Metso Insights Blog Aggregates blog Driving aggregates site performance with services
Nov 18, 2021

Driving aggregates site performance with services

Jukka Salovaara
Jukka Salovaara
Head of Product Management, Aggregates Crusher Wears
There are many things affecting aggregates crushing plant performance and therefore profitability. All producers want to get to peak performance, but few have complete visibility on the many ways that can be used to achieve optimal performance.

One of the root causes of underperformance is the lack of proper process controls resulting in many crushing plants to be manually controlled based on a few crusher KPI’s like maintaining Closed Side Setting (CSS) or power draw. As there are no better control possibilities available at the plant, it may not be wrong to operate this way. However, because of this, many operations have a lot to gain by doing a few tweaks here and there to find the main process bottlenecks and reduce their impact, allowing equipment to reach its full potential. By understanding the key areas affecting process performance and specific machine application and tweaking them based on site conditions and targets, many operations would have a lot to gain. Some of these areas that should be examined are:

  • Feed arrangements of crushers and screens
  • Feed levels of crushers
  • Surge protection between stations
  • Operating parameters of crushers – Closed Side Settings (CSS), speeds, strokes
  • Crushing chambers – are they fit for purpose
  • Screen apertures and screening efficiency
  • Operating parameters of screens – strokes, throws

The overall process conditions on any crushing plant change over time, so this tweaking should happen periodically to get consistent performance improvement. Causes that call for change in the system or operation of the crushing and screening plant can come from an outside source – like fluctuating feed material properties (very evident for mobile stations that change sites often), or from process factors – such as changing production targets of certain fractions that the market demands.

There are a few aspects of crushing that generate most of the production related challenges many of our customer’s report:

  • Reaching production targets
  • Having low yield of the most valuable fractions
  • Low crushing plant operating profit
“This list of things to follow and change might seem overwhelming at first, but the good thing is that the target is not a perfect process but relative improvement. It’s possible to reach significant improvement on throughput just by changing the crushing chamber to the optimal one for the application.”

Performance services to raise the bar

Performance related services focus on process and individual asset improvement. This allows customers to get the best possible performance out of their existing equipment.

Improvement starts by understanding the current situation of the process and setting the target for improvement. The target could be achieving maximum throughput and/or improving yield of valuable fractions. We have identified two logical starting points for performance improvement:

  • Improve process performance
    Sometimes the best place to start is to control and adjust the process for maximum throughput. This can be done by better managing bottlenecks and therefore increasing the entire circuit capacity by better sharing the load between different stages. Examining feed control systems and set up can also have a major impact on operations.

  • Improve asset performance
    Sometimes priority should be put on individual machine performance improvement. A good example of this is selecting a better performing crushing chamber for a particular crusher. This improves the yield of wanted fractions resulting in an increase of saleable product.

To further amplify the effect of the above improvement options, it is important to make sure you are acting on correct data. In order to get the right data, remote monitoring solutions can play a larger role than our teams often see at site. Metso Outotec Metrics remote condition monitoring and troubleshooting system combined with crushing site audits often help identify where to start to get to tangible results as fast as possible.

“We have a vast offering of wear parts for different applications within the aggregates industry. By combining this offering with expert knowledge on crushing and screening, our performance services support customers in keeping their plants performing at higher standards.”
Jarkko Leppänen, Vice President, Aggregate Crusher Wears


There are many causes of plant underperformance and it is important to get a full view before acting. Metso Outotec performance services are designed to meet the individual needs of our customers and deliver benefits that are measurable. A key element of our performance driving solutions is that we can make commercial arrangements so that you only pay for the performance gains you receive. We aim for mutually agreed upon targets and measurements to ensure all are working towards the same goal. The final solution comes down to combining products and services with application know how in order to reach the desired targets.

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