Mining Equipment Performance Test and How It Can Affect Mining Accuracy and Efficiency

January 15, 2019

Engineering methodologies are applied with painstaking effort. We all know the drill. A proof of concept becomes a drawing board plan, prototypes are constructed and feasibility studies conducted. Is the mining equipment sector any different? Absolutely not, for there are equipment performance tests to run. Tailored so that the benchmarks maximize peak equipment efficiency, the test regimens begin by assessing the requirements of a particular marketplace.

The Marketplace Assessment Triangle

Three factors govern test criteria. First of all, what’s the mining application? Second, what equipment design resources are available? The latest mining technologies impact this second factor. Finally, what level of maintenance is recommended after the equipment has entered service? In-system oil feeds and maintenance-free mechanical parts will affect the maintenance question. Now, by introducing a system monitoring program, the mining equipment tests are administered. In the field, the performance metrics are gathered. Are the screens handling high-volume loads without generating flow-choking bottlenecks? Is equipment fatigue a maintenance-hampering issue? These and other problems can carefully be monitored by an in-field industry taskforce.

The Equipment Manufacturer’s Response

Well, as the reports and feasibility studies gather on top of an equipment designer’s “In” tray, there are steps to take. To finetune equipment performance, extra slots are built into the inclination managing assembly on a screening deck. Boosting this approach, new vibrational mechanisms are designed so that the aggregate on a mineral processing line will sieve its way towards a second deck level. Now, with the equipment suiting its application, the raw mineral stream moves faster while it’s also accurately screened. Wielding a group of engineering calculations, the performance to system velocity ratio indicates an efficiency uptick.

Equipment Iteration Management

Unique among industrial applications, there’s a virtual control knob attached to mining installations. Equipment designers are always being asked to add their fine-tuned equipment solutions to long aggregate processing lines so that this control can be shifted a few clicks further to the left or right. With the latest iteration of a screening system or crushing machine, the volume of a rocky material stream gains velocity. In other words, the wheels of the process turn that much faster. Monitored now to see if there’s a performance hit, there’s a matching response from the equipment manufacturer, who alters a screening parameter or vibratory curve so that the oscillation motion responds efficiently to the line’s speed increase.

Every year or two, an entirely new generation of mining equipment comes along to shake up the industry. More regularly, though, finely tuned, newly evolved iterations add fractionally altered mechanisms to the process. They vary a screen angle or oscillation pattern, therefore enhancing mining accuracy, perhaps as a response to a manager’s productivity maximizing, installation restructuring campaign.

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