Inline Force Sensor Development for Electrical Motors for Mining Operations in Chile: A New Inspection Protocol

Miguel Carrasco, Francisco Alvarez, Ramiro Velazquez, Javier Concha, Ignacio Perez-Cotapos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Electric motors are among the most widely used electro-mechanical systems in the mining industry in Chile. As they are physically present in virtually all phases of the production process, they must be regularly inspected. In order to maintain a maximum level of operability and to avoid the occurrence of catastrophic failures and unscheduled stoppages, regular, planned reviews to measure the internal parameters of their components are performed manually. This part of the process presents serious shortcomings, such as significant inspection times, information input errors and, in some cases, measurement errors resulting from the technical difficulty of physically taking the measurement. This research presents the design, development and evaluation of a new sensor to support the inspection of brush-holder spring tensions as well as the integration of a digital gauge to control other critical dimensions of the brush-holder mounting. Its purpose is to provide the mining industry with a new system and a fully automated inspection protocol to ease maintenance and control tasks, particularly focusing on reducing inspection times. These products are expected to increase the equipment operating life, as well as delivering a maintenance report of the motors key parameters which directly benefits the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of mining management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Latin America Transactions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Electrical Motor sensor
  • SAG grinding drill motor
  • inspection protocol


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