A holistic approach to continuous rope monitoring
This paper presents results from extensive research into existing magnetic steel wire rope health evaluation equipment, procedures and methods. The characterisation of magnetic stray flux signatures of rope flaws and the research into magnetic measurement sensors and electronics led to the development of the Ansys Continuous Rope Monitoring System. The rope health measurements, acquired at full operating speed, are presented to the users via the internet and are comparable with the prior periodic manual low speed rope evaluations. New insight into rope health deterioration will be achieved with this system. Rope health practitioners will be able to assess the rope health and the required safety margins on a continuous basis. This in turn will allow the rope users to optimize production over the serviceable life of the rope. The rope health practitioner sets limits within which all rope measurements must remain to ensure safe usage of the rope. Exceeding these limits will raise an alarm that is distributed to the rope health inspector and the rope user. Acknowledgment of alarms is required, and an audit trail is maintained. The system setup, rope measurements, event logs and acknowledgments are stored for the full life cycle of several ropes installed in the same position.
Author(s): J. Marais and N. Bester