Septembar 2017. Contemporary tendencies in the development and operation of a mining machine Mikro Kontrol hosted, together with Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), a two-day-long expert meeting in Sremski Karlovci, Serbia. The topic was ‘Contemporary tendencies in development and operations of mining machines’. It was intended to present new ideas and latest developments to engineers and managers employed at EPS, RB Kolubara and TE Kostolac.

Opening the gathering, Slobodan Mitrovic, the executive director of coal production in EPS, said that the major challenge and task in the EPS sector, is to fit into modern production trends, which will enable coal to continue to be the main energy source in EPS. Taking into account the multidisciplinarity of mining science, which relies heavily on mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, and recently automation and informatics, this is only possible through continuous cooperation with the best companies of mining equipment in the world, and through the exchange of knowledge, experience and the implementation of their latest achievements in this area.

Mitrović expressed his great satisfaction with the fact that at this fourth meeting, after three foreign companies (ThysenKrupp, Liebherr and Enelex), we have a domestic company Mikro Kontrol, with whom EPS EPS has a long-standing cooperation in the revitalization of existing and implementation of new production systems on surface mines.
Prof. Dr. Božo Kolonja from the Mining and Geological Faculty in Belgrade and Nebojša Lazarević, an application engineer from Mikro Kontrol gave lectures on innovative CQMS concept of management and coal quality control, as well as the possibilities for its implementation.  

Mikro Kontrol has shown that it is actively following the latest technological achievements, as well as that it is an innovator in the Serbian market. The company is making huge steps to implement the latest Industry 4.0 trends. The new solution is characterized by a distributed processing model, the use of RFID software technology for the mutual recognition of equipment in use during the process of production and transport of coal, OPCUA (OPC United Architecture) technology on vertical communication, all the way to the cloud and real time adaptive communication at the horizontal level.

The company has offered an innovative proposition to dynamically determine the transporter's loading compartments with the innovative RFID technology and overcome the problems that exist on current solutions that use very expensive GPS positioning equipment.

Applying the "virtual factory" solution, transferring the data to the lowest level of processing through Simulink models, and then returning the processed data into its system, Mikro Kontrol has contributed greatly to the complete improvement of the CQMS system developed at the Mining and Geological Faculty in Belgrade and enabled the realization of this original solution.

The second part of the lecture was focused on the modern Cloud technology. It is undoubtedly the future of the industry. The most modern forms of communication are fundamentally inseparable from the cloud technology. None of it could exist without wireless communication and high speed internet, in the same way as the Industry 4.0 could not exist without cloud, OPCUA communications and general integration with fast real-time communications, both horizontally and vertically.

Cloud technology offers immense opportunities to improve all aspects of both everyday life and industrial production. Introduction of the artificial intelligence as an assistant in plant maintenance, augmented reality equipment that accelerates decision making and helps people get better solutions, unmanned vehicles and robots capable of organizing themselves, products able to dictate to the machines what to do, are all just some of the novelties arising from this full-fledged industrial revolution.

Not only does Cloud and Industry 4.0 introduce technological changes, they also strongly affect the change of general awareness in the industry that is about to change radically.

The use of modern cloud and industry 4.0 solutions is expected to lead to the raise in the quality, quantity, and scope of production, facilitating the maintenance of production systems, and reducing various costs. The transition to new kinds of technologies has become a necessity.

Yokogowa, as the guest company, has presented new technologies for monitoring equipment at large distances. Their model DTSX 3000 presents a temperature measurement system via optic fibers, and can register temperature changes in the range of -50° to 70° C. It is done through the use of a standard optical cable, at distances up to 50km, with a resolution of less than 1 meter, and a maximum of 16 channels. With the appropriate optical cable, the measurement range increases to -220° to 800° C. DTSX is a cost-effective method of collecting thousands of accurate high-resolution measurements.

Additionally, Mikro Kontrol’s engineer Miodrag Basić gave a presentation on ‘applications in the energetics’. The focus of the presentation was on the new ways to improve crane and mining applications. It included, the advantages of multi-drive topology of frequency convertors, ways of reducing the influence of higher harmonics from frequency converters to the power supply network, the possibility of regenerative breaking, as well as energy efficient management of pumping plants.

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