Intelligent maintenance of large-scale belt conveyor idler rolls: State-of-the-art and opportunities

Xiangwei Liu, Gabri Lodewijks, Yusong Pang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Large-scale belt conveyor systems are widely involved in medium and long distance transport of bulk material. The spatially distributed idler rolls are a great challenge to maintain the reliability of the conveyor systems. Automation of maintenance in intelligent ways provides a promising solution to replace traditional corrective maintenance. This paper further elaborates the concept of intelligent maintenance introduced by Lodewijks in 2004. We review state-of-the-art idler roll data acquisition, decision-making techniques and recent development of robotic roll replacement. A novel SD model based maintenance logistics control is proposed. The viability of robotic idler roll replacement has been demonstrated by case studies. Opportunities in the intelligent maintenance of idler rolls are discussed. Cloud-based intelligent maintenance is considered an emerging trend in the near future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings AST - Symposium on Automated Systems and Technologie
EditorsLudger Overmeyer, Vyacheslav P. Shkodryrev
Place of PublicationGarbsen, Germany
PublisherTEWISS-Technik und Wissen GmbH
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-3-944586-84-7
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • belt conveyor
  • idler roll
  • intelligent maintenance
  • condition monitoring
  • decision-making
  • robot

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