Stone Quarry Production Data Acquisition System

Price Technology enjoyed working with this company on many projects, and this project is no exception.  This company operates many stone quarries throughout the state.  The quarry crushing stations are located a distance from the quarries’ truck scale house and many miles away from this company’s home office.  This company was looking for a method to deliver production data to the scale houses as well as the home office.

Price Technology was glad to work with this company and develop the Stone Quarry Production Data Acquisition System.  Up to this point in time, the data acquisition system has been installed and operating at two (2) stone quarry sites, with plans for more installations.  This web page describes the data acquisition system at just one (1) stone quarry site.

The PLC communicates with the belt scale via Modbus RTU communication link.  A desk-top computer runs the data acquisition software LookoutTMDirect.  The LookoutTM data acquisition software is developed by National Instruments, and is one of the industries’ leading data acquisition software products.  The office that holds the data acquisition computer is located across the quarry and across a roadway from the crushing station and the PLC panel.  The initial installation utilized an existing overhead cable to establish RS485 serial

Computer screen print of Primary  Crushing production display.

A PLC panel was designed and installed at the Primary rock crushing station to receive data for Jaw level and Feeder speed.  In addition, the PLC communicates with the belt scale to gather the current crushing rate in tons per hour, the

View of belt conveyor with belt scale.

View of Data System PLC Panel Interior.

CONTACT: Kevin Price

Price Technology

110 Manatawny Road

Oley, PA 19547

Phone: 610-689-0300

Email: kevin@pricetechnet.com

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daily production total in tons, and the year-to-date production total in tons.  The Jaw level is determined by a sonar level sensor and the Feeder speed is obtained from an analog signal from the Feeder motor’s Variable Frequency Drive.

communication between the data acquisition computer and the PLC panel at the Primary crushing station.  However, this proved to be un-reliable due to lightning-induced damage.  Frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum wireless data modems were installed to establish a serial radio communication link.  This has proven to be a very reliable solution in this hostile environment.  The data acquisition computer displays real-time production data, provides a historical trend graph, and saves the data to a spreadsheet file for reporting and analysis.  The home office has access to the production data through an in-house network.  Initial Data Acquisition System completed in June 2004.  Wireless communication upgrade completed in July 2006.

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