Don’t compromise on vibrating screen health

Partnering with an OEM can include the benefits of site visits by technicians.

Haver & Broecker Niagara discusses how partnering with a technical original equipment manufacturer for machinery monitoring can help improve a mine operator’s bottom line.

Vibrating screens work at the heart of a processing operation.

Every tonne of material must be screened at least once before it is loaded into a truck for sale. And just like the human heart, they need to be kept strong and healthy to do their job well.

By partnering with a technical vibrating screen original equipment manufacturer (OEM) like Haver and Boecker, which also specialises in equipment monitoring, operations can rely on a team that not only manufactured the equipment, but offers comprehensive diagnostic tools, product-specific knowledge and years of engineering experience. 

The result can be peace of mind, minimised downtime through faster problem solving and lower repair costs down the line.

There’s a wide range of OEMs to choose from. While many have engineered reputable screening equipment, it’s important to consider the services they offer to take care of that equipment for the long run. 

Haver & Boecker Niagara is a leading provider in screening, pelletising and mineral processing plants and systems. 

The company’s mission is to deliver the best of these technologies to customers in the mining and minerals industries. 

With deep roots and years of experience in these industries, Haver & Boecker Niagara uses its innovative and shared technologies to effectively meet the needs of customers around the world.

Vibration analysis and monitoring

Vibration analysis, for example, is dedicated to measuring the health of vibrating screens. These systems measure and transmit real-time vibration data such as acceleration, orbit, deviations and more. 

The data is transmitted while the machine is in operation via sensors that are placed at dedicated locations on the screen body. The information is recorded to a cloud service where it can be viewed from multiple devices. 

In addition to analysing current machine performance, some systems also store historical data to help predict the machine’s future performance so operators can schedule maintenance accordingly. 

All of this data is used to fine-tune equipment for optimal performance and maximum output, as well as to locate issues that could lead to larger repair costs or machine failure and unplanned downtime if not addressed. 

An OEM should perform a vibration analysis on any new vibrating screen before it even leaves the factory. 

This provides a baseline for how the machine should run. At each service visit, vibration analysis should be used to better understand the machine’s condition before any repairs are made.   

Once technicians make necessary repairs, another vibration analysis should be completed to ensure the problem has been solved and to document that the machine is running at optimal condition once again.

The vibration analysis sensors themselves are something to consider. All vibration analysis systems require some sort of sensor to be placed on the vibrating screen. 

Some are wired and require the user to stand within range while holding the connected device. Others are wireless, providing the safety benefit of allowing the user to stand farther away. 

A vibration analysis setup may include one sensor that must be moved to multiple parts of a machine for a full reading. 

Others save time by including multiple sensors, allowing for a comprehensive look at the entire machine at the same time.

Vibration analysis systems work similarly to a stethoscope – they analyse the machine at the moment in time at which it is being measured. 

Conversely, condition monitoring systems work more like a heart monitor, or perhaps an EKG. These systems include permanently affixed sensors for 24/7 monitoring. Some condition monitoring systems include automated alerts if problems are detected, allowing for a quick shutdown before the problem becomes potentially catastrophic. 

The accumulating data can be used to improve efficiency by illustrating trends, making predictions as to how long before an issue may arise and more. 

Some around-the-clock monitoring systems allow OEM certified technicians to monitor results remotely, analyse the data and send expert recommendations to ensure equipment longevity. 

In one example of an operation benefiting from these tools and services, a producer worked with an OEM to conduct a vibration analysis on a vibrating screen that appeared to be healthy. 

The resulting data indicated a problem, however, and caused the operation to discover a broken spring which had led to damage to the vibrating screen’s foundation. Catching the problem early saved the producer money in downtime and repair costs.

Plant simulation software

Plant simulation tools offer a high-level view of an entire operation’s efficiency. This helps optimise processes and look at opportunities for improvement in both existing sites and new mines or quarries for all mineral processing operations. The software also helps operations spot and fix bottlenecks.

Plant simulation tools offer a high-level view of an entire operation’s efficiency.

Plant simulation programs take into account the equipment used throughout the plant, from material washers and conveyers to crushers and vibrating screens. 

The operation’s existing setup, or a proposed setup, is entered into the program to understand and predict overall performance and plant flow. 

The systems use scientific calculations to monitor input, output and waste piles, as well as to calculate mass and volumetric flow rates based on machine placement and machine-specific operating parameters. 

The tool is also useful for insights into product specification or production rate changes — such as dry and wet crushing, screening and sorting — as the software can be used for pre-calculations.

A quick search will turn up a handful of brands of plant simulation software, but few are created by processing equipment OEMs. 

Partnering with an OEM can allow for the most accurate simulations and enhanced features based on engineering expertise and application knowledge gained from actual site visits and understanding an operation’s challenges firsthand.

This article appears in the November edition of Australian Mining.

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