Spotlight Feature Articles HEAVY ENGINEERING & WEAR PARTS - Page 3

By offering the ability to be continually repaired , the Maxa Modular Filter Plate reduces inventory levels and greatly reduces the environmental impact , according to FLSmidth
applications made up of 100 % steel – 60 % of which is recycled – that comes with less embedded emissions than other competitor wear parts on the market .
The hard part in applying these innovations across the mining sector is presenting a strong value proposition that operators at site can understand and appreciate , as well as displaying the sustainability benefits that executives are being judged by investors on . This is all part of the MissionZero brief to provide sustainable solutions that do not compromise customers ’ commercial competitiveness .
Adoption of these emission-friendly solutions also requires customers to think longer-term and employ a total cost of operations model when deciding on their use and the optimal time to replace them .
New products such as the WEMCO II flotation cell – which features full air control without blower and froth maintenance – have improved wear life ‘ designed in ’, but digitalisation can help tackle this task too .
FLSmidth has a series of projects in the flotation arena focused on digital wear detection that are embedded in a “ smart flotation package ” taking into account “ performance and recoveries ”, Newman said .
Digital wear detection projects for crushers and mill liners are also in the works , while there is already a commercial digital wear offering for hydrocyclones with SmartCyclone and a commercial wear detection solution on automatic filter presses called the IntelliPlate , which automatically senses and locates any solids breach in a filter in-plate cloth .
As with all these solutions , the more production-critical the equipment , the more
reticence there tends to be from customers to shut down the circuit and install a wear part with digital detection capabilities that may be ‘ unproven ’.
Yet , the benefits of switching out wear parts at the optimal time are clear to see , according to Newman .
“ With a flotation cell rotor , for instance , you can get a 5 % recovery drop by continuing to run an old rotor instead of replacing it with a new one at the right time ,” he said . “ Across a bank of flotation cells , it may have an even bigger impact on metal recoveries .”
It is this process knowledge , alongside an extensive wear parts range , that continues to separate FLSmidth ’ s wear parts offering from other suppliers on the market .
“ That OEM service level is about selling a solution and performance , rather than just a wear part ,” Newman concluded .
Working and protecting
Like FLSmidth , wear parts development is one of
Metso Outotec ’ s core R & D areas , according to Tuomas Teeri , Director , Engineering & RTD for the Consumables Business , with the company taking multiple approaches to meet the current challenges set by the mining sector .
Wear life is the result of three main factors specific to a customer ’ s wear environment : design , material selection and manufacturing process , according to Teeri .
“ Wear part development focuses on bringing together an optimised design for a customer ’ s application , developing game-changing material technologies and achieving seamless collaboration with our supply chain organisation ,” he told IM . “ When these three elements come together , we can provide the best possible quality and wear part performance to our customers .”
A change in wear part design can lead to significant benefits in terms of equipment operation when it comes to wear life and equipment production performance , but it is also important to acknowledge that the purpose of a wear part is to not only help process material , but also protect the equipment in the right way . “ So , both working wear parts , as well as
protective wear parts , need to be considered ,” Teeri said .
Given the company ’ s focus on sustainability with its Planet Positive offering – covering the environmental , social and financial aspects of sustainability – the extended wear life of components within a process plant makes sense , reducing emissions and improving circularity .
“ We want to be the best sustainable choice for value-driven wear solutions ,” Teeri says . “ In practice this means that 100 % of our R & D projects must have a sustainability target related to energy , emissions , water , circularity , or safety .”
When it comes to wear part development , this means extended wear life , reduced energy and water consumption and improved safety for the customer ’ s operations ; using renewable energy and maximising the use of recycled and green raw materials during production of said wear parts ; and sourcing sustainable raw materials and ‘ green ingredients ’ for new alloys and compounds .
“ Different material types have certain performance benefits and limitations depending on the customer ’ s application and it is our job to make sure the materials chosen are not only the best selections for performance but that sustainability aspects are also taken into account ,” Teeri said on the latter .
Digital solutions can – and are – helping Metso Outotec tackle these requirements .
“ There are different ways to perform the monitoring of wear parts and we are utilising mainly three methods : physical wear sensors , 3D scanning technology and soft sensors ,” Teeri said .
When it comes to the sensors , for example , Metso Outotec has WearSense™ , a wireless online wear monitoring system that can be fitted to metallic and ceramic wear liners independent of attachment systems . It monitors wear in real time and tells operators the optimal time to change the liners .
At the same time , 3D scanning technology and software have been developed in-house at Metso Outotec that can assess wear . Patented solutions called CrusherMapper™ and MillMapper allow metallurgists and maintenance personnel to make informed decisions on reline scheduling and crusher operations to optimise maintenance operations .
In addition to these solutions , the new patented Virtual Inspection platform brings the benefits of 3D scanning to a new level , according to Teeri , enabling viewing of scanned mill linings in virtual reality , while offering an efficient and safe environment for technical discussions .
And the performance data from soft sensors on certain equipment can be used by artificial intelligence and analytics platforms to assess what is happening in the equipment and diagnose issues .
“ Metso Outotec Metrics is a cloud-based remote condition monitoring platform , which can
JUNE 2022 | International Mining