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Mining Science and Technology (China) 21 (2011) 491494

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Mining Science and Technology (China)


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/mstc

Control strategy of disc braking systems for downward belt conveyors


Hou Youfu a, Xie Fangwei b,, Huang Fei a
a b

School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou 221008, China School of Mechanical Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
Reliability of braking systems is a key requirement to ensure the safety of in using downward belt conveyor brakes. By analyzing and comparing three commonly used braking velocity curves, we conclude that the Harrison curve is the best. Given the characteristics of a downward belt conveyor, we studied the control in a closed-loop velocity, a conventional PID method and an optimal PID control method. We used MATLAB/Simulink to simulate the three control methods. Our simulation results show that optimal PID control is especially suitable for disc braking systems. To verify the results from theoretical analysis and simulation, a multifunctional test-bed was developed to simulate the braking process of a disc brake system. Our experimental results demonstrate that the optimal PID control can make the output velocity to follow a preset velocity correctly with only small uctuations, meeting the requirements of a exible brake for a belt conveyor. 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of China University of Mining & Technology.

Article history: Received 15 November 2010 Received in revised form 10 December 2010 Accepted 4 January 2011 Available online 13 July 2011 Keywords: Downward belt conveyor Disc braking system Harrison velocity curve Optimal PID Control strategy

1. Introduction Towards the end of the 1980s a downward belt conveyor was used, for the rst time, on an inclined coal seam in our country. Given our progress in science and technology as well as the increase in production at inclined coal seams, coal mines need more and more long-distance, large-capacity, large dip angle downward belt conveyors. The use of conveyors can decrease the workload in mines considerably, reduce investment in capital construction, shorten construction periods and generate marked social and economic benets [1,2]. The principle of a downward belt conveyor transmission scheme is shown in Fig. 1 [3]. At present, the braking system of a downward belt conveyor used domestically, largely consists of hydraulic pressure, hydraulic power and a disc braking system [46]. Such disc braking systems have been widely used, due to their outstanding advantages of a single-stage brake, simple structure, mature technology and low cost [710]. We will show that control of such a disc braking system is the key technology to guarantee reliability in its operation, but also suggest that this issue requires an urgent solution.

reduce the dynamic load on the belt, drum, roller and frame of the conveyor. The ideal braking process of a downward belt conveyor should have the following characteristics [11,12]: (1) avoid braking for too long when the deceleration of the brake is less than the stipulated deceleration; (2) make the maximum braking deceleration as small as possible; (3) avoid sudden changes in braking deceleration. Current commonly used braking velocity curves are shown in Fig. 2. It is seen that the linear curve has a sudden change in deceleration both at the starting and the end points of the curve, where the derivative of deceleration approaches innity. The Nordell curve has a sudden change in deceleration at point T/2, where the derivative of deceleration is discontinuous. The Harrison curve is continuous without a sudden change in deceleration. The impact of tension within a conveyor, caused by a sudden change of deceleration, shortens its service life and is not good for braking control. Therefore, we have used a Harrison curve to analyze the brake process of a downward belt conveyor.

2. Braking velocity curves Because a conveyor belt is a visco-elastic body, uctuations in stress should be avoided in the process of braking in order to
Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 15262925872.
E-mail address: cumtxfw@126.com (F. Xie).

3. Disc braking device A disc braking device, composed of a disc brake, a brake disc and a frame is shown in Fig. 3, where 1 the is the cylinder and piston, 2 the disc spring, 3 the brake lining and 4 the brake disc; P is the oil pressure and S the gap between brake lining and brake disc. The disc braking device has a normal closed hydraulic control, i.e.,

1674-5264/$ - see front matter 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of China University of Mining & Technology. doi:10.1016/j.mstc.2011.06.005

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Y. Hou et al. / Mining Science and Technology (China) 21 (2011) 491494

Fig. 1. Principle of downward belt conveyor transmission. (1) Tail bend pulley; (2) idler pulley; (3) bend pulley; (4) progressive drum; (5) driving drum and (6) head bend drum. Fig. 3. Structural scheme of disc braking device.

the brake lining is pressed to the brake disc by the disc spring when there is no oil pressure, producing a maximum braking moment. Regulating the input voltage (or current) of the proportional electro-hydraulic valve, the output oil pressure P can continuously adjust the braking moment. In this way, the braking velocity of a downward belt conveyor can be controlled in a exible manner. 4. Control strategy of disc braking system 4.1. Closed-loop velocity control The disc braking system studied by us is a closed-loop velocity control system, its ow chart described in Fig. 4. In this system the proportional electro-hydraulic valve is a core element; the quality of this valve has an important effect on the performance of the system. The output oil pressure and the braking moment can be adjusted by changing the input voltage (or current) of the proportional electro-hydraulic valve, in order to control the braking velocity of the downward belt conveyor. Using a step function as an input signal, the dynamic performance of the system can be simulated by MATLAB/Simulink [1315]. The velocity curve of a closed-loop control is shown in Fig. 5. It is seen that the response is too slow and the steady-state error too large with a closed-loop velocity control. Therefore, measures must be taken to correct the control system. 4.2. Conventional PID control To obtain a more ideal dynamic performance of the disc braking control system, a PID (Proportion Integration Differentiation) controller should rst be designed and installed for correcting the system. The adjustment of its parameters is very important in the use of the PID controller. Because of its simple operation and outstanding effect, we used the ZieglerNichols method to adjust the PID parameters. The adjusted results show that the proportional coefcient kp 208:044, the integral coefcient ki 889:077 and the differential coefcient kd 12:191. Using a step function as
.

Preset v

U Conventional / optimal PID U0 + controller U

Proportional p Disc M z Downward v electro belt braking hydraulic system conveyor valve

Velocity feedback
Fig. 4. Flow chart of disc braking control system.

1.2

Conventional PID control

0.8 Velocity closed - loop control 0.4 Optimal PID control

y
0

2 3 Time (s)

Fig. 5. Step response of control system.

an input signal, the velocity curve of a conventional PID control is shown in Fig. 5. It can be seen that this conventional PID control is characterized by a quick response with a small steady-state error, while the overshoot increased by 24%. The increase in the overshoot may cause uctuations in braking velocity, which impacts the conveyor belt, implying that the requirements for exible control of the downward belt conveyor are not met. Therefore, the parameters of the PID controller must be further optimized in order to decrease the overshoot and reduce the impact on the braking system.

v, v

v, v

v, v

v0

Velocity curve

v0

Velocity curve

v0

Velocity curve T t

T t Deceleration curves

T /2

T/2

Deceleration curves

Deceleration curves

(a) Linear curve

(b) Harrison curve


Fig. 2. Braking velocity and deceleration curves.

(c) Nordell curve

Y. Hou et al. / Mining Science and Technology (China) 21 (2011) 491494

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2.0 1.6

Simulated curve 1.2 0.8 0.4 0 Preset curve

8 12 Time (s)

16

20

Fig. 6. Velocity curve of optimal PID control.

PID control are clearly reduced, where the overshoot is reduced from 24% to 4%. Reducing the overshoot causes the output velocity to follow the preset velocity quickly, while reducing the uctuation and impact on the conveyor belt in its braking process. The velocity curve of the downward belt conveyor was simulated by MATLAB and is shown in Fig. 6, where the initial belt velocity was v 0 = 2 m/s and the braking time t = 20 s. In this gure, the preset curve is a Harrison curve and the simulation curve the velocity curve controlled by an optimal PID. It can be seen that there is a certain lag between the simulation and preset curves, but the lag is quite small. In general, the output velocity can correctly follow the preset velocity; the control method can actualize exible control of the downward belt conveyor. 5. Experiments To verify the simulation and control strategy of the optimal PID, a multifunctional test-bed (shown in Fig. 7) was developed to simulate the braking process of the disc brake system. We only simulated the braking process under overload conditions, which is the most incident prone and serious condition. In the experiments, the overload of the downward belt conveyor was simulated by a hydraulic winch. The time for the simulation experiments was set at 40 s. The system was controlled by a closed-loop velocity control without correction. The experimental velocity curve obtained is shown in Fig. 8a. There is a large lag between the measured and preset velocity curves with wide uctuations, although the measured velocity curve is similar to a Harrison curve. Because the system was only controlled by the closed-loop velocity without correction, a good braking control performance could not be obtained. Fig. 8b is the velocity curve of a conventional PID control, in which the measured velocity tracks the preset velocity better; the response velocity is faster and uctuation smaller than with the closed-loop control. Fig. 8c is the velocity curve of the optimal PID control, in which the measured velocity correctly tracks the preset velocity and the uctuation is relatively small. This meets the requirement for exible control of a disc braking system.

Ve locity (m /s)

Fig. 7. Experimental equipment.

4.3. Optimal PID control There are two major parameter optimization technologies for PID control systems, i.e., a multivariable optimization technology and a random optimization technology. Both optimization technologies are based on complex calculations, requiring complex programming. The PID parameters were optimized by the Signal Constraint module in MATLAB/Simulink. This method can obtain good optimization results. The PID parameters adjusted by Signal Constraint are bound up with the initial ranges of kp , ki and kd . After repeated trials, their ranges were established with the Tuned Parameters window, where kp =5 6 kp 6 kp ; ki =20 6 ki 6 5ki ; kd =5 6 kd 6 5kd : The optimized initial values (kp 208:044, ki 889:077, kd 12:191) were our PID parameters adjusted by the ZieglerNichols method and entered into the Command Window of MATLAB. In our simulation, the size of the step was variable, the time 5 s. The optimal results of our simulation were kp 207:805, ki 44:454, kd 19:423. The velocity curve of the optimal PID control is shown in Fig. 5. It can be seen that the overshoot and adjustment time of the optimal
100 80 Measured 100 80

6. Conclusions (1) By analyzing and comparing three commonly used braking velocity curves, i.e., a linear curve, a Harrison curve and a Nordell curve, we found the Harrison curve to be the best. (2) Considering the characteristics of the disk brake system, i.e., a closed-loop velocity control, a conventional PID control and an optimal PID control were simulated by MATLAB/Simulink. By analysis and a comparison, we established the control strategy of the optimal PID for the disc brake system.
100 Measured 80 Measured

V (r/min)

V (r/min)

V (r/min)

60 40 Preset velocity 20 0 10 20 t (s) 30 40 50

60 40 Preset velocity 20 0 10 20 t (s) 30 40 50

60 40 20 0 10 20 t (s) 30 40 50 Preset velocity

(a) Velocity curve of closed-loop control

(b) Velocity curve of conventional PID control


Fig. 8. Velocity curves of three control methods.

(c) Velocity curve of optimal PID control

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(3) Experiments were carried out on a multifunctional test-bed. The experimental results demonstrate that the optimal PID control can make the measured velocity correctly track the preset velocity and satisfy exible control requirements of a downward belt conveyor. Our experimental results also prove that the theoretical analysis is correct and the control strategy effective.

Acknowledgments The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance and valuable suggestions provided by Prof. Zhang Yongzhong and Prof. Guo Chuwen. References
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