GREENVILLE, S.C.—Michelin North America has developed what it is calling ``the mining industry's first fully functional, electronic tire-monitoring system'' designed to provide information on internal tire air pressure and temperature while vehicles are in service in the mine. The Michelin Earthmover Management System (MEMS) comprises four components: tire tags, a receiver, an interface with existing mine management systems and a hand-held monitoring unit.
The tags, located in the air chamber of each tire, contain a sensor and electronics to monitor inflation pressure and internal temperature. They send this real-time information to the receiver, which continuously transmits it to the mine's operations control center.
The hand-held unit is used to monitor tires in service, conduct inspections and store data for future downloading into a computer for record-keeping and analysis.
``MEMS is designed to be integrated with existing mine management systems,'' said Pat Hicks, MEMS manager for Michelin's earthmover tire group. ``When the control room receives pressure and temperature information, trained operators can evaluate the data and make fact-based, informed decisions regarding overall operating efficiencies of the fleet''—decisions that can increase tire life, improve safety and increase vehicle productivity.
Michelin said it plans to have MEMS commercially available on a global basis during the first quarter of 2000. Initially, the company will promote the system for use in large surface mines, but said MEMS can be used in any application involving large earthmover tires, including quarries.