Title: Exploring the effect of physical, human and technical factors on bucket wheel excavators' efficiency: a fuzzy cognitive map approach

Authors: Maria Menegaki; Theodoros Michalakopoulos; Christos Roumpos

Addresses: School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Iroon Polytechniou Str., Zografou Campus, Greece ' School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Iroon Polytechniou Str., Zografou Campus, Greece ' Mining Engineering Department, Public Power Corporation, 29 Chalkokondyli Str., Athens, Greece

Abstract: Several parameters, e.g., characteristics of the excavated material, number and thickness of lignite layers, bucket wheel capacity, experience of personnel, etc., affect the efficiency of bucket wheel excavators (BWEs). In this paper, the fuzzy cognitive map (FCM) approach is used to explore the factors affecting the efficiency of BWEs as well as their interlinkages and interdependencies, based on an extensive review of scientific literature and expert intervention. The main goal is to provide a transparent and flexible model and propose a different simulation approach for complex mining systems that can interconnect the factors influencing system's behaviour. The implementation of the proposed model revealed significant differences in BWEs' efficiency under favourable and hostile conditions. This is a first step towards simulations intended to help mining practitioners, bridging the gap between 'pure' qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Keywords: bucket wheel excavators; BWEs; efficiency of BWEs; fuzzy cognitive mapping; soft modelling; learning algorithms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMME.2019.104447

International Journal of Mining and Mineral Engineering, 2019 Vol.10 No.2/3/4, pp.189 - 204

Received: 24 Jan 2019
Accepted: 29 Mar 2019

Published online: 10 Jan 2020 *

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