November 2006 – Albuquerque, New Mexico

November 2006 Albuquerque New Mexico



Park Plaza Hotel
Albuquerque New Mexico

Meeting Minutes

November 15th

5:30 pm ~ 7:30 pm

  • Hospitality room


November 16th

7:00 am ~ 8:00 pm

  • Registration


8:03 am ~ 8:10 am

  • Ed Barnett, President, started meeting with opening remarks
  • MSHA Test Prep class with Doug Liller from MSHA present to administer test


Future Meetings

  • Billings, MT – June 6th ~ 8th, 2008
  • Tucson, AZ – November 14th ~ 16th, 2008
  • Edmonton, Canada – June 11th  ~ 13th, 2008
  • Denver, CO – November 2008
  • Rapid City, SD – May 2009
  • San Antonio, TX – November 2009  


8:10 am ~ 9:30 am

Representative of Peabody Coal discussed electrical fatality at Kayenta Mine

  • Jerry Endres gave financial report

                        -web site will be posted –no credit cards


  • Ed Barnett announced Jerry Endres stepping down as acting Secretary for WMEA board.  Asked for nominations.


  • Jerry Endres nominated Tiffany Shaw for the Secretary.  Nomination seconded by Jim Van Emmerick.  Vote was conducted by attendees and nomination carried forward. 


9:30 am ~ 9:45 am

  • Group Discussion


9:45 am ~ 11:15 am

  • AC IGBT Drive system for Dragline presentation conducted by Steve Baade & Mark Johnston Bucyrus Contel, Walter Koellner, Siemens


11:15 am ~ 11:30 am

  • Break


11:30 am ~ 12:00 am

  • Nikola Telsa’s Impact on Mining Industry- Jeffrey Sellon, P.E. Western Engineering and Research Corporation


12:00 am ~ 1:00 pm

  • Lunch


1:00 pm ~ 1:45 pm

  • Power Factor Considerations at Open Pit Coal Mines.  Mark Galey;  Electrical Systems Consultants


1:45 pm ~ 2:00 pm

  • Break


2:00 pm ~ 2:45 pm

  • The Importance of Neutral Grounding Resistor – Don Selkirk and Jeff Glenny, Startco Engineering


2:45 pm ~ 3:30 pm

  • Maximizing Carbon Brush Performance-Selection, Jeff Koenitzer, Helwig Carbon Products


3:30 pm ~ 4:30 pm

  • Lessons Learned from Failure Investigations, Wally Vahlstrom, Electrical Reliability Service Division of Emerson Process Management


5:30 pm ~ 7:00 pm

  • Hospitality Room


November 17th 

8:00 am ~ 9:00 am

  • Group Discussion Summary


9:00 am ~ 9:15 am

  • Break


9:15 am ~ 10:15 am

  • Developments in Remote Access, Telemetry and Online support Services – Gary Sorenson DCS, Shawn Rea, North Antelope, Rochelle Mine


10:15 am ~ 11:15 am

  • Centurion Upgrade on 4100 XPB shovel- Larry Kyle, PH Mine Pro, George Schofield, Foundation Coal


11:15 am ~ 11:45 am

  • Implementing Arc Flash PPE – Aaron Spielman, RTEA Jacobs Ranch Mine


11:45 am ~ 12:00 pm

  • Closing Remarks


12:00 pm ~ 1:00 pm

  • Lunch


1:00 pm

  • Steering Committee meeting




Topics Discussed




Zhungeer Gearless 8750 Dragline Photos





On The Lighter Side




Group Discussions

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8



Group 1 Discussion


  • National Electrical Carbon described a program they’ve implemented that awards good        safety practices with ‘Safety Bucks’. Personnel that meet safety requirements, i.e., low to       zero incident rate get Safety Bucks that can be redeemed for merchandise at commercial       stores. 
  • Had further discussion on the Peabody fatality. Recognized that everyone needs to be aware of the possibility of creating a backfeed whenever auxiliary power is utilized for maintenance purposes in an electrical system. Safeguards need to be to be in place even if aux power systems are not routinely used. 
  • Discussed improvements in test equipment that make the current offerings much safer than those available when many of us came into the electrical industry. Even though there are still many of the older designs in use and people need to be aware that the ratings are not adequate for the circuit voltages being measured in today’s controls.  
  • People need to guard against becoming complacent about safety. Hearing the same message repetitively can cause a person to develop a ‘Yah, Yah, I’ve heard this before” attitude. Need to recognize that repeating the message is one way to keep safety on everyone’s mind.



  • TXU has developed a remote drum control using the synchronous motor field exciter as the armature power supply for motors in a loop. This is the method of choice vs using the motion field exciter as the armature supply due to the higher current rating. It allows the use of fewer motors to drive a motion drum.



  • Presentation by Arch on the move/rebuild of the dragline at their Coal Creek mine.  
  • Repeat the MSHA test program.




  • Add the future meeting sites and dates to the web site
  • Add a note that credit cards are not accepted at meeting registration, to the web site  


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Group 2 Discussion


  • group discussed methods for troubleshooting cable faults.
    • small thumper
    • fault Wizard
    • TDR Pulse
    • low voltage d.c. pulse looking for return signal (for pilot)
    • pulse is adjustable (VP) for phase/ground and phase/phase (up to 10kv)
    • self powered (battery and  additional back up battery)
    • approximately $10,000/free training
    • possible contact:  Line Power
    • Gary Dimerly – AEP
  • Consolidation Coal
  • Lee Engineering
  • GE Multilink-fault sensing relay
  • Low voltage gloves/Arc protection; several people reported just using leather gloves
  • Bud Fischer RTEA; reports full suits (20 cal) and full head gear will be implemented in near future at Rio Tinto’s Antelope mine.  This is the standard across all Rio Tinto Energy sites
  • Mine study has been done by outside firms for some mines and a system of labels at each device indicates the level of PPE required.
  • MSHA “strongly recommends use of full protective clothing
  • Noise protection: 
  • Issues concerning 2 hour limit inside machinery houses
  • Installation of multiple cameras for monitoring machinery house and areas from operators cab.
  • Discussed noise cancelling headphones
  • Mine Ears
  • Company radio frequencies cam be incorporated into some units
  • Noted noise cancelling mics for Motorola radios
  • MSHA does not consider this and exemption to the 2 hour rule
  • Auxiliary generators used on down days
  • Kirk key system and tie switches are necessary for protection
  • Ground your work



  • Triple Modular Redundancy
    • Three sensor inputs/one output
      • Two sensors required to “agree” before output is true
        • High maintenance due to multiple sensors
        • TUV rated PLC’s becoming available (was redundant sensor)
        • Possible use: tightline systems
  • Discussed Profibus
    • Ease of installation
    • Found to be dependable


  • Discussed replacing Amplistat with Siemens drives
    • Saw a premature failure on generator due to inconsistent regulation of the old drives
    • Found Siemens drives to be very dependable


  • Questions for system that would allow troubleshooter the ability to download electrical faults from haul truck without getting on the machine
  • Discussed vibration monitoring of MG sets and other equipment
    • Suggested Enocean as a possible source of newer systems




  • Demo Truck from MSHA



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Group 3 Discussion


  • The group started out with Gary Sorenson talking about the changing weather and safe winter driving.  This also brought out the act of not wearing seat belts it’s a basic PPE that many do not wear enough.  One in the group had lost several loved ones and friends who were not wearing their seat belt when driving.  Wearing a seatbelt some of the time is not enough.  Also if you are a first responder in accidents knowing 1st aid can help keep some one alive till paramedics can arrive. 
  • Gary also told us about Australian electrical safety how every 6 months they do a refresher in CPR and a “Hot save rescue” in Australia they have bags in MCC and PCR’s that contain hot gloves and a hot stick with a hook that can be used to pull someone out of an electrical circuit. 
  • The group also discussed getting on the MSHA web site and reviewing the winners of the sentinels of safety awards and reviewing what they have done with their safe practices to achieve their success. 
  • Mike with Hampton noted an incident at their warehouse were two of their people were trying to access a ceiling mounted ballast by using a forklift to lift one of them up to make the repair.  This was halted by the operations manager of the warehouse.  This brought up that we all have the power to stop unsafe acts when ever we come across them no matter if we are at work or at home.  It could save someone from injury or worse.
  • Also brought up was lock out tag out and that the procedure is not complete till you try the systems being disabled to know for sure it is not live. Adam with North American talked about there zero energy policy and that they work on nothing that is not at a zero energy state.  Rich Hall also stated that vendors are totally dependant on the site personal to lock out for them so we need to be sure that it gets done properly for our safety as well as others.



  • DCS is up grading 30 year old shovels anything that can move dirt is being utilized.  They have developed an upgrade for a 295 shovel that can be done in 7 days. It upgrades the PLC and the drive.  Also DCS is finding that they are upgrading machines for the second time
  • Toshiba is coming out with a motor that has cooling channels in the motor frame to help reduce heat.  If you can run a motor 10 degrees cooler than normal you can double the life of that motor.  They have also developed a medium voltage VFD for working outdoors it also incorporates a much smaller foot print than older models.  They also have motor shaft power monitor, this monitors torque for faster reaction time to over and under loads on the motor.



  • P&H will hold an electrical course for 2 days before the next meeting.  If anyone has anything they would like to see in the course please contact Jim VanEmmerik. 
  • Gary Sorenson said that DCS would also like to hold a class in the future for troubleshooting equipment.  Hampton has developed a VFD troubleshooting course.  The class actually will have drives on site for hands on experience. 
  • Rich Hall is wondering if there is any interest in how motor are set up in the factor neutrals air gaps that sort of thing.  If there is please talk to Rich. 
  • Jim VanEmmerik wanted everyone to know that they are trying to be more proactive in letting everyone know what will be coming up in future meeting. 
  • Gary was wondering if it would be possible to set up a meeting were there would be several rooms for vendors and end users to give seminars approximately 2 hours in length for more in depth coverage.  Topics could include drives, controls and could include more training for the attendees. 




  • Rich Hall asked if the Billings and the Edmonton meeting could be moved to the winter so we could show our boss’ that we are serious about coming.  It was also stated that changing the venue is a good thing; it seems to bring in people that are local that might not be able to ever come to the meetings if it were held in just one place.


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Group 4 Discussion


  • Phil:  Ignoring health.  23 year old got sick didn’t take care of himself.  Still at work and sneezed blood; later went into shock.  Turned out to be a sinus infection.  Still off of work 2 ½ weeks later
  • Sick employees pass it on to others.
  • Danger driving to and from work
  • Leonard:  Flu shots for employees. Prevention vs. cure.  Less absenteeism etc
  • David: Fluke video on arc flash
  • Roger:  don’t trust current sensors unless they indicate danger.  Silence is not necessarily safe
  • Roger:  new employees and high turnover (especially construction crews)  many with less than 3 months experience.  Extra caution is required to make them aware of danger
  • David; different properties have machines set up different.  Must pay attention some are scary and dangerous.  Don’t take anything for granted
  • Arc Flash; discussed by all.  Protective clothing is hot and clumsy but worth the effort.  Availability is the problem



  • Casey:  remote racking of switchgear. 
  • Roger:  Modular Mining, problems bringing technologies together, communication, access etc.
  • Upgrades on shovels to Avtron drives and Flanders motors is increasing production and improving motor life, performance and brush life.
  • New dragline will have 5 separate swing loops and will hopefully increase gear life.
  • Online vibration monitoring
  • Mark:  Hydraulic raising and lowering of dragline booms
  • Water cooled IGBT’s; plug and play no fusses



  • Benefits of profiling commutators for troubleshooting and preventative maintenance.



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Group 5 Discussion


  • Dave Gohill of AZZ said that he was is discussion with TXU about keeping auxiliary contacts away from the high voltage components in a separate compartment.  The high voltage components are separated from the low voltage components with a ¼” steel plate.  High voltage is accessed only when power has been removed.
  • Dave also talked about installing vents in switchgear in case of a flash to vent pressure away from door.  White plated MCC interiors to address lighting issues associated with wearing tinted arc shields and hoods.



  • Don Patterson/DCS  said that they offer an AC motor that fits in the same footprint as the GE 824 and Westinghouse equivalent.  Designated the MAC1024
  • Dave Gohill/AZZ;  7-10 MVA transformers are 52 weeks out for delivery.  Some companies are installing plates around the cooling fins and on top of transformers to prevent damage in case of electrical flash.
  • Tracy Federer/DCS:  DCS offers a digital upgrade for older BE 290/295 shovels with the old GE Amplistat control system.  Total time for install-7days



  • PH class:  troubleshooting techniques that are not covered during training classes.
  • PLC’s
  • Diagnostics
  • 1570 upgrade at Coal Creek by DCS



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Group 6 Discussion



  • Review/Audit power system for potential backfeed.  Include TLV; tag, lock, verify.
  • Hand Injuries:  mainly cuts.  One company using tight fitting gloves as protection, resists cuts.
  • Arc Flash being implemented
  • All personnel in FR clothing
  • Not sure how to handle DC analysis



  • Discussed the AC dragline technology.  Walter Koellner
  • PH Centurion Drive
  • Problems/Solutions:
  • Shortage of skilled labor
  • One company starting their own apprentice program through local college



  • Follow up on AC machine
  • Bring in an economist to discuss the economy and future outlook, and possible effects on the coal industry.


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Group 7 Discussion


  • Vacuum Breaker/Contactor interruption redundancy.
  • Sync Motor becomes generator holding current in some cases still sufficient to maintain contacts.
  • Installation of “Zero Energy CT” may be used as a redundancy to cause quick opening in certain types of failures.
  •  Cable Lock out and grounding procedures revisited.
  • Double throw air switch for high voltage applications with ground buss engagement on all phases.
  • Risk assessment prior to task.
  • Include multiple individuals for visual inspections (extra sets of eyes).
  • Punch list for de-energizing and grounding.
  • “One line” diagram showing potential back feed issues.
  • Employee training
  • New workforce out there
  • Development of a mindset with employees that seemingly extra task are not extra work but are an insurance policy.
  • Keep procedures updated as equipment changes.
  • Protective low voltage gloves
  • Definition of trouble shooting or what should be allowed as “hot work”




  • Protection on Gen Sets
  • Protection better than screens guarding 
  • Employee development
  • Solutions for “growing your own”
  • Work half day and school half day
  • Intern programs for tech students
  • Pay scale increases




  • Shovel troubleshooting
  • Flanders/DCS DC & drive training class


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Group 8 Discussion


Who uses low voltage gloves?  Not many do, but intend to.  There is currently no regulation but maybe under NFPA70E.


Discussed the Peabody fatality incident that was presented during the meeting.  Especially relating to grounding practices and isolation.  Review your own procedures and safe work practices.


Who is following the requirements of the NFPA 70E.  How many documented injury incidents have prompted this legislation?


Some simple things can be done to help ourselves minimize the possible injury threat from an arc flash situation:

  • Do not reclose a tripped breaker before investigating the cause of the trip
  • Make sure “all” cover bolts are in place and tight
  • Wear cotton clothing rather than polyester
  • Use a face shield




  • Startco examined a new feeder protection unit that has dual settings that could be used to reduce the arc fault energy by enabling a quick trip feature that resets the relay with the touch of a button if exposed to energized buss is necessary.
  • It was also mentioned that some breaker manufacturers are also offering this feature
  • Don Bockman (Flanders) explained an automated drill control program that eliminates the need for surveying to stake the drill pattern.  3” of accuracy.  Uses mesh technology for communications, still requires a driller onboard.  Down hole logging automatic to office via mesh
  • Problems and solutions:  Found and NGR open on a main transformer prompting the installation of NGR continuous monitoring device.
  • Swing pinion limit switch balling up the grease causing brake setting at full swing.  Need vendor information (Banner, cutler hammer)
  • Pilot wire monitor termination devices, Startco, are finally being reduced in size to be used in confined spaces such as pumps.
  • Manpower, hiring and training.  Seen as an opportunity for vendors to offer training to help develop qualified tradesman
  • OSSA (Oil Sands Safety Association) has been created, funded by major companies in Fort McMurray to standardize common training to all sites.  Eliminating numerous courses for the same person on the same thing.
  • Rockwell training trailer; technical training offered as needed basis, Fort McMurray




  • Vendor training for MSHA requirements


4100XPB Shovel Upgrade – Centurion – Nov 06

Importance of the Neutral Grounding Resistor – Nov 06

Lessons Learned from Failure Investigations – Nov 06

Maximizing Carbon Brush Performance – Nov 06

Methane Monitor System Upgrade – Cordero – Nov 06

Nikola Tesla’s Impact on the Mining Industry – Nov 06

Personal Protective Equipment – Nov 06

Power Factor Considerations at Open Pit Coal Mines – Nov 06

Remote Access Developments – DCS – Nov 06


  • Vancouver BC, Canada
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Laughlin, NV (airport?)
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Event Details

Start date: 11/01/2006