November 2002 – Denver, Colorado

November 2002 Denver, Colorado Meeting



Renaissance Denver Hotel
3801 Quebec St.
Denver, Colorado  80207

Meeting Minutes

November 14th

8:10 a.m.

Terry Taylor called the meeting to order and announced that technical difficulties hampered the printing of nametags and receipts.  The printer, which was shipped from Dallas to the hotel, disappeared.   Terry recognized Tim O’Neal’s efforts of securing another printer and working through most of the night printing receipts and name tags.  The first evening’s hospitality room was set up for 90, with 112 attending.  This morning’s registration brings the total registered to 123.  Terry announced that Landis Bayless, current WMEA president, is no longer employed by Texas Utilities.  WMEA bylaws state that officers must be employed by a users group.   Terry Taylor, the 1st Vice President will act as President for this meeting.  Martin Reyes, the 2nd VP is responsible for securing accommodations.  Jim Van Emmerik is the Secretary and Jerry Endrees, who is not in attendance, is the Treasurer.  Unfortunately, due to Jerry’s absence, the treasury report is not available.   Jim Van Emmerik read the Reno meeting minutes. A motion was moved and seconded and the minutes were approved as read.


Martin Reyes announced the following future meeting sites:

Spring 2003 in Edmonton from June 11 through June 13 at the Fantasyland Hotel

Fall 2003 in Tucson at the Doubletree

Spring 2004 in Rapid City or Casper

Fall 2004 in Salt Lake City, Boise, or Seattle


Terry related that Kennecott Utah Copper CEO recently spoke of a program called Safety Share.  Terry mentioned he would like to start every meeting by talking about safety ideas and or incidents.  Terry then shared an incident that unfortunately took the lives of two miners.

Terry then announced the meeting’s agenda and described the group discussion items.  


8:40 AM
Group Discussion – Broke into 5 groups 

       – Safety

       – Problems and Solutions

       – Innovations/New Technology

       – Agenda items for next meeting

       – Future meeting sites    


  Technical Presentations

9:35 a.m.
Power Management
Lew Brown, – G.E. Industrial Systems

Introduced Marilyn Self, Product Specialist, who presented a paper on power management with wireless networking.


10:40 a.m.
Asset Utilization
Steve Armiger – Cordero Rho Mine

Presented the gains achieved with the application of Rio Tinto’s Asset Utilization process.


11:25 a.m.
Trail Cable Safety
Lynn Nelson – Kennecott Utah Copper
Presentation on handling trail cable “Treat ‘Em Like A Snake”


12:10 a.m.
Adjourn for Lunch


1:15 p.m.
Overview of Reconditioned Switchgear
Bill Oxby and Lou York – Flanders Electric
Presented results achieved by reconditioning switchgear as opposed to buying new.


2:15 p.m.
Vibration Analysis-Setting up and Maintaining a Predictive Maintenance Program
Rich Hall and Michael Korf – National Electrical Carbon Inc.

Presentation on how to utilize today communication tools to operate an effective vibration program along with a top 10 list of how to maintain a vibration program.


3:30 p.m.
Discussion of Wireless Ethernet Applications in the Mining Environment
Ted Lapis – Automation Electronics introduced Stuart Tanner and Bob Davis
Presentation on wireless Ethernet applications, problems and solutions.


4:05 p.m.
Wireless Integrated System
Tom McCormick – Barrick Goldstrike
Presentation on their existing and future projects utilizing wireless systems throughout their mining complex.


4:35 p.m.
Meeting adjourned


November 15th

8:35 a.m.
Terry Taylor called the meeting to order.


8:40 a.m.
Group discussion

Summary of group discussions held the previous day.


9:40 a.m.
Continuous Improvement (Update)
Terry Taylor and Jeff Rosser – Barrick Goldstrike Mine

Follow up from Continuous Improvement presentation in Reno.


11:00 a.m.
Open Discussion


11:35 a.m.
Meeting Adjourned


Topics Discussed

  • Power Management
  • Overview Of Reconditioned Switchgear
  • Trail Cable Safety
  • Barrick Goldstrike Wireless Presentation
  • Vibration Analysis
  • Asset Utilization
  • Continuous Improvement – An Update


Group Discussions


Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5



Group 1 Discussion

Lead by Terry Taylor


  • Cordero Mining discussed their “Got a Minute” program. It consists of Safety Observations on someone else or on one’s self. Group leaders are assigned in each work group to review the observations. This is all based around Behavior Based Safety.
    All Rio Tinto properties, Kennecott included, does a corporate safety audit, or safety standards compliance check, every two years.  
  • Mississippi Red Hills Mine, a North American Coal property, has reduced MG-set noise by 4db through the use of  “blankets” around the MG sets.  They also mentioned a “Noise Reduction Helmet” that MSHA is working on that will be an “administrative / engineering control” for noise.  
  • GE discussed a Vendor Safety Program in a paper mill. The paper mill conducted a daily safety program for all vendors in the mill.  
  • DCS talked about in a certain region of Australia, the mining companies in that region all went together to assemble a single safety program for their vendors. So any vendor that had been through the 2 day safety program could be allowed on any of the mines property in that region.


Innovations/New Technology

  • Announced the successful implementation of Shovel Bucket Weighing at Barrick – possible program for the Edmonton meeting in June.  
  • Rocky Mountain Electric Motors discussed the technique of using dry-ice to clean switchgear – advantage is no residue but also must use in a well ventilated area. GE in Edmonton is doing this and there may be a live demo at the Edmonton meeting.  
  • DCS now has a dragline boom raising and lowering PLC program that includes an audible alarm for motor stall.


Problems / Solutions

  • Barrick discussed the new Electro-Arc machine that is being utilized for wheel stud removal.  
  • DCS mentioned that mining companies should be aware that older MG sets that are stored for long periods of time may have glass banding that is hydroscopic and subject to absorbing moisture. Motors and generators that fall in to this should be rebanded prior to use.


Future Presentations  

  • Electrical certification classes at WMEA meetings to help promote and justify attendance.
  • Update on driverless trucks.
  • Shovel Bucket Weighing vs. Truck Load Weighing
  • Dragline boom raising and lowering recommendations by OEM. (current procedures were written in the 60’s.)
  • DCS to present their remote X-Y recordings capability.


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Group 2 Discussion

Lead by Martin Reyes



  • Operator of pump controller was shocked while working on 4,160 volt pump. Turned off the wrong pump. Took a shortcut. 
  • Stan Albers-Security for on site visits by vendors. Differ significantly between mine sites. Vendors should also take on some of the responsibility and ask if 5000-23 forms need updated.  Haul trucks have blind spots. Rarely demonstrated to vendors.  Example cited where a vender parked in a blind spot on a haul truck, was run over and killed.


Innovations/New Technology  

  • Product on the market designed to determine megger values of dewatering pumps 24/78. Eliminates need for manual testing.
  • David Barrett-DCS-Synchronous monitoring. Product replaces SPM module communicates with PLC.
  • Martin BGMI-Shovel load weigh system. System improves accuracy within 2%, operators like it, eliminates overloads, GPR location tool, also draglines another application through Aquilla.


Problems and Solutions

  • Martin-BGMI-Dipper trip motors.  Subjected to vibration.  Bolts would back out of mounting plate for the drum.  Now using a through bolt and double nut, eliminating problem.
  • Stan Albers-MSHA wants to see Ground fault protection on all portable devices (3 phase and six feet or greater cable length).  It hasn’t been enforced constantly in the past.  Starting to be enforced in the East. There have been six electrical fatalities to September 2002.   One of the most recent was mechanic welding overhead, was in a wet area, laid the stinger on his chest and was electrocuted.  Another reminder to always wear proper clothing and use proper protection, rubber mats, etc.


Future Topics

  • Electrical Welding Protection (Canadian Regulations)
  • Grounding testing-Offline ground fault testing
  • Load weigh systems


Future Meeting Locations

  • Maui
  • Anchorage
  • Seattle


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Group 3 Discussion

Lead  by Jim Van Emmerik


  • Glen Fosmo related an incident at North Anelope where a cable tree was being relocated with a forklift that came into contact with the 69KV power line, causing the mine to loose power.  Approximately 20 minutes has passed, during which time efforts were being made to determine the cause of the power failure.  The electrician was just getting ready to close the re-closure when he heard a faint voice on the radio calling for an electrician.  It turned out that the faint voice was the fork lift driver.
  •  Wade Hart of Cordero told of an explosion near a pickup that was parked nearby a dewatering hole. The technicians were preparing to lower a submersible pump, when an explosion occurred at the borehole.  The fuel source was methane from the borehole and the ignition source was the running pickup. Since the mine has developed safe work procedures while working in and around dewatering wells.  Also at this mine is a safety program called “Got a Minute” where prior to any job everyone is supposed to discuss the hazard associated with the job and take steps to either minimize or eliminate the hazards.
  • An incident was related regarding a supervisor who chastised his crew for being in an unsafe area and then proceed into the area himself.  Unfortunately, he never came out as a chain broke and crushed him.
  • Two major areas, failure to adhere to procedure and pressure to get the job done, have been identified as reasons that cause airplane accidents. These causes are no different than what we all are faced with on a daily basis with our jobs.  We all have procedures to follow along with the pressure to complete the job.
  • Another incident involved a substation being commissioned.  Two technicians were performing electrical testing, one of which had his hot gloves on and was connecting the test leads.  His partner was holding the digital volt meter, which probably exploded when the leads were applied to 25KV.
  • An inspector, wearing hot gloves, was performing testing in a prep plant.  His partner, wearing no protection, was holding the meter. Just a reminder to wear you protective equipment when live testing.
  • One technician was changing a light bulb on an extension ladder when the legs of the ladder slipped causing the technician to fall.  Sustained a broken wrist.


Innovations/New Technology

  •  Tracey Fetter told the group of a dragline production monitor from
  • Aquilla. It depicts the overburden in a 3D image that changes colors when grade is achieved.  Three systems are currently operating at Bridger Coal.
  • Glen Fosmo of North Antelope upgraded their batch train load-out system. They had experienced hydraulic cylinder and gate limit switch failures on a fairly regular basis.   The cause was attributed to forces applied to the hydraulic system when the gat valve was opened or closed.  The valves were either fully open or fully closed.  The system was retrofitted with proportioning valves, which eliminated slamming of the gates.  They system has been in operation for 9 months and they have experienced no failures to date. Also loading time was decreased 1 second per car.
  • Everyone struggles with convincing production to give up a piece of equipment to do electrical testing.  More and more, the trend is to do testing with the equipment on line.  An example given was to test cable on line with partial corona discharge.  This is a none destructive alternative to hy-potting.  On line doctor testing is also available.
  •  Some insurance companies offer thermography imaging services.  Also reported that some mining companies have solicited insurance rate reductions based upon their predictive and on line testing programs.
  •  Tracy Fetter related that they have been working on a remote XY system for draglines.  They system basically uses wireless Ethernet communication from the dragline, interfaces with the mine site server, allowing real time XY’s to be viewed in the office.  The system is approximately 98% complete.
  •  John Parkes told of an application of fiber optic cables imbedded in power cables.  It has been widely used in Europe and are now seeing applications on draglines, bucket wheels.  The Port of Los Angeles is using this technology in their overhead cranes that handle shipping containers. Six, twelve or eighteen fiber optic cables can be installed in the power cable.
  • National Electric Carbon is developing a remote brush wear indicator.  Sensors are imbedded into the brush providing vibration, temperature and wear indications.  The information is monitored by a software application and the operator is alerted to a particular condition based upon a green, yellow or red indicator.



  • Jim Schackleford mentioned that some of the Marion machines that are 15 to 20 years of service have experience armature cable failures within the cable trays.  Also, he has experienced problems on BI machines on the 480 volt bus with primary protection only. The problems encountered had to do with faults on the smaller wires tapped from the main buss.
  •  Amercable indicated that they have documented cable handling procedures which they are willing to share if anyone is interested.


Future Topics

  • Fiber optics in power cable
  • Remote brush wear indicator
  • Train loadout proportioning retrofit


Future Meeting Locations

  • Rapid City
  • Reno
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Group 4 Discussion

Lead by Ken Olan



  • Vivian Fadewich commented that usually miners are not sent into a shaft without air-flow.
  •  Phil Grabrick with Antelope Coal stated that they started doing risk assessments to access the hazards associated with tasks and addressing the hazards prior to performing them.  Gone 200 days without an LTA
  •  Allen Randolph with G.E. related that G.E. documents safety issues via an audit team that inspects, assesses and documents findings.
  •  Bob Tracy asked why there is such a variance from mine site to mine site for contractors/vendors regarding admittance requirements, in addition to MSHA requirements.
  •  MSDS- Must be available & approved for everything used at the mine site. A hint for contractors, some fine it better to not take any chemicals on site and let the mine provide the chemicals.

Innovations/New Technology

  • Allen Randolph with G.E. followed up on his Reno meeting presentation on noise suppression on haul trucks.  They have installed the suppression system on a haul truck at Barrick and have seen a 12db reduction on the deck and a 4db reduction in the cab.
  • G.E. also has a new hand held interface for alarms & trouble shooting on A.C. haul trucks.



  • Lynn Nelson of Kennecott Utah Copper shared that they have the prototype machine for the P&H digital D.C. control system. They are still finding problems after six years.  The latest is a dipper drop caused by a drive failure that was intermittent.


Future Topics  

  • G.E. Hand held interface for alarms & trouble shooting for AC haul trucks
  • Update on noise suppression on haul trucks
  • Accessing mining shafts


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Group 5 Discussion

Lead by Jack Easton


  • Communications between vendor/contractors and operators needs improvement.


Innovations/New Technology

  • G.E. working on improving haul truck.

Future Topics

  • Payload system for draglines and shovels.
  • Noise reduction.
  • Revisit high voltage motors.


Future Meeting Locations

  • Rapid City
  • Reno
  • Alaska


Asset Utilization – Nov 02

Continuous Improvement – An Update – Nov 02

Power Management – Nov 02

Trail Cable Safety – Nov 02

Wireless Presentation – Barrick – Nov 02

Event Details

Start date: 11/14/2002