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Open AccessArticle

A UAV-Based Framework for Semi-Automated Thermographic Inspection of Belt Conveyors in the Mining Industry

1
Instituto Tecnológico Vale (ITV), Ouro Preto 35.400-000, MG, Brazil
2
Control and Automation Engineering Department (DECAT), Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP), 35.400-000 Ouro Preto, MG, Brazil
3
Computing Department (DECOM), Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP), Ouro Preto 35.400-000, MG, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sensors 2020, 20(8), 2243; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20082243
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 24 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 15 April 2020
Frequent and accurate inspections of industrial components and equipment are essential because failures can cause unscheduled downtimes, massive material, and financial losses or even endanger workers. In the mining industry, belt idlers or rollers are examples of such critical components. Although there are many precise laboratory techniques to assess the condition of a roller, companies still have trouble implementing a reliable and scalable procedure to inspect their field assets. This article enumerates and discusses the existing roller inspection techniques and presents a novel approach based on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) integrated with a thermal imaging camera. Our preliminary results indicate that using a signal processing technique, we are able to identify roller failures automatically. We also proposed and implemented a back-end platform that enables field and cloud connectivity with enterprise systems. Finally, we have also cataloged the anomalies detected during the extensive field tests in order to build a structured dataset that will allow for future experimentation. View Full-Text
Keywords: conveyor belt; idler rollers; thermography; UAV inspection; computer vision; maintenance conveyor belt; idler rollers; thermography; UAV inspection; computer vision; maintenance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Carvalho, R.; Nascimento, R.; D’Angelo, T.; Delabrida, S.; G. C. Bianchi, A.; Oliveira, R.A.R.; Azpúrua, H.; Uzeda Garcia, L.G. A UAV-Based Framework for Semi-Automated Thermographic Inspection of Belt Conveyors in the Mining Industry. Sensors 2020, 20, 2243. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20082243

AMA Style

Carvalho R, Nascimento R, D’Angelo T, Delabrida S, G. C. Bianchi A, Oliveira RAR, Azpúrua H, Uzeda Garcia LG. A UAV-Based Framework for Semi-Automated Thermographic Inspection of Belt Conveyors in the Mining Industry. Sensors. 2020; 20(8):2243. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20082243

Chicago/Turabian Style

Carvalho, Regivaldo; Nascimento, Richardson; D’Angelo, Thiago; Delabrida, Saul; G. C. Bianchi, Andrea; Oliveira, Ricardo A.R.; Azpúrua, Héctor; Uzeda Garcia, Luis G. 2020. "A UAV-Based Framework for Semi-Automated Thermographic Inspection of Belt Conveyors in the Mining Industry" Sensors 20, no. 8: 2243. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20082243

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