Road Analysis Control (RAC) is an information product that allows the customer to monitor haul road conditions and improve large mining truck performance, productivity and safety while lowering repair, maintenance costs and downtime. Integrated with the Vital Information Management System (VIMS®), RAC provides real time feedback to the operator about haul road conditions which are detrimental to cycle times and power train, frame, suspension components and tires.
Through the VIMS message center, two levels of RAC events alert the operator to places in the haul road, which require attention, both from the standpoint of truck operation and support equipment. The operator should slow down or avoid the areas that trigger the events and support equipment should be assigned to remedy the problem areas. When used with a telemetry system like Caterpillar's VIMSwireless, this information can be transmitted in near real time to mine supervision or management in the office for immediate action. VIMS also logs RAC information from each cycle's rack and pitch data and creates a summary measurement called a Fatigue Equivalent Load Analysis (FELA) which allows management to track severity and benchmark road conditions. Utilizing the same sensors that determine payload weight and cycle times, RAC measures the frame's rack and pitch at ten times per second. Rack is the lateral twisting of the frame due to uneven loading on the diagonal tires. For instance, a fully loaded truck with the left front tire in a rut and the right rear tire on an incline results in excessive forces on the frame. Pitch is the force on the frame from front to rear which occurs when the truck crosses a bump or dip perpendicular to the line of travel, hard braking or hard turns. RAC measures these values and sends them almost instantaneously to the on board VIMS module which calculates events and trends. From there, extreme measurements are displayed to the operator and all information is recorded for downloading with VIMSpc software.
By monitoring this data, mines will be able to identify and attend to haul road sections affecting cycle times and component life. The results are properly maintained haul roads which means safer operating conditions, decreased mechanical wear, less physical stress and improved comfort for the operator, reduced fuel consumption, lower tire road hazard cost, suspension and component operating costs and more uptime. RAC is not simply an added function to VIMS. RAC is designed to help all Cat large mining truck users derive more value from their owning and operating experience.
Benefits of RAC: