Translating Japanese expertise into greater productivity

Minprovise has ordered the first two ZI-2100 cone crushers in Australia.

Minprovise has been a step ahead in the industry by bringing the first two Japanese-made ZI-2100 cone crushers into Australia. Australian Mining looks at the crusher’s winning features.

It is universally acknowledged that Japanese equipment triumphs in reliability and innovation. 

Market Prospects reveals that about half of Japan’s manufacturing industry is accounted to the machinery sector.

About 10 per cent, or 1.7 trillion yen ($24 billion), of Japan’s machinery production volume in 2018 was represented by mining and civil engineering machinery.

This reputation wasn’t built overnight and owes to a Japanese approach of unwavering precision throughout every aspect of the manufacturing process.

In the mining equipment sector, the ZI series cone crusher developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and marketed through its crushing and environmental equipment subsidiary, Earthtechnica, has a proven performance history.  

The Kawasaki design philosophy is based on its “3M” philosophy of, “Match the machine with the material”, meaning flexibility in machine design to match the material characteristics, as well as ensuring a robust structure to absorb the material impact and meet mine life changes.

The ZI-2100 crusher is the evolution of the original Kawasaki cone crusher design that dates back to 1966.  

“The ZI series, simply put, is a combination of the legendary Cybas series and the advantages of a high-pressure cone,” Minprovise managing director Graham Townsend tells Australian Mining. 

“Today, over 3900 Kawasaki cone crushers have been supplied globally. These machines have been engineered with Japanese precision and no compromise, to the point that it operates reliably. There are no flaws or faults in them.”

Townsend’s confidence in the machines backed Minprovise’s move to claim the first two ZI-2100 cone crushers in Australia. 

The crusher is designed for high throughputs not just for the iron ore industry, but also in copper and gold, to name a couple more. The Japanese design and engineering of the ZI-2100 cone crusher have resulted in fewer wear points, more reliable components and an automated capability.

An operator can change the crusher speed or setting remotely and safely without having to stop or interrupt the crusher, giving it greater controllability without any downtime. 

The third-generation automatic control system allows several operating conditions under different modes. This, combined with the resulting machine uptime, ensures that mine operators can meet rising production targets.

The ZI-2100 crusher is the evolution of a Kawasaki design that dates back to 1966.

Standout crusher features

The reliability of the ZI-2100 crusher is strengthened by Earthtechnica’s clever choice of components.

To start with, the ZI-2100 cone crusher uses spherical bearings in lieu of a conventional spider bushing, setting it apart from other machines.

Townsend says the spherical bearing keeps the main shaft aligned with the centrical assembly of the machine for the whole of its life. 

“Other crushers don’t have a spherical bearing. And the spider bushing commonly found in crushers is prone to damage, potentially causing the shaft to be misaligned. A spherical bearing can last for 20 years, while a conventional spider bush only has a one- to two-year life,” Townsend explains.

“If you have a spherical bearing, your machine shouldn’t fail under normal conditions regardless of it operating in maximum performance.”

Another advantage of a spherical bearing is that the component allows the crusher’s main shaft to perform various motions smoothly. 

It provides a wide surface contact area to perform smooth motions, bringing improved efficiency and minimising stress on the crusher.

With an upper bearing in top shell and lower bearing in bottom shell, bearing loads are evenly distributed and able to receive more crushing forces.

Townsend says it makes the ZI-2100 crusher a more stable machine under harsh operating conditions. 

“When presented with tramp or other potentially damaging feed material, the main shaft assembly drops to discharge foreign material,” Townsend says.

“Thanks to the hydraulically adjusted and automatable design, the gap setting returns to its original position much faster than any other crusher in its class, minimising production losses and oversized production travelling downstream.”

The unique design of the ZI-2100 relief valve and accumulator arrangement ensures that the main shaft returns back to its operating position at a regulated speed and eliminates head bounce or hammering typically experienced in other machines.

The 2100mm head diameter, 750kW of installed power and unflappable reliability due to the spherical spider bearing and strong hydraset design makes the ZI-2100 a true tough application machine. This reliability and the finite control gives ore processing and predictability efficiency beyond others.

Crushing track record

The reliability of the ZI series cone crusher has been proven and tested in the mining industry since 1966.

It is widely used in the diamond mining sector in Africa, where at least 14 units are operating in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho, according to Kawasaki. 

The ZI series cone crusher’s global footprint extended to Western Australia when Minprovise supplied two ZI-1800 crushers to a Pilbara iron ore mine a few years ago.

As Australia’s iron ore sector continues on a prosperous tangent off the back of tight supply in Brazil and rising steelmaker activity in China, Townsend believes the ZI-2100 cone crushers will support rising local production targets with less maintenance and downtime.

Minprovise has been supporting the mining and quarrying industries since 2004.

“We bought the first two ZI-2100 cone crushers in Australia as proof of our confidence in this machine. They built a winner,” Townsend says.  

This story also appears in the April issue of Australian Mining.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.