Optimizing Design Parameters for Ground Articulating Pipeline System Using Discrete Event Simulation


The ground articulating pipeline (GAP) system was designed to transport oil sands slurry from the face to a fixed pipeline system (Frimpong et al., 2002). The GAP system can reduce the dependence on haulage trucks for long haulage distances and to achieve efficient management of the excavation-haulage operations. However, further research is required to investigate how to optimize the interaction between the shovel and GAP system and the impact of the new pipe arm adding process on production. In this research, discrete event simulation using Arena® was used to analyze the interaction between the shovel and GAP system. The objectives of this simulation are to: (1) Investigate the GAP system performance, as a function of shovel cycle time, shovel capacity and GAP system throughput, when working with a shovel; and (2) Recommend optimal GAP design parameters, based on the simulation results. The results show that the degree of importance of the three factors investigated are shovel capacity > shovel cycle time > GAP system throughput rate. Based on this evaluation, the most important factor (out of the three) is identified and its optimal value found from further experiments. It is also recommended that a larger hopper on the mobile slurry system is considered to improve system performance. This work further refines the design of the GAP system and moves it closer to application in the mining industry.

Meeting Name

37th International Symposium on Application of Computers and Operations Research in the Mineral Industry, APCOM2015 (2015: May 23-27, Fairbanks, AK)


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Discrete event simulation; Oil sands; Operations research; Pipelines; Piping systems; Shovels; Water pipelines; Design parameters; Efficient managements; Ground articulating pipeline; Haulage distance; Oil sands slurries; Optimizing design; Pipe-line systems; System throughput; Mineral industry

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Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2015 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2015

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