November 2004 – Reno, Nevada

November 2004 Reno, Nevada Meeting



Silver Legacy Hotel
407 North Virginia St
Reno, Nevada 89505

Meeting Minutes

November 18th

8:10 AM

Martin Reyes called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to Reno. 

We will have an officer opening at the Calgary meeting.  Martin explained steering committee duties and asked for others to participate.  Jim Van Emmerik read the minutes.


Jed Jensen announced future meeting sites:

June 6-10, 2005; Calgary; Sheraton Cavalier

Nov. 16-18, 2005; Denver; Renaissance

June 7-9, 2006; Salt Lake; {Red Lion}

Nov. 15-17, 2006; {Albuquerque}

Jun 6-8, 2008; {Rapid City or Billings}

Nov. 14-16, 2008; {Tucson or Dallas}


Jerry Endress provided the treasury report with current balance at $11,478.


8:25 AM

Group Discussion

Broke into 6 groups to discuss:

  • Safety
  • Problems and Solutions
  • Innovations/New Technology
  • Agenda items for next meeting


Technical Presentations


9:48 AM

Future Electrical Needs and Resources – Terry Dinkel, Colorado School of Mines


10:14 AM

Medium voltage – Lew Brown, General Electric introduced Doug Phares, TM GE Automations Systems


11:24  AM

Equipment Life Extension – Jeff Biggs, Eaton Electrical


12:45 AM

Martin Reyes opened up the floor for nominations for Secretary as Jim Van Emmerik will be stepping down.  Aaron Spielman was nominated and was seconded.  Martin asked for a show of hands and Aaron’s nomination was approved.


11:50 AM

Adjourn for Lunch


1:03 PM

Who the heck is NIOSH and why the heck should I care? – Elaine T. Cullen, Communications Chief, NIOSH  


2:05 PM

Dragline motor/generator issues – Don Patterson, DCS



Allen Bradley Processor update – Tim Casey, Reynolds         


2:25 PM

Dragline Synchronous Motor troubleshooting case, Loading shovel low voltage troubleshooting case, Electrical neutral troubleshooting case – Rob Marnell – DCS


3:25 PM

P&H 4100 shovel Modification at Rochelle Mine –Curtis Stacy, Flanders Electric


 3:41 PM

On-Line Vibration Monitoring for shovels and draglines – Jack Dishner, National Reliability Systems


 4:05 PM

Meeting adjourned for the day



November 19th


8:02 AM

Meeting called to Order

Summary of group discussions held on Thursday


9:00 AM

Arc Flash – Jeff Militello, Eaton Electrical


9:50 AM

Top 20 MSHA violations – Ed Barnett, North American Coal


10:45 AM

MSHA approved optic fiber cable installations – Dee Brossoit, OCC, Denise Fuller, NWDP



Closing remarks

Meeting adjourned


Topics Discussed

  • Circuit Breaker Life Extension
  • Electrical Personnel Shortage
  • Flanders Shovel DC Drive Retrofit
  • GE Medium Voltage Drives
  • Reconditioning Of Power Circuit Breakers
  • Vibration Monitoring of Shovels & Draglines
  • Western US Mining Safety & Health


Group Discussions


Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6


Group 1 Discussion

Lead by Aaron Spielman


  • Jim Schilling from Black Butte talked about a new mandate that requires employees to be tied off anytime they are above 6 feet and the problems they are having complying with the new standard.  I talked about the Kennecott Energy Corporation mandate that states that either fall protection or prevention will be used anytime there is a danger of falling.
  • Bob Rogers of Albian Sands in Alberta Canada stated that three mines in the area are using a company called OSSA for all of their contractor training programs.  After completion of the training all contractors are approved to work at any of the three mines.
  • Dean Jeffrey of Luscar Ltd.  Genese Mine in Alberta Canada talked about a recent accident at their mine.  A dozer had backed over a highwall while pushing material to a dragline. The operator escaped with only stitches.  The mine had worked 1.5 million man hours without an LTA prior to this incident.  It was decided that had a risk assessment been performed prior, this incident could have been avoided.
  • James McDermot of Line Power stated that Standard Chemical issues contractors locks to be used while on their property and cannot leave until the lock is returned.



  • Steve Baade of BE/Contel stated that they will be providing a service using qualified electricians.  Their main focus will be on retrofits.
  • Some brush companies are working on a non contact profiler.  Carbone is scheduled to release their version in the first quarter of 2005

Future Presentations

  • What is available to keep two dragline from operating in sync with each other
  • Tracy Fetter from DCS offered to do a presentation on their data acquisition system.  It communicates with Data-Q and uses a Rockwell interface.


  Suggestions for getting more end user involvement in the group.

  • tap vendors with contact names (remain confidential)
  • have WMEA make presentations at mine properties to their management
  • call with a questionnaire
  • Include the last four meeting agendas off a mines with the WMEA brochure.
  • Some organizations require a 1: 2 ratio.  This would require that vendors bring an end user
  • Start a research committee to set goals of accomplishments to measure against
  • 1 time per year for the meetings.  People would be less apt to miss because there is only one.
  • Use WMEA as an opportunity to MSHA re-qualification training
  • Encourage metal/nonmetal mines to attend
  • Mine tours


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Group 2 Discussion

Lead by Jon Vendela


  • More in presentations. Discussed arc flash hazard identification and their efforts to increase awareness based on NFPA standards.
  • SCC has completed 900 days without an LTI.
  • Albian Sands mine initialized 3 maintenance contractors in their safety program. They have helped develop the standards.
  • Discussed vendor safety standards at Barrick.
  • General discussion on electrical truck runaways.


New Innovations and Technologies

  • SCC mine site wireless network and GPS system.
  • Barrick talked of interface problems they have had at their site.
  • Asked if anyone has had experience with Hitachi 340 ton electric truck drive systems. Siemens AC wheel motors and blowers.


Problems and Solutions

  • KEC training simulator. Possibility of bringing to WMEA to let others observe.
  • Vendors mentioned they can spread the word about WMEA to customers.
  • Talked about brush/commutator problems due to low humidity.


Future Subjects

  • National Brush – Have Rich Hall do a brush/commutation presentation
  • Wireless systems for mine networks
  • Training simulator from KEC to come to WMEA when possible.
  • TJB offered to provide a presentation on their products.
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Group 3 Discussion


New Ideas/Agenda Items/Innovations

  •  ‘eyebrow factor’ in places like Reno limits management approval to attend
  • perception that WMEA’s focus is primarily draglines discourages mines that don’t have them, from coming.
  • Suggestions to improve user attendance
  • Increase promotion among copper mining companies.
  • Expand technical presentations to cover subjects of interest to underground mining companies.
  • Prepare a survey that solicits input on issues that prevent user attendance and suggestion on what to do to reverse the trend.
  • Invite MSHA to attend when meetings are held in a location they don’t have to travel to.
  • Contact mines that used to participate but haven’t done so recently.
  • Put a summary of each agenda presentation on the web site prior to the meeting.
  • Look at doing workshops.
  • Go to one meeting/year and make the meeting two days long. Provides more time to prepare an agenda that has widespread interest. Also allows scheduling flexibility to eliminate conflict with meeting dates of other associations. 



  • Barrick Goldstrike makes the individual employee’s safety record a factor in determining his/her bonus. Safety represents 1/3 of the employee’s evaluation.
  • Mentioned a situation where an entire fleet of trucks was shut down by a supervisor until a faulty brake issue was resolved.
  • Several companies conduct a ‘360’ review. This program takes input from an employee’s peers along with management comments regarding an persons job performance.
  • TXU has implemented a program called SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) that reviews repetitive work practices to look for ways to reduce the time and expense of a job. A flow chart is prepared for each job that lists individual tasks, tools required and safety hazards to watch out for. In addition to maintaining a record on-site, each job is posted on a intranet company web site.
  • Rio Tinto is requiring all subsidiaries to lock motor control centers to prevent access by unauthorized personnel.
  • Some mines are requiring vendors/contractors have MSHA safety training before they can do work on site. Small pocket cards are printed by the mine and given to contractors that have completed safety training pertinent to their operation. Contractors aren’t allow to work onsite without it.
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Group 4 Discussion


  • Curtis Stacy – Flanders Electric discussed PPE requirements on various mine sites and the problems vendors run into with different requirements at these mine sites. For instance some mine sites require hard hat usage on the entire mine site, including the cabs of  pick up trucks. His point was that it would be easier for venders to comply if there was a standard requirement.
  • Ken McCartney – Kiewit Mining Group, Glen Poarch – Red River Mining,  and Brad Boam-Bucyrus discussed the implementation of lighting on haul roads and in pits to indicate proper direction of travel. Especially nice in areas of changing pit configurations.
  • Laurel Karjala – Carmanah Technology In. discussed a line of solar powered LED lights which were developed in the marine industry and are now being applied to mining. The application includes pit lighting, traffic pattern illumination. One application in particular involved lighting with integral GPS systems to allow for synchronized light pattern to indicate direction of travel.
  • Curtis Stacy – Flanders Electric, Glen Poarch – Red River Mining,  David W. Johnson, Round Mountain Gold discussed the differences between the OSHA and MSHA standards. They shared information on the possible upcoming requirement in electrical service to wear flame retardant clothing, and additional PPE while doing electrical work. (Arc Fault Protection)
  • Glen Poarch – Red River Mining has mounted TV camera on a piece of machinery to allow the operator to visually monitor remote locations on the machine. He has had great service from the equipment having to replace only one of the cameras due to damage as a result of improper maintenance.
  • Ken McCartney – Kiewit Mining Group discussed the heightened awareness efforts of his group to working at heights (over 6 feet). The use of safety harness and tie off points.
  • Glen Poarch – Red River Mining, Ken McCartney – Kiewit Mining Group, and Curtis Stacy – Flanders Electric discussed the requirements for dual hearing protection in areas of noise exposure exceeding TWA 105 db. There is a new innovation in hearing protection muffs which include a noise canceling feature to reduce noise exposure. Pending MSHA approval for use in mining.
  • Steve Reimers – Kennecott Energy – Cordero Rojo Mine discussed the installation of satellite radio in mobile mining equipment. His company is also re-thinking their Lock Out Tag Out system to include enclosing all MCC’s to prevent unauthorized access. He stressed the need to keep focused on the job at hand during times of change.
  • Glen Poarch – Red River Mining presented a great eye opening remark, “Safety is #5” “Production is #5”
  • Dave Brenson – Denver Magnetic discussed the availability of short movies showing the damage and destruction of power transformers to heighten everyone’s attention to the dangers of transformer installations.


New Innovations and Technology

  • Gary Beerline -Kennecott  Energy – Jacobs Ranch Mine spoke about his mine being a truck and shovel operation, now in the process of erecting a dragline.
  • Brad Boam – Bucyrus discussed the move in AC Drives from GTO to IGBT.
  • Mike Fenton – EIS and Gary Lozowsky – National Carbon spoke of a new brush grade (N964) which is a long life brush.  Gary had an interesting analogy between DC machine carbon brushes and automobile brake pads. He said you could get a brake pad to last the life of you car, but the trade off would be that you would have to replace your brake rotors on a regular basis. Try to keep focused on the fact that the brush is supposed to be the consumable.
  • Diane Haach  – P+H Discussed their new Centurian maintenance system. The open architecture of this system makes access possible from different technologies.
  • Roy Volkmann – Luscar discussed new technologies in IR cameras, easier to use, software for reporting hot spots found in the testing.
  • Curtis Stacy – Flanders Electric talked about a wireless communication system called “Mesh Network” which could make each piece of equipment on a mine site a server, which could mean that communication repeater stations around the mine would not be needed.
  • David W. Johnson – Round Mountain Gold talked about his experiences on the topic of power quality analysis. And also a new innovation for evaluation of metal cracks and condition using Phased Array Non Destructive Testing. You can actually get a 3-D view of the crack.
  • Roger Lorenz – Argo Power Services discussed a new product they have for continuously filtering gear case oil.


Problems and Solutions

  • Glen Poarch – Red River Mining discussed the digital drive upgrade on his dragline saying that the mine’s expertise on working on the system is limited because the equipment reliability has increased to the point where they don’t get to work on the drives.


Future Meeting Presentation Topics

  • Dave Brenson  – Denver Magnetic, and David W. Johnson – Round Mountain Gold talked about transformers being the “Forgotten part of the power system” This is an  opportunity for a future presentation on the care and feeding of  transformers and transformer insulating oil.
  • Ken McCartney – Kiewit Mining Group is interested in a presentation on a power demand limiter that can keep the two draglines at his mine site out of synchronism to limit the peak power demand of the mine.
  • Bill Lariviere – Etheredge Electric discussed a desire to see new technologies to reduce machine down time in the preventive and predictive maintenance areas.
  • Dave Brenson – Denver Magnetic discussed the availability of short movies showing the damage and destruction of power transformers to heighten everyone’s attention to the dangers of transformer installations.
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Group 5 Discussion 


  • Shovel erection. Problem with air switch opening. Should ensure we use visual verification.
  • New electricians, ensure we are teaching them correctly and not perpetuating bad habits.
  • Checking visuals. Also inspecting equipment. Some equipment out there is getting pretty old, we should make sure we are maintaining it well.
  • Switch gear and installation specs. Should make sure we are looking at the whole realm of installation, to include possible over sizing switches because of operational factors.
  • MCC and panelboard lockouts – Rio Tinto has mandated locking all MCC’s and panelboards
  • Make sure clearances are observed in all installations


New Innovations

  • Startco has new motor protection relay that is current based
  • GE has new program for “Fleet Management”. Where they come in and manage the maintenance and problems of the fleets.
  • DCS is working on “live” boom stress monitoring.
  • Noise reduction on haul trucks. (GE grid pack noise reduction -25db)


Problems and Solutions

  • How do we get more mines represented
  • Mines should make sure they bring reports back to show the value of these meetings to their superiors. We should justify the information that is given out at WMEA. It should provide value. Possibly provide training also.
  • Make sure the information gets back. We should keep a good balance and provide value.
  • Maybe provide technical training.
  • Presentations should be available at WMEA, so there is immediate access for making notes, etc. to pass on to people back at the mines.
  • COSMET puts everything on a CD and mails it out to those who attended.
  • Mailings lists, to get new attendees.
  • Make sure we continue to provide value.
  • Petition for modification in order to use a motivator for moving a shovel.


Future Presentations

  • How to find and recruit electricians
  • COOP programs
  • MSHA panel to discuss MSHA issues. Possibly provide questions ahead of time. (Denver Meeting)
  • Maintenance intervals for equipment. (Switching Devices)
  • Fleet Review (GE)


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Group 6 Discussion



  • Kennecott energy is undergoing a change to the overall safety systems to integrate all the 5 KEC mines into one contractor safety system. The goal is to establish a common safety program.
  • Ed Barnett mentioned that they had a site that had gone 15 years without an LTI.

Discussion turned to what is the culture around successful safety programs?

  • Keep focus on small things such as KEC’s fingers and toes campaigns.
  • Enforce to crews that safety add to the bottom line. This can be done through sharing what accidents costs and giving some of the cost saving to the people.
  • Utilization of gain / profit sharing programs as a tool to change the culture to include safety as a key priority.
  • For the people by the people safety programs. Safety programs that have been developed by the crew members are much more successful in communicating the need for and methods to achieve safety.
  • Dennis Cowan shared that they had just retrofitted a 8050 dragline to limit access to MCC sections.



  • Questions about the impact of the new Arc Flash requirements to mining.
  • New data collection tools are coming out. These tools leave several questions about:

                    What frequency should I collect the data?
Do I need a wireless connection to gather the data?
Are there any buffers to my data?



Shortage of people with both the contractors and the mines themselves.


Future Topics

  • Mix courses with meetings.
  • Integrate with underground mining and try to market outside of our current group.
  • More value added presentations. Several of the presentations are on topics that are out of our areas of impact.


Electrical Personnel Shortage – Nov 04

Medium Voltage Drives – GE – Nov 04

Vibration Monitoring of Shovels & Draglines – Nov 04

Event Details

Start date: 11/18/2004