Startup Spotlight – Vayeron
Creating the conveyor system ‘fitbit’
Founder: Ryan Norris
It’s no surprise that a startup focussed on solving productivity problems for the mining and minerals processing industry was born in Mackay – the heart of the nation’s mining services industry.
Founder, Ryan Norris was working across a number of mines in Queensland’s Bowen Basin and noticed the huge impact conveyor system downtime was having across the entire operation, so he developed a solution – the Smart-Idler®.
The Smart-Idler® is an IoT solution that addresses the problem of the conveyor belt rollers deteriorating and breaking down. Bulk handling of minerals requires conveyor belts that stretch for hundreds of metres and even kilometres. When a roller causes conveyor belts to stop, it’s critical to find that roller and replace it ASAP. Roller failure is usually in the top three reasons that conveyors stop and is the leading cause of underground coal mine fires globally.
Using the kinetic energy generated by the roller itself, the Smart-Idler® is integrated during the manufacturing process. Its wireless technology monitors individual rollers 24/7 and relays data in real time direct to the control room, allowing operators to find, fix or replace the dud roller immediately.
“At the moment, replacing rollers on conveyor belts kills productivity simply because it takes too long to identify which roller has deteriorated, and usually means that it is not removed from the conveyor before causing further damage," Ryan said.
“The Smart-Idler® is like a fitbit for the conveyor system. The sensors constantly monitor vibration, temperature and acoustics and relay that real-time data to operators, allowing them to know about problems and schedule maintenance at the appropriate time.”
“Unscheduled roller replacements not only require the shutdown of the entire conveyor system while operators remove the faulty roller, there’s the issue of waste as well. Often whole sections of rollers will be replaced rather than just the faulty one.
Vayeron is based in Split Spaces, Mackay's innovation hub. 2017 was a great year for the startup, winning the Customer Pitch in the KPMG METS Ignited Accelerator and piloting the Smart-Idler® with global roller manufacturers on coal and iron-ore projects in Queensland and WA. 2018 is shaping up to be even busier with Vayeron focusing on:
- Employing extra staff
- Developing strategic partnerships with large multi-national METS companies
- Deploying the first exported systems into overseas mining operations
- Building out our technology feature set to include even more insight on our customers conveyor operations