Apr 8, 2020 Mining blog

Get more out of screening with predictive screen maintenance

Travis Schoultz
Travis Schoultz
General Manager, Screening
To be fully in control of your screening process, broad and deep knowledge is required. You must understand the mechanical requirements, operating parameters and conditions. If you do not adapt to changes in operating conditions, heavy damages to the screen as well as production losses can occur. Only recently, with the help of advanced sensors and artificial intelligence, predictive screen maintenance solutions have been developed. This type of solution has expert knowledge built-in to better protect the screen and have helped operators to better understand their screen’s performance and maintenance needs.
A screen connected to Metso Metrics predictive maintenance solution

Screens are one of the critical elements of many operators’ comminution circuits. They need to be robust and durable, and that’s why the focus has mostly been on developing these features. In the past, it has been challenging for operators to identify deficiencies in their screen’s operating conditions. Now, advanced sensors have been attached to screens to collect data on how they are operating and performing.

Predict potential issues and prevent unplanned screen downtime

The data from the sensors is a good first step. But you need to know how to organize, read, and derive insight from the data. That’s where predictive maintenance solutions come in. They focus on the key operating metrics that matter the most. And with Metso Metrics, we’ve taken operational and engineering design insight and recreated that through AI algorithms. These provide condition monitoring but more so are able to predict potential issues in the future.

For example, Boliden’s Kevitsa mine in northern Finland trialed a predictive screen maintenance tool for their new MF screen in 2019. The mine wanted to increase their production, so they wanted to be aware of any impending or potential failures in any critical point of production. Another reason for acquiring the tool was the remote location of the mine: if an unexpected failure occurs, it can take a long time to get an employee on site. During this trial, Metso Metrics alerted maintenance personnel at Boliden Kevitsa of an issue with the screen’s running speed. With this data, and through colloboration with the Metso, they were able to determine the root cause as two broken V belts. In the end, this predictive maintenance solution aided them to minimize downtime.

Taking remote monitoring further

As ore grades decrease globally, mining operators are forced into increasingly remote locations. With sites and equipment further away, the need for remote monitoring, optimization and support – not only for a screen, but for the entire site – will continue to grow. In addition to predictive maintenance tools, comprehensive services that bring together equipment, technology experts, and processes have entered the market. These services provide customers with real-time support for analyzing their machines and operations, forecasting potential issues, and improving performance. An example of such service is provided by Metso through our state-of-the-art Performance Centers, which bring together interdisciplinary experts to monitor equipment and processes remotely.