Rethinking Minerals Processing with Digital


Mr Jani Puroranta

Elimination of unplanned downtime and making shorter, well-planned shutdowns are a necessity in the hunt for increasing throughput and productivity for minerals processing plants. Predictive maintenance is already a proven concept in mining. However, where haul trucks are monitored and optimized in real-time already, crusher performance is still analyzed only retroactively using weeks or even months old historian data. This leads to very long improvement cycles and completely missing out on fast-developing phenomena. With real-time remote condition monitoring of the crushing circuit, Metso increases the throughput of its customers’ plants. Early detection of potential machine failure gives the operator and maintenance crew enough time to react and prevent unnecessary damage. Every bushing saved from burning and every screen mechanism that is prevented from breaking, saves the minerals processing plant significantly in terms of maintenance costs, and also allows the plant to benefit from hundreds of additional productive machine hours annually. Furthermore, by looking at the circuit holistically, changes can be made to the entire process. For example, choke feeding the crushers will give more energy efficient production. Also, better control of the operating parameters of the crushers will achieve sharper reduction and higher lump-to-fine ratios in iron DSO processing. Long-term, digitalization of the minerals processing plant will enable dynamic detection of shifting bottlenecks, and measurement of process loads that are unmeasurable today. This will not only lead to better maintenance planning, but also to the ability to execute more complex control strategies.