Coal mined/extracted from colliery (Figure 1) is carried to the primary crusher for screening and crushing processes. There are chances of residual overburden (from the coal seam floor & improper face cleaning) material such as boulders (Figure 2) and metal getting mixed with coal. These boulders and metals damage (Figure 3) the crushing and screening equipment and increases downtime.
Currently, boulder identification at the mine area is done mainly through visual inspection, which is ineffective. Boulder detection through vision-based systems has also been tried previously. However, due to the large bucket size of shovels/loaders (Figure 4) used for loading coal in dumpers (Figure 5), only surface-level boulders get detected.
Thus, a solution is sought for the detection of these boulders and metals inside the extracted coal at any point between the process of loading dumpers and transferring from dumpers to hoppers.
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