR}

8.591
1.660

8.558
1.795

SSE
MSE
MSPR
R2
R2adj
r

30370721
1047266
88.3%
87.5%
0.423

b0
s{b0}

Model:

48221521
1662811
24008577
82.5%
81.3%

Y = 654 + 0.0306 PR + 8.59 HR

The statistics from the previous table indicate unbiased values between corresponding
coefficients. However, a relatively large difference between the MSE and MSPR required
application of remedial measures on the data set. The result from these measures was not
significantly different when running the analysis with original data set. For that reason,
the reestimation of all best models with the new data set was performed. The result
confirmed that a given model with two predictor variables and fuel consumption as the
responses can be used for the fuel prediction purposes.
Significance of this model comes from the fast and easy estimation of the fuel
consumption based on the historic data recorded on the daily/shift basis. The model

169

necessitates two predictor variables and with 87.5%, explains the changes in the
variability of data. Collecting data is not technologically challenging as in the case of the
previously mentioned three models. The production rates and the hours are the most
frequently recorded data at any mine, regardless of its IT development.

4.12 Chapter Summary

This chapter introduced the application of an integrated data environment for analysis and
control of energy consumption (IDE-ACE) in surface coal mining. It also provided an
overview and discussion of the results appearing on the reports. The data are obtained
from a surface coal mine located in the southern region of the United States. Based on the
production processes at the mine, the general surface mining model was developed. The
analytical processes integrated in the IDE-ACE code calculate the optimal bucket fill
factor. A comparison of electricity consumption that a dragline consumes for 80% fill
factor with the electricity consumed when operators attempt to fill 100% bucket shows
significant improvements in financial savings and environmental issues.
Financial average savings of about 19% on the dragline electricity bill is likely to occur,
contradicting the commonly held assumption among the operators that the bucket has to
be fully loaded to achieve better productivity. Working with a fill factor of 80% reduces
the environmental impact in terms of CO2 emission. The example provided shows
reduction of 44% or 1,535t.

170

Operator performance, calculated based on the multicriteria analysis determines the best
operator based on the optimal electricity consumption. As opposed to performance
indicators that use multiple criteria analysis for calculation, the minimum electricity
consumption ranks the operators according to the minimum electricity consumed during
the digging phase.
The maximum stress on the dragline, a secondary benefit of IDE-ACE, is evaluated also.
Running this tool over period of time is expected to expand the lifetime of the dragline
parts, adding further savings. However, the savings are not measurable as in the case of
electricity consumption, but in the long run the additional benefits are likely.
The additional benefits of the fill factor optimization were confirmed during ten month
production period. The mine deploying the IDE-ACE system confirmed a 6% (Mongeon,
2008) improvement in the dragline productivity. This achievement in production
pragmatically justified methodology developed in this research. Once the IDE-ACE
becomes applied on regular basis, its full potential will be evaluated.

171

Chapter 5
5 Summary and Conclusions

5.1 Summary

Industrialization, increasing wealth in emerging markets, and globalization are some of


the reasons for rising worldwide energy demand. Officials claim that in the next twenty
years demand for energy will be more than 50% greater than is today. Strategies to
mitigate rising energy demand include a variety of alternatives, such as increasing
production of fossil fuels, building nuclear power plants, and investigating the potential
of renewable energy sources. The real application of these alternatives requires
significant capital investment and time. The alternative immediately available is energy
savings and improvements in the management of existing energy sources. The energy
crisis is a global problem and all industries have to participate in the endeavor to make
positive changes. Sustainable development of the mining industry necessitates
fundamental changes in energy awareness, energy conservation, and energy efficiency.
Reduction in energy consumption is unlikely unless mine management starts benefiting
from modern IT coupled with the data sources available at a mine. The research carried
out here shows that diversity of the data sources available at a mine can be integrated into
a unique data environment and be successfully applied in an effort to reduce energy
consumption. The literature review as well as the onsite research have shown that mining
personnel typically do not have the IT background necessary to override the problem of

172

being data rich while information poor. Therefore, this demanding task requires
fundamental changes in the mining enterprises including the active participation of
academic and government institutions.
This chapter presents the main conclusions and results from the research done for this
dissertation. The objective of this dissertation was to develop a methodology for the
Integrated Data Environment for Analysis and Control of Energy Consumption in
Surface Coal Mining. Included in this objective was the design of information system
tools that incorporate available data sources into an integrated data environment managed
from different locations in order to convert data into useful information. The information
system developed in this research incorporates a novel methodology that is capable of
utilizing the production and energy consumption data recorded in the DCS database in
order to optimize dragline working parameters and reduce electricity consumption. Along
with the effort to indicate where, when and how much energy for a given production is
being used, this novel methodology is the focus of this dissertation and the main
contribution made by the author. Successful accomplishment of the dissertation
objectives called for research focused on the:

Analysis and identification of existing data sources;

Interviews with mine management in order to identify the existing data


management systems and recognize particular processes assigned with the mining
production chain;

Research focusing the available data management systems and the technologies
that accommodate the needs of the mining business environment;
173

Defining the conceptual framework for a novel methodology adjusted for


application in surface coal mines;

Designing the experimentation procedures in order to measure equipment


performance and recognize the patterns within the datasets;

Utilizing multi-criteria analysis for developing the IT tools for operator


performance metrics; and

Integration of the system in the mine business environment.

The development of the methodology had five phases described in detail in Chapter 3.
The first three phases are crucial for the IDE-ACE development because they synthesized
the analytical-experimental procedures designed for this research. The fourth and
especially the fifth phase are the system validation procedures required for the IDE-ACE
integration in the mine business environment. The methodology developed in the
research has the potential to be applied to any mine that uses the DCS dragline
production monitoring system.
The IDE-ACE system integrated in a mine environment allows convenient navigation
through the energy consumption and production records, allowing management personnel
to overcome the problems of misleading information. Chapter 4 explains the IDE-ACE
information system, focusing the most significant improvements that a specific coal mine
can expect utilizing this system over time. The example of the best fill factor shows the
benefits in electricity savings, which simultaneously decreased the environmental impact.

174

Difficulties in achieving absolute and permanent optimality in surface coal mining is


challenging task since many variables influencing the production change over time.
Application of a system such as IDE-ACE allows convenient correction of the bucket fill
factor whenever changes occur. Moreover, the IDE-ACE system analyzes the diesel fuel
consumption and, based on the integrated algorithms, pinpoints the equipment that
consumes more fuel then the manufacturer recommends. The high energy consumer
becomes the subject of further analysis and the maintenance personnel have to investigate
the reasons for that consumption.
The analytical hierarchy process was used to evaluate the dragline performance and
determine the best operator over a selected period of time. Also, the regression analysis
carried out with the data recorded over a period of January - December 2006 and April
July 2007 resulted in models for the electricity and diesel fuel consumption, as well as the
dragline productivity. The analysis proved the statistical significance of the performance
indicator (PI) variable used for energy consumption models. The models developed
indicate a high coefficient of determination that ranges from 81.4% to 88.3%.
The observations and conclusions on the application of the Integrated Data Environment
for Analysis and Control of Energy consumption in surface coal mining can be
summarized as follows:

The methodology and system developed in this research make the basis for the
energy recording and the analysis of energy consumption in the surface coal
mining industry which, based on the results, provide more accurate information
then the DOE methodology does. The application of the system utilizing the field
175

data shows that the specific energy consumption is about four times less that the
consumption provided by DOE.

The benefits that system provides are recognized in the real mine environment
and the feedback from manages will provide the material for the further
improvements of the IDE-ACE system.

The algorithm developed in this research effectively implemented into the IDEACE system shows the benefits of lower production cost, diminished
environmental impact (reduced CO2 emission), reduced waste of energy,
improved dragline productivity and boom life time;

The experimental procedure developed through the research and integrated into
the data-driven mining decision-support system furnishes managers with the tools
for continual measurement of bucket fill factor with the purpose of improving the
production/energy consumption achievements;

The reporting segment provides answers to the questions of when, where, and
how much energy is consumed by equipment over any period of time;

The algorithm integrated in the system isolates the high energy consumer
(equipment);

The dragline performance tool carries an analysis of the operators efficiency,


reaching the goal of either minimum or optimum energy consumption over a
given time period;

Running the IDE-ACE system in the real production environment will record
more data and allow further analysis and control of energy consumption in surface
coal mines.
176

5.2 Recommendations for Further Research


The analysis and control of energy consumption in the mining industry in general has
tremendous beneficial potential. Systems such as IDE-ACE are rarely designed at once in
a full scale. Usually, these systems grow over time until all disintegrated segments
become a part of a unique data environment. The potential of the data sources at a surface
coal mine is great for reducing energy cost. Further research can now be conducted on
electric shovels and trucks. The DCS database used as the source of data for the dragline
experiment also records the productivity for an electric shovel. Preliminary analysis
indicated that the methodology developed in this research, with small modifications,
could potentially be applied for the electric shovel. However, any further conclusion
necessitates further experimentation in order to evaluate shovel performance and
potentially reduce electricity consumption. Assuming that results from the experiment
justify the optimization algorithm, the application of IDE-ACE can be extended to the
electric shovels. This will round the entire process, and the DCS database can be used as a
reliable data source in reducing the energy consumption in surface coal mines.
Similar research is suggested in order to utilize the data sources that Caterpillars Vehicle
Information Management System (VIMS) offers. With the current energy crisis,
utilization of the VIMS database is increasingly significant. Again, experimentation prior
to any data analysis is recommended. It is expected that the results of experiments
performed with the electric shovel and the end-dump trucks will provide firm conclusions
and suggest the algorithms that can be programmed and integrated into existing an IDEACE system.

177

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184

VITA
DRAGAN BOGUNOVIC
Place and Date of Birth: Virovitica, Croatia, January 29, 1976
Education
The University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia, B.S., 2002, Mining Engineering
The University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia, M.S., 2005, Mining Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA, PhD, 2008, Mining
Engineering
Employment Summary
2006 present, The Pennsylvania State University, Graduate Assistant
2007, North American Coal Corporation, Summer Internship, Database Design,
Production Improvements
2002-2005, The University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia, Research Assistant
Peer Reviewed Publications
Bogunovic, D., Kecojevic, V., 2007, Artificial screen for reducing seismic vibration
generated by blasting, Environmental Geology, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp. 517-525.
Papers Presented at Technical Conferences and Professional Meetings
Bogunovic, D., Kricak, L., Kecojevic, V. (2007). Modeling an Artificial Screen for
Reducing Seismic VibrationModeling an artificial screen for reducing seismic
vibration Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting
Technique, Nashville, TN. International Society of Explosives Engineers, pp. 127-135.
Kricak, L., Bogunovic, D., Teodorovic, Z., 2008,Sequential Blasting Initiation System
With RF Control (SBISRF). Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference on Explosives
and Blasting Technique, New Orleans, LA, International Society of Explosives Engineers
Kricak, L., Bogunovic, D. Majstorovic, J., Krunic, P.,2005, Programmable initiations
system for electric detonator networks, VIII th Open Pit and Underwater Mining
Conference, Sunny beach resort, Bulgaria.
Kricak, L., Matic, N., Krunic, P., Bogunovic, D., 2004,System for recording and analysis of
seismic vibrations VIBRAREC, European Conference of Natural Constructin Materials
and Coal, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Kricak, L., Purtic, N., Bogunovic, D., 2002, Application of Bickford Primadet Nonel
System on Metal and Non Metal Mines, III International Exhibition and Conference STONE
02, Arandjelovac, Serbia (In Serbian).

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