Nov. 19th ,Wednesday
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
• Registration and Hospitality room
7:00 am –
8:00 am – 8:15 am
Opening remarks/Business Meeting
• Jed Jensen President
8:15 am – 9:15 am
• Group Discussion Divide into groups to discuss Safety, New
Innovations & Technology, Problems and Solutions, and Future Meeting
Presentation Topics and locations. Summary of discussion will be
presented the following morning.
9:15 am – 9:30 am
9:30 am –10:45 am
Blast Hole Drill Automation
• Mike Casson and Jarrid Cima, Flanders Electric
10:45 am – 11:00 am
11:00 am - 12:00 am
• AC IGBT Drives and Their Applications
Gary Sorenson and Rob Marnell, Drives and Controls Services
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
1:00 pm – 1:45 pm
• Vendor commercials
1:45 pm - 2:00 pm
2:00 pm –3:00 pm
• On-Line Predictive testing of Medium Voltage Equipment
- Bob Sheppard, GM Southwest Energy Systems
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm
3:15 pm – 4:00 pm
• Overview and Field Experience: DC-EXX IGBT Exciter MG Set Drive
- Bill Horvath, PE TMGE Automation Systems
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm
• The Effect of Spring Pressure on Carbon Brush Wear Rate
- Jeff Koenitzer, Helwig Carbon
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
• Hospitality room
8:00 am –
• Group Discussion
Summary of Group Discussions held on Thursday
9:00 a.m.– 9:15 am
9:15 am - 9:45 am
• Application of Vacuum Circuit Breakers and Disconnect Switches in
Medium Voltage Mining Switchgear
- David Gohil, AZZ/Central Electric Mfg. Co.
9:45 am - 10:45 am
• Allen Bradley Programmable Automation Controllers:
Multidiscipline Control, Diagnostics and Communications
- John Haley, Rexel
10:45 am – 11:15 am
• ProSmart Wireless Machine Condition Monitoring by ITT Goulds
- Mark Brown, ITT Goulds Pump
11:15 am – 11:45 am
• Introduction to the Mining Electricians Program at Mesa State
- Bob Peterson, Program Coordinator Community Education Center MESA
State College Grand Junction/Montrose, CO
11:45 am – 12:00 pm
• Closing remarks
- Jed Jensen, President
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
• Steering committee meeting
· Close Calls…
One mine had many incidents of
Parking Brakes not being set on trucks. When operator gets out and
starts down ladder he notices the truck start to roll, and has to
scramble back up the ladder to set the brake.
This mine installed switches on the
door that would alarm if the brake was not set when the door was
· Chips from Hammers…
This mine requires a soft face on all
hammers 2# and above. Manager removed all other hammers from the
They have had close calls and severe
injuries resulting from flying chips from hammers.
Another mine uses slide hammers…
Another mine uses brass faced
Phil Kanning – Falkirk
On 8750: Wire Dataq Isolator in
permanently to Computer in PCR less likely to have problems with
Needed platforms around motors… ON
an 8750 a welder was using a Hoist motor to climb on when he
slipped, fell and cracked three ribs.
Video Cameras Remotely
Mine is using cameras in the house of
draglines to monitor equipment remotely
Cracking down on Noise from
MSHA Citation costs are much
Recheck everything… citations
written on items that have existed for years and years without so
much as a comment. For Example a resistor that had three sides
covered well with an open 4th side. Over 7 feet high.
Screens on heater fans etc that are
well above 8 ft off the ground.
One mine had an installation
approved by MSHA. However it was discovered that a Class I Div II
methane alarm did not de-energize an electric hoist due to an error
in wiring design. MSHA wrote a citation even thought they had
approved the installation. (Will Younkin)
MSHA cited one mine an S&S for a
crack in the ground lead insulation from the work to the welder.
When the inspector was challenged, she agreed to reduce to a NON-S&S
if so advised by phone after consulting with an MSHA electrical
inspector. The citation was reduced.
MSHA does not allow citations to be
conferenced, unless very severe. It is difficult to get inspectors
to reconsider facts surrounding the inspection before they write a
Lost Time Incidents:
One mine conducts a ‘Time Out’ for
a lost time. A special company wide meeting might be held to discuss
the incident to prevent recurrence. Peer Pressure Works…
Line man video of graphic shock
incidents… Promotes Safety Awareness & Education
Problems and Solutions:
One mine has had numerous
(previously) unexplained tripping of a single dragline. The problem
started with an instantaneous trip of switchgear feeding the
dragline once every week or two. The problem worsened over a period
of two years, becoming less frequent with changing voltage taps to
the mine distribution. Machine would exhibit flicker of the lights
when motoring to the spoil on occasion. Sometimes the lights would
flicker off. Sometimes the machine would trip off line on
Troubleshooting efforts revealed a
2.1 Hz oscillation was in the KVAR regulator where a Watt Transducer
normally outputs DC to the KVAR Regulator.
A capacitor has been used in the KVAR
regulator to dampen the oscillations to permit running until an
active filter can be installed to cancel the 2.1 Hz oscillation.
Will report on the success of the
filter at a later date.
A detailed explanation of the
phenomenon, why it happens and possible solutions would be most
The problem is emergency (parking)
brake failures on (Chevy) pickups equipped with automatic
transmissions. It turns out that unless the emergency brake is
applied to the maximum so the vehicle will not move when put into
gear… the brake is not likely to be released when the vehicle is
moved. One time is all it takes on a Chevy and the emergency brake
fails and won’t hold when applied again. This can be nearly a
weekly issue with some operators. The emergency brake is a
pre-shift inspection item… and therefore gets written up all the
time. Our gas mechanic wants high voltage run to the seat, so the
operator gets jolted when he forgets to release the brake and drives
off. We are trying to convince the Safety Dept. that in these
pickups the parking pall in the automatic transmission is designed
to serve as a parking brake for the vehicle. The emergency brake
should only be used if the pall fails or the service brakes fail.
The question is: Do other mines have the same issue, or have they
already installed shock collars? Does MSHA recognize the pall in
the automatic transmission as a suitable parking brake?
New Innovations and Technology:
MSHA Compliance Issues
EPA and Energy Efficiency: 2010
new Standards will become effective…
What is required?
How will this impact the mines?
What Political pressures will the
change in administration
congress hold for mines? New Legislation?
2 Hz Phenomenon on Synchronous
Vivian Fadlevish, Consolidated Mine
Service has offered to make a presentation on “Proper Splicing
Techniques” of mine cable
She can be reached at 903-757-3100
Electricians… South Dakota Tech
Hotel is excellent
More and more switchgear is being
designed with arc flash in mind to limit the incident energy
exposure to the electricians
Some are requiring the OEM to
provide arc flash information in the specifications
Discussed an incident while in a
transformer room where the escape door was locked with a pad lock
on the outside. The group thought that doors with panic bars are a
much better option.
Innovations and Technology:
Gary Sorenson mentioned the 680W
retrofit from DC to AC, which we saw a presentation on yesterday.
Alan Patterson mentioned that one
of their customers has implemented continuous monitoring of field
coils by splitting the field coils, three and three and then
NFPA 2009 changes
Update on Aaron Spielman’s
presentation on RTEA’s implementation of arc flash.
There was a suggestion to discuss
the viability of putting together a data base for electrical spare
components, much like the OPMA spares list that existed years ago.
· Our group discussed Arc Flash. Josh commented on the point is
Rio Tinto Energy going to start requiring the same compliance from
Vendors that we require of full time employees. It was then mentioned by
Christine that Caballo mine requires that they wear special coveralls.
Canada is regulated by CSA and they are developing and going to require
some type of Arc Flash rules. It was also mentioned that NFPA 70E has
not studied the Arc Blast effects as of yet. I made an attempt to
briefly discuss the Arc Flash Requirements that are set forth by Rio
Tinto as we have fully implemented arc flash protection for AC down to
our 480 volt MCC units. Rio Electricians have been trained on Arc Flash
and have been issued coveralls, Level 2 protection, and the level 4
protection and then talked out some of the engineered controls that are
available on the market that take you out of the approach boundaries or
reduce the available amount of fault current in the area you are
working. It was also mentioned that fuses have a quicker interrupt time
which also minimizes the fault current.
· Also in the area of safety Mark Perkins of Helwig talked about
keeping your work area clean specifically talking about taking the time
to keep your work area clear of tripping hazards. That led into the take
five process and that the employees at Rio Tinto are required to perform
informal take five procedures before every task that they perform. When
performing safety interactions in the field the take five booklets are
checked to determine if the process is being used. Caballo mine
completes a safety audit daily.
Innovation and Technology:
Startco-Little fuse has a new product which was described as uplink
and it is DIIN rail mounted. It provides a 24 volt dry contact and
that sends a signal to the PLC for fuse status indication.
had some upgrades to their substations and all mech-elec protective
relaying with Multlin units. That provides fault tracking and the
ability to download info and store it electronically.
relays have engineered controls to help reduce the potential for Arc
talked about was the use of high resistance grounding to minimize
ground fault currents.
There are improved operator chairs for an 8200 dragline to improve
the ergonomics for operators.
Gertz from Falkirk mentioned that they have converted their touch
screens to stand alone units so if they fail it does not affect the
operation of the machine.
Jones of P&H mine pro mentioned the JLT interface which allows the
capability of remote access for troubleshooting and possible remote
repair of machines.
Perkins mentioned that he like some other suppliers are keeping
stock on hand at his shop for immediate needs of the mines
Chris Schroeder talked about a project coming up for DCS in Columbia
where they are going to motivate an 8750 dragline for a 20 mile walk
by hooking three 1800 kw motivators in series.
Problems and Solutions:
There are some problems that are occurring with the mining trucks
with OEM wiring practices where connectors are used. Large wire is
converted to smaller wire feeds and paralleled through connectors
and when one of the wires breaks loose it then burns up the
remaining small wires. Question was there any fixes for this problem
at other locations.
was then asked is anyone grounding their portable generators. No one
is driving ground rods for light plants. Motivators are set up to
detect ground fault currents and if that happens the engine on the
motivators are set to shut down and stop the flow of current.
course sounds good.
will be the PPE requirements for Vendors and could there be a list
of expectations as almost all properties have different
Standards for transformer efficiencies and requirements.
Requirements for harmonics-effects of VFD’s, the use of split
transformers secondaries, power system efficiencies.
are others doing for VAR corrections?
Actions on precautions taken vary widely among locations. Rio Tinto
operations seem to be leading the way. At their mines, full
engineering fault studies have been completed, all hazardous
locations have been defined as to hazard level(s) and identified
accordingly and protective gear, from FR coveralls to full blast
suits are provided. Electricians have been trained in proper
procedures and use of protective gear. Some locations are providing
FR coveralls and clothing (Level 1 and higher). Some locations are
awaiting MSHA’s direction prior to taking any actions. 40 cal
flash/blast suits are being provided at some locations. Concerns
were expressed regarding whether these suits are being used by the
electricians consistently or at all. The suits are very hot and
cumbersome. There were several that said much of the FR clothing is
very warm, and does not breathe well, making it uncomfortable to
wear in high ambient temperatures. One individual said they had
purchased some clothing from Dry fire, and it is quite comfortable,
even in high ambient temperatures. The company’s website was said to
dryfire.com. Note: I tried this to no avail. Sorry!
Grounding Knife Switches/Disconnects
Knife switches (disconnecting means) that ground all 3 phases when
in the open position are being utilized at least one location. They
are pleased with the performance of these switches to date. Switches
are available for high and low voltage applications. These
particular switches require a complete change out of the entire
switch. The question was asked if kits, to retrofit existing
switches, are available. Nobody knew of anything like this out
regarding the new profiling
instrument, CommPro which is being distributed by Carbone. This tool
allows non-contact profiling of commutators or slip-rings at full
speed. As discovered at one location, it will also recognize TIR and
BTB readings at different RPMs (full machine speed compared to
manual rotation), possibly giving some early indicators of
commutator glass banding deterioration or loosening.
Startco combination Ground Fault/Ground Check relays. Startco gave a
presentation during our meeting on these.
Flash relays, manufactured by Schweitzer, that have a 2 ms reaction
discussion took place regarding the future of excavator drives, i.e.
AC or DC? All agreed that AC has evolved much in the last 30 years,
and is being utilized very successfully by several OEMs. However, AC
technology is also quite expensive. There was general agreement
amongst the group that most mining companies will utilize their
existing DC equipment to its full life cycle. AC equipment will be
considered most often when equipment is being replaced, or fleets
are being expanded.
least one MSHA inspector has recently asked that ground rods be
installed and driven for portable light plant/generator
applications. Most in the group agreed this is not necessary, and
has not been required by MSHA. WMEA meeting notes, from 1988,
document a discussion panel with MSHA. In MSHA’s reply, to this
question, it is distinctly stated that the generator frame, and/or
equipment frame serves as the means for grounding in these
applications. NEC 2008, Article 250.34 also states the same.
discussion group member mentioned that an MSHA inspector had
concerns or questions that qualified electricians should be
performing 24 vdc work on rolling stock equipment. There are
several locations in both MSHA Part 75 and Part 77, where 40 volts
or less, is referenced as “non-electrical” work, or “no shock
hazard existing”. This is the only instance I have ever heard of an
MSHA inspector questioning the need for qualified electricians to
perform work at levels lower than 40 volts, and I believe this is
the commonly accepted and practiced guideline.
Future Meeting Topics:
Flame Resistant Clothing and Protective Gear
Wireless Communication networks and devices in mining environments
Invite MSHA in for a panel discussion
Antelope Mine has surpassed 3 Million workforce hours without a loss
has introduced the use of “metatarsal” safety boots
Syncrude & Antelope are “NFPA ready”. Others at different stages for
protection of Electricians
Asset Management Software (including wireless technology) being
implemented at Rio Tinto sites
Komatsu AC 830 Haulers introduced to Elk Valley Coal
P&H 4100 Shovel being assembled at Syncrude
Problems & Challenges:
Training the Operators & Maintenance Techs on the new Komatsu AC 830
Grounding rods for portable equipment – does it apply to Welding
inconsistent on rulings between sites
Operator joysticks and issues with “return to neutral” (safety
Canadian site should be Vancouver, BC
Differences between Canadian & American electrical codes. MSHA (US)
vs. M421 (CAN)
Siemens Automation Training (offered by Bruce Reeves)
Training – Generic vs. Vendor specific, Ladder Logic, Communication
& Protocols, configuration, firmware, software, upgrades & reasons
Tinto discussed the Take 5 Program, Wade passed out Task Books,
which is given out to each employee to be filled out whenever they
perform a task. It as “how can I get hurt?” and “What can I do
about it?” At anytime someone can ask to see your book, and if they
have done a good job they are rewarded. They also have safety
drawings for nice awards.
talked about several near miss incidents where someone else’s action
may get you hurt. Had a hoist motor being aligned, locked and
tagged out properly. Someone else was working on the hoist rope,
attached to the hoist drum, and decided to rotate the drum. This
caused the motor pinion coupling to rotate at a high rate of speed.
No one was hurt but it did damage the alignment tool and made
everyone aware to check out their surrounding work area.
Several of our vendors discussed working on a variety of mine sites;
the policies differ but complimented Mine sites for having a better
awareness for their safety.
was also discussed that safety was a value and began with everyone,
everyday. Safety begins when you wake up every morning.
agreed safety programs need to change
frequently and there were two web sites brought up that might offer
was The Rocky Mtn. Electrical League and their website is
other one is Northwest Public Power Association and their website is
www.nwppa.org. Those might be some good resource materials.
talked about increase use of remote control drum position. This
gets the miner away from the hazard area.
Carbonne talked about the Compro Profiler getting the miner away
from the hazardous area. Also in developing this profiler they
worked with miners to understand their needs.
Tinto talked about monitoring trucks from a central location and
they monitored truck maintenance data and truck production data.
And working with vendors to improve vehicle health. Working on
setting policies to prevent remote programming.
Problems and Solutions:
requiring ground rods at all light plants if 110v power cord is
being used. Sabine Mining Co. was required to do this, but most
facilities do not do it.
Talked about neutral return on joy sticks control. Springs not
wanted by operators vs. safety factor of joy stick not in neutral.
Asked about other resources for joy sticks.
Discussed a little about NFPA-70E. No vendor in our group had been
required to use protection as of yet.
Recognized National Carbon in Greenville, SC for 1 million man hours
over 2 years time with no lost time accidents. They were issued a
commemorative coin for their achievement.
talked about the dangers of walking under a moving conveyor and the
wise use of hard hats.
Tinto and Foundation Coal members talked about their ongoing
Arc-Flash protection programs.
talked about the use of breakaway neck straps as one of the group
members had gotten their ID badge caught in a paper shredder.
Talked about using remote mounted sensors for vibration monitoring
in inaccessible areas.
Paint Earth mine talked about their upgrade to Startco protective
relays for their sync motors and the benefits this provides.
discussed the use of back up cameras on large mining equipment as
there was a recent fatality in the Powder River basin from a backing
Problems and Solutions:
Future Meeting Topics:
group mentioned getting more information on the maintenance and
troubleshooting of MG sets.
Presentation on protective relaying for power distribution systems.
Information on IR windows and listing of MCC’s after installation of
Several members wanted a presentation on “helper drives” for
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