June 2008 – Edmonton, Alberta

Opportunities exist in today’s material technology where composites and plastics can be used to replace steel, which saves a lot of heavy lifting, eg: grating which is traditionally steel can now be replaced with composites, and haul truck ladders are another example of composite light weight.

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Fantasyland Hotel
17700-87th Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta

Meeting Minutes

June 11th, Wednesday
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Registration and Hospitality room

June 12th, Thursday
7:00 am – 8:00 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 and 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

DC Machines Custom Manufacturing Case Studies
– Rick Scherer, Flanders Electric

10:45 am – 11:00 am


11:00 am – 12:00 am

The Effect of DC Machine Adjustment on Loop Balance
– Rich Hall, National Carbon

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

North American Coal-Sabine Mine-8200 Dragline Erection-Electrical System Innovations and Motion Control Modifications
– Scott Barrett, Sabine Mine and David Barrett, Drives & Controls Services

1:45 pm – 2:00 pm


2:00 pm –3:00 pm

Why Do I Need To do An Arc Flash Analyses
– Alex Nizov, AVO Engineering Manager

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm


3:15 pm – 4:00 pm

Report On 4100XPC AC Shovel
– P& H Mining Equipment

4:00 pm – 4:45 pm

Update on the Bucyrus AC gearless drive dragline
– Mark Johnston Bucyrus International

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Hospitality room

June 13th, Friday
8:00 am – 9:00 am

Group Discussion
– Summary of Group Discussions held on Thursday

9:00 a.m.– 9:15 am


9:15 a.m.– 9:45 am

Important Considerations for Specifying Medium Voltage Mining Switchgear
– David Gohil, AZZ/Central Electric Mfg. Co

9:45 am – 10:45 am

Interpretation of Transformer Oil Test Results and Economic Solutions
– Craig Schley, Business Development SD Myers Inc. and Transformer Maintenance Institute

10:45 am – 11:00 am


11:00 am – 11:45 am

Electrical Safety As It Relates To Mining
– Tom Norwood, AVO Senior Safety Specialist

11:45 am – 12:00 am

Closing remarks
– Jed Jensen, President

12:00 am – 1:00 pm


1:00 pm

Steering committee meeting

Topics Discussed

Custom Motor Manufacturing Three Case Studies – Flanders Electric

Dealing with Electrical Hazards in the Workplace

PH AC Drive System

Sabine Mine 8200 Dragline Innovations

Specifying MV Mining Switchgear

The Effects of DC Machine Adjustment on Loop Balance

Transformer Oil Testing

Why do I need to do an Arc Flash Analysis

Group Discussions

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5

Group 6

Group 1 Discussion


DCS spec’ed out latest switchgear and upgraded the PLC to monitor ground faults on the new Sabine 8200 the equipment raises the safety to a bench mark they never had before. They also enclosed the Drives in a lockable glass front case which prevent exposure to ARC flash, the Auxiliary buss also utilizes a Kirk key system to ensure that the Main line in is not energized by the on board backup generator on the machine.

Canadian electrical safety is driven by the Canada Electrical Code Some customers make it mandatory to have a Kirk key system for Aux. power and every access to high voltage as electrical inter- locks to insure a double safety.

It was also stated to try to build a training system that will get the work force more interested and apply themselves to. Some mines in Canada have started implementing ARC flash safe work procedure but most feel they are not where they need to be. It was also mentioned to help with arc flash to make sure electrical installations are clean, coal and dirt can combust or cause tracking creating a flash hazard, good housekeeping for electrical installations should be a part of all PM’s. It is also a good practice during PM’s to insure all bolts and screws are in place on electrical gear it is there for structural integrity as well as a barrier for shock.

It has also been found that sometimes small rewards for safety go a long ways in helping to promote safe behaviors. There can be great pride taken in awards given that do not cost a lot of money.

New Innovations:

DCS has added telemetry to 2 draglines and are have success in helping end users remotely this should also help with costs in the long run, DCS has also put out their Version 4 software for Accu-weigh which has created a more accurate and user friendly system

BE has also produced a remote monitoring system called MIDAS it lets BE and the customer remotely access the PLC

Problems and solutions:

People are finding equipment trainers are not always experienced enough to train this promotes bad habits in operators who do not know any better, Bucyrus is offering operator training to aid in this area.

It was also discussed it might be helpful to video tape operators that way they can be shown what they are doing and how they can improve and it can also be used as a refresher tool for those who may have been off that particular piece of equipment for a while.

Flanders Electric and DCS have put together a training program were Flanders covers the motors and generators side and DCS cover the controls side.

Future Meeting Topics:

Innovations in telemetry, Innovations in Electrical Safety, Fire suppression, also would like to see more classes like the one done by Rick Scherer of Flander’s Electric

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Group 2 Discussion


Tom Buto reminded us that awareness of the hazard present is the best way to prevent incidents eg: In the hospitality room awareness to be careful around the hot serving appliances prevented anyone from getting burned last evening, usually several people get burned in a group like this.

Paul Doyle – Barrick, they have several programs to increase safety awareness:

They have a near-miss reporting program that is a card system that can be anonymous if the submitter desires.

Team Leaders get together once per month to discuss safety issues and assign responsibility to resolve.

30% of leadership time is to be spent in the field observing the field crews and, they have passed 202 days without any injuries.

Mark Perkins suggested that Contractors/Vendors have a responsibility to report safety concerns while visiting the mine site.

John said that as a Vendor, they see a lot of differences in the levels of safety demonstrations on various mine sites; so some mines have a ways to go to be successful. Bottom line is that only you can prevent injury to yourself – take responsibility for your own safety.

Many companies are considering the safety statistics of the Contractor before allowing them to bid or whether the Contractor will be allowed on site. Some Contractors have been fired for failure to maintain an acceptable level of safety.

New Innovation & Technology
Opportunities exist in today’s material technology where composites and plastics can be used to replace steel, which saves a lot of heavy lifting, eg: grating which is traditionally steel can now be replaced with composites, and haul truck ladders are another example of composite light weight.

David from Rio Tinto said that they were crushing their granular for road building. They feel that is a worthwhile investment, as tires are expensive and in short supply.

Dave Gohil suggested that acceptance of remote operation of switchgear would reduce exposure to arc flash.

Tom Norwood – AVO said that most companies have not done arc flash studies, but exposure can be based on the describe task to identify the application of required flash/arc PPE.

Problems & Solutions
Where it is required by law to have external grounds on your welding machines, ensure that your people are cleaning the attach point and adequately tightening the connection.

Welding return lead (ground) connection point must be adequately cleaned and prepared to ensure all the welding current returns through the intended path (the leads – not through the electrical ground or bearings, etc).

This is law in Alberta through CSA W117.2, which became effective in February 2006 with the new WH&S Code. CSA W117.2-06 Safety in Welding Cutting and Allied Process can be purchased on the internet from CSA Online store or by phoning 416-747-4000

Control panels should have copper braid across the hinges to ensure adequate grounding (this is law in Canada).

Future Meetings
Don Patterson has modified a dragline powered with an IGBT drive, which will have been in service one year by the next meeting. Don would be willing to make a presentation on this dragline.

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Group 3 Discussion


Martin Reyes – His maintenance group has gone 202 days without a safety incident. The previous record was 180 Days

Bob Tracy cited a Nation Carbon factory in Ontario has gone 25 years accident free

MSHA inspections – Martin Reyes related that his company is recommending that during inspections they only provide documents such as pre shift inspections, training records and safety inspections. Records such as equipment logs, work orders, history etc. do not have to be release to the inspector.

MSHA has stopped the practice of conferencing citations. One strategy may be to try and influence the inspector before they write the citation.

Jim Brockway stated that a company that they do business with requires the contractors that are active in their data base be included in the company random drug testing program. If you happen to be on site and you are selected, you need to submit to a drug screen. Also, if you are not on site (active in the data base) and your number comes up, you have 24 hours to submit a drug test.

Montie Wilkie mentioned that they recently modified their lock out tag out procedure to individual locks with a photo id.

Bob Tracy states that in some cases it is getting more difficult to obtain clearance to gain access to the mine sites. The requirements are getting more stringent. Need to plan well in advance to insure that the correct amount of time is allotted for the clearance procedure.

New Innovations and Technology:

Roy Douglas mentioned that he has had success in the field with the non contact commutator profile measurement instrument. The future could be a probe on every commutator with a remote data collection point tied to software that would notify when service is needed.

Mark Emerson talked about the P&H AC shovel technology with the DCS800 drives. Also, they are looking at on board power monitors to look at harmonics, to assist with the RPC function as well as tool for the end user to gather power quality data.

Martin Reyes is looking for information from anyone that has used a Fluke IR camera or similar equipment.

Problems and Solutions:

Martin Reyes is looking for information on 930E 1 and 2 haul trucks that have 60,000 plus operating hours. His is interested in maintenances practices above 60,000 hours.

Also, Martin is having trouble with their 4100 GUI screens failing prematurely. Mark Emerson has recently joined a team within P&H to address this problem. One of the areas that his group is focusing on is to thoroughly test the software as well insuring the documentation is correct.

Future Meeting Presentations:

Trip right system on non centurion systems

Wireless communication – remote monitoring into the office

Mark Emerson volunteered to do a presentation on Link 1

Spring Creek 2300 upgrade to Centurion system

Future Meeting Locations:



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Group 4 Discussion


Wheel Chocking.

Shutting down of equipment when parked, so the equipment can’t slip into gear due to mud in the transmission.

Arc Flash hazards

Installment of FR rated coveralls.

We are still waiting on MSHA to come out with set regulations.

Lestor Fedor an electrician at Genesee listed some ideas on why they have gone 20 plus years without a LTA.

200 workers

Great teamwork

Very low turnover rate

Pride in work only 3 electricians so he always knows what’s going on.

New Innovations and Technology:

AC equipment is gearing towards pop and swap, the mine wants to get the machine working as quick as possible. This transition might have something to do with the productivity Mine Managers want the mine running at. Mine managers want the machines working as quickly as they can.

Darren with Bucyrus explained the Access Direct System, it is a wireless system on shovels that helps with troubleshooting, knowledgeable technicians can remotely access the brain of the shovel and see what faults have been taking place and assist with troubleshooting.

Problems and Solutions:

Problem 1. One of the biggest problems facing the industry is the lack of skilled/ qualified electricians staying with the companies that trained them. There is an overall lack of pride in ones company with the younger workers, they are looking for the best paying job out there and will leave in a moment’s notice for more money and better hours.

Solution 1. Signing bonus with years of service worked into them.

Challenge new electricians with long term projects.

Problem 2. The lack of interest of the industry.

Solution 2. Promote mining at the high school level during career days to give students the correct perception of the industry. Most people think dirty and unsafe working conditions and the recent news media hasn’t helped with this outlook at all. We need to back that up with examples like Genesee with 20 plus years no LTA’s with over 200 workers.

Future Meeting Locations and Topics:

Location: Denver is great, centrally located and fairly easy travel arrangements.

Topics: 1. MSHA official to answer and clarify safety questions and concerns.

2. Anything dealing with more Arc Flash, it’s a hot topic right now.

3. Fill the two days before WMEA with various classes and training.

Back To Group Discussion List Top of Page

Group 5 Discussion


Dean Jeffrey Sherritt Coal – Genesee Mine

Terry Wooten Trapper Mining Inc.

Cody Randall Foundation Coal West

Paul Oldenburg Flanders Electric

Keith MacLean Syncrude Canada

Scott Barrett NAC Sabine Mine

Tracey Fetter Drives & Controls Services

Don Davis Sherritt Coal – Genesee Mine

Ken Scobie Elk Valley Coal

Jace Rush P7H MinePro

Mark Johnston Bucyrus


Discussed a recent fatality in Edmonton, young worker, two days on the job was killed in a forklift rollover. The discussion focused on the need for thorough training for all workers.

Mentioned computer based training programs that contain a practical component as well as the scholastic portion.

We stressed that even the companies that you may select to assist fulfilling your training requirements are having problems recruiting experienced people and must be closely scrutinized to ensure you are receiving the expert.

We discussed the use of the Field Level Risk Assessment in many easy to use forms. Agreed that the use of a properly prepared punch list helps the individual cover some points that could be missed if left to memory.

We discussed different types of FR coverall materials; the group members had a great deal of experience with many types of materials for specific applications.

New Innovations and Technology:

Genesee Mine planning an upgrade of the generator field drives on an 8750

Mark Johnston found this quite ironic that we are ‘upgrading’ this machine; it was Marion’s first attempt at using the PLC to control the drives.

NAC is starting a motor field exciter replacement project on a 1570W at Sabine Mine and are reconfiguring of a Marion 8400 to AC in Florida.

DCS mentioned that they recently successfully completed their first AC-IGBT drive conversion (680W) in California.

Flanders mentioned a project they have been working on to change the dipper trip to AC.

Problems and Solutions:

One of the biggest concerns that we all seem to have is personnel with limited experience causing damage to the equipment. Training seems to be secondary to just getting a warm body to occupy the seat.

Future Meeting Presentations:

May 2009, Bucyrus is planning to discuss the new AC conventional dragline presently being assembled in Australia.

Another training session for new electricians.

Future Meeting Locations:

Milwaukee, WI.

Ft. McMurray, AB



Event Details

Start date: 06/11/2008