Flexco

By literally mining data and refining it into insights, Flexco is pioneering digital sensor technology for the mining industry that goes beyond cloud-based maintenance tracking tools.

 

Challenge

Conveyor belt systems responsible for transporting tough, abrasive materials in the hard rock mining industry, are going to be subjected to wear and tear of its cleaner blades, and routine maintenance. So how do you prevent costly, unplanned downtime and detect belt-stopping problems before they occur?

We pursued a digital solution that would:

• Avoid catastrophic events by identifying abnormal vibration or impacts and notifying service teams so corrective action can be taken
• Gauge ongoing conveyor belt health by providing a continuous stream of real-time insights
• Minimize conveyor downtime while also helping to maximize cleaner blade lifespan

Solution

Twisthink worked with Flexco to create Elevate™, an innovative belt cleaner monitoring system that uses predictive insights to allow operations to move from traditional methods of monitoring cleaner performance, to a gathering data remotely and in real-time.

Built for the Environment

Mining sites are in remote locations with extreme climates and conditions making them difficult to access. To be effective, our digital sensor and cloud-based solution had to:

• Ensure the device has connectivity in remote areas
• Perform in environments with dust, dirt, mud and grease
• Operate consistently in extreme hot and cold climates over at least 5 years

“TWISTHINK ORCHESTRATED A HUMAN-DESIGN CENTERED APPROACH TO BUILDING A DATA COLLECTION DEVICE BASED ON REAL CUSTOMER PAIN POINTS AND NEEDS.”

-Chip Winiarski, VP of Marketing, Flexco

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Built for the User

Through a human-centered design process, we learned what mining professionals desired most in a solution, from sensor housing and design, to data extraction impacting circuitry and software development. Key user insights led to:

  • Designing a sensor that allows battery replacements while the belt is in operation.

  • Coding and developing a custom algorithm to capture and convert data into insights that prompt user action.

  • Leveraging edge technology to process data quickly and store it locally before sending it to the cloud; results in faster processing and preserves battery life.

  • Pinpointing optimal timing for ongoing maintenance, which can extend cleaner blade life and realize cost savings.

  • Developing a compatible app and cloud-based connection that provides access to data at any time for logging maintenance, updating schedules and spotting data patterns and trends for future planning.

 

Built to Scale

Flexco’s digital sensor can be retrofitted to tens of thousands of cleaner blades already deployed in the field without shutdown or disruption to conveyor operations, which offers deep market relevance and potential.

It also presents new opportunities to extend the sensor’s reach within the mining industry and other industries reliant of continuous conveyor belt health.

Is your Business Ready for
“What’s Next”?

Chart Your Intentional Path Towards Business Transformation

In times of uncertainty and disruption, proactive companies preparing for “what’s next” are better positioned for long-term success.

Join a live webinar with Bob Niemiec,
Managing Partner at Twisthink.

Get notified of our next Webinar

No Industry is Beyond Re-Imagining.

Let’s chat about yours. 

Is Your Business Ready
for What’s Next?

A live webinar
with Bob Niemiec
Managing Partner at twisthink