Sensors & Transducers

Robust Telco sensors triumph in mining ­applications

January 2015 Sensors & Transducers

The superior performance and robustness of Telco’s photoelectric sensors ensure that there are no limits to the solutions it can provide in the toughest and most contaminated conditions imaginable. Recently, the company introduced a belt monitoring unit that can effectively monitor transport conveyors and prevent damage.

How it works: The unit makes use of Telco infrared sensors which monitor the belt position at all times. These infrared sensors are robust and can handle the extremely harsh mining environment without problems. Sunlight, water, dust, dirt, vibration and alignment do not adversely affect them.

The unit can be installed in various configurations depending on a customer need. The most basic option is detection of belt tear in the centre of the belt only. The next level is detection of belt tear and alignment. These can be installed with an alarm indication, or voltage free contacts which can be incorporated into the PLC and scada systems.

The unit has been installed and tested in extremely harsh ­environments and has passed all tests subjected to it. In one example, the sensor head was damaged by coal build-up and continued to work reliably.

The frame: The frame is designed with pipe bent into a U-shape to fit around the conveyor with no sharp edges that can damage it. The pipes are powder coated and can be supplied in various colours as per the customer’s preference.

The electronics: The system consists of two infrared transmitters and two infrared receivers, one on each side of the conveyor. These can be increased for greater protection if required. The amplifier is not situated with the transmitters or receivers but as a stand-alone unit separate from the sensors. It can incorporate a 10 second time delay to eliminate unwanted trips. The system is designed to be failsafe, meaning that a power or system failure will stop the conveyor. The system can be supplied from 24 VDC or 24/110/220 VAC. The voltage-free contacts are rated to 10 A with the amplifier and relays installed inside an IP65 rated housing.

Integration and maintenance: The voltage-free contacts can be used by system integrators or mine personnel to connect to a PLC and scada system. Testing can be conducted at regular intervals by manually disconnecting the transmitters and holding them in line with the receivers.

For more information contact Gail Norton Instrumentation,

+27 (0)31 701 4861,,


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