Industry Context

IIoT Wear Detection Sensor

Challenges, Solutions and Case Studies

Industry Challenge

Industry Solution


Industry Challenge


Thick-walled wear pipes that carry heavy/abrasive materials such as tailings and slurry, are common in the mining and energy sectors.

The pipe walls are generally softer than the materials they carry so when solids are pumped through pipe networks, the internal pipe walls become abraded.  Continuous inspection and regular preventative maintenance are required to avoid expensive downtime or safety/environmental hazards. 


Pipelines are often in remote, harsh environments, making accessibility difficult and sometimes dangerous. Pipe networks can also extend for several kilometres, making continuous inspection labour intensive.

Traditional approaches involve thickness testing and thermograph scanning and time/process based replacements. Continuous manual monitoring is neither time-efficient nor cost-effective because it can incur significant labour costs, environmental risks and operational down-time.

Diagram of Traditional Method

Industry Solution


Rather than conducting regular expensive inspections, an automated solution can be implemented to
continuously monitor the wear on asset walls; improving cost-efficiency while providing visibility of asset wear level in real time.

This solution can be implemented using electronic telemetry combined with custom sensing probes and
analysis software. This enables early fatigue to be detected; technicians, engineers and operators can then
be alerted to impending asset failure.

In addition to removing the requirement for planned inspections, this solution also vastly reduces the risk of unplanned maintenance arising.

By constantly monitoring the asset wear level, there is less risk of unexpected asset failure; any increased or uncharacteristic levels of wear will be detected by the system and reported to technicians, engineers or operators.

Diagram of Improved Method

Case Studies:


…real-world use cases.




Case Study 1

Coal Mining Product Rejects Tailing Pipeline



Coal mining product rejects tailing pipeline. 2 x 5km x 280mm PN25 HDPE in 20m flange spools. No budget for manual inspections.

Pipe spools lasting 6 months. Risk of environmental incident. CHPP (Process Plant) unplanned shut down risk on pipe failure.

  • Reduce Supply Spend
  • Reduce Environmental Risk
  • Reduce Safety Risk-Reduce Unplanned Outage


Install 5 x 20m (100m) 280mm PN25 HDPE pipe spools in-situ.

Third pipe in 100m pipe section to have sensor probe installed. Probes installed in each quadrant of the pipe circumference.  Known wear area –300mm back from flange measurement taken under the pipe.

Only one pipe monitored covering the five installed. Third pipe rotation alarm also rotating the five in total at the same schedule. Software aligned with 3 x rotation alerts with the fourth to notify replacement. Rotation/replace forecast notification set at 8 x weeks lead-time. Overlapping 2 x Scheduled Maintenance days.


    Rotation achieved on second maintenance day extending pipe life from6 x months to 2 x years. $1.5m saving on supply spend.

    Zero environmental incidents. Pipe rotation and replace before any failure. Cost saving on government instructed rehabilitation and fines.(Cost data unavailable).

    Unplanned outage zero. Cost saving from previous year estimate$1.2m. (Based on 2 x 6hr outage x tonnes per hour x sale cost per tonne, Loss of production).

      Case Study 2

      Monitor 90deg Sweeping Bend



      Monitor 90deg sweeping bend 315mm SDR11 HDPE.

      Extra layer welded onto the outer bend (30mm) to extend wear life.

      Total thickness monitored 60mm. 60mm wear probe installed on outer point of the bend. High wear area.



      Monitored data showing 1mm of wear per 1.5 weeks. Forecast to failure constantly monitoring a failure at 40 x weeks from install.

      Predictive Maintenance alarm set at 10 x weeks to failure.

      Alarm notification report notified the maintenance team. Pipe replacement ordered and planned into maintenance day schedule. No failure with maximum wear.



        Eliminated need for:

        • Inspections.
        • Temporary patching.
        • Unplanned Scaffolding/access cost.
        • Unplanned outage due to failure.
        • Personnel exposure to high risk Workfront such as working at heights.
        • Personnel exposure inside operating plant.
        • Streamlined maintenance planning, ordering & fabrication.
        • Note – saving does not include unplanned shutdown of process plant.

        Case Study 3

        Reject Load Out Feed & Bin Internal Liner Monitoring



        Following a near death incident onsite from a bin collapse.

        The cone of the bin collapsed into the back of a truck. No one was injured but, a legal reportable incident was captured.

        Findings noted the lack of thickness testing not being carried out.



        Proposal to monitor 35mm internal wear lining of the conveyor feed and reject bin.

        A 60mm wear probe installed at high wearing choke points and known high abrasive wear locations.

        Leading to supplying real time data on current condition within the nominated conveyer feed and reject bin.



          Eliminated need for:

          • Increase to scheduled inspections.
          • Potential for personnel exposure inside operating plant.
          • Unknown structural integrity risk from weakened structure.
          • Unplanned access into confined space.


          • Reduced number of monthly inspections over life of asset.
          • Eliminated temporary patching.
          • Eliminated high risk work requiring scaffolding thereby additional access cost.
          • Eliminated unplanned outage due to wear failure.
          • Streamlining maintenance planning, ordering and fabrication.
          • Note – saving/benefits does not include unplanned shutdown of process plant .

          Product Information: IIoT Wear Detection Sensor

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