Metso Insights Blog Mining and metals blog Meeting sustainability goals – taking a legend to the next level
Sep 23, 2022

Meeting sustainability goals – taking a legend to the next level

Brian Meier
Brian Meier
Director, Crusher Spare Parts Engineering
Metso Outotec has supported Symons™ cone crushers since their first production with Nordberg in 1928. That is nine decades of models and variations. While Symons™ is a legend in the world of cone crushers with its robust and reliable technology, operating the crusher has become more challenging in a business environment that is putting increasing emphasis on sustainability, safety, and productivity. To address the challenge, Metso Outotec has created numerous upgrades that can help your Symons™ cone crusher perform like a modern-day machine, no matter what decade it originated.

Solutions for customer challenges

The most common crushing circuit challenge mentioned by our customers is the need to increase equipment reliability in order to improve uptime and extend the life of their equipment. Longer wear life of parts and components supports increased uptime, directly reduces embedded carbon, and adds circularity benefits, as less materials need to be produced.

Equipment operator safety and crusher maintenance efforts are supported with digital solutions that aim to not only eliminate safety hazards, but also to significantly reduce the amount of time spent on maintenance. For instance, we can add an automated chamber adjustment, which can be remotely operated and maintains a better chamber setting for optimized reduction and size. In the future, our data analysis team will be able to monitor the machines by utilizing the data collected by Metrics, our cloud-based remote condition monitoring platform. Find out more about Metrics here.

Our digital solutions enable us to provide our customers with analytics that support their performance and sustainability goals. These solutions enable customers to control their equipment remotely and reduce potential operational and/or maintenance hazards.

As newer crusher models generally focus on reducing the weight of major components while increasing the reduction rate and capacity, they are more efficient than the heavier classic crushers. Upgrades to classic crushers target improved efficiency and lighter-weight designs of major components to achieve lower energy consumption and reductions in embedded carbon.

Sustainability benefits

Customers can measure how successful the upgrade has been by looking at the downtime before and after the upgrade, and they will immediately see a return on investment through the reduction in maintenance.

Symons cone crusher at Lehigh Hanson's Harding Street plant in Indianapolis, IN, USA
Symons cone crusher at Lehigh Hanson's Harding Street plant in Indianapolis, IN, USA

For some of our upgrades, customers can measure the frequency of replacements per year and the overall weight of consumables recycled when calculating their net carbon footprint. Depending on the crusher upgrade, customers may be able to report a clear reduction in power consumption in their equipment’s operation. For instance, a recent upgrade for a customer in South America increased the machine’s throughput by 35 tph, doubling its availability. This weight is the equivalent of approximately 30 cars.

Setting sustainability targets in all our crusher R&D projects ensures that sustainability benefits will be achieved with every upgrade. Using services to improve existing equipment is a process to optimize performance over time. This means that there are many opportunities to progressively accumulate benefits over the equipment’s lifetime. Such gains can ultimately be very significant. Metso Outotec’s sustainability thinking is based on our long-term, solid customer relationships; our customers trust us to propose the best and most sustainable solutions for their processes. Our quest for improvements does not end with the introduction of new technologies.

Symons cone crusher at Lehigh Hanson's Harding Street plant in Indianapolis, IN, USA
Symons cone crusher at Lehigh Hanson's Harding Street plant in Indianapolis, IN, USA

Our R&D teams are currently focusing on innovative ways to make our crushing solutions more sustainable. Reducing the weight in our designs, selecting lower embedded carbon materials, and extending equipment and component life have been among the key targets.

In crushing, two of our main recurring sustainability improvement opportunities are in circularity and safety. Designing equipment for an extended lifetime leads to a reduction in the production of new parts, in transportation and in recycling needs. Improving ease of installation and handling is a consideration that goes into every upgrade we develop.

Looking at the future

We expect to see an increase in requests for digital solutions supporting the remote monitoring and controlling of equipment and the achievement of sustainability targets. Our customers want to reduce on-site maintenance efforts by moving these actions to the more effective and less time-dependent workshop environment.

Metso Outotec people delivering services at the Performance Center
Metso Outotec people delivering services at the Performance Center

We are working towards optimizing the energy consumption within our crushing circuits. Our process optimization can help customers get the most out of their crushers, extend crusher wear life and achieve as much as a 30% reduction in energy consumption. Thanks to our constant product development, optimized designs and unique installation tools, our customers can also achieve safer operations.

Supported by our crusher upgrades development and our field service professionals, we always aim to find the best solutions that meet our customers’ needs. Our current and future digital solutions give us the opportunity to provide customers with predictive maintenance advice. By monitoring operating equipment data, we can offer recommendations on maintenance inspections, spare parts ordering, and best practices to maximize equipment performance.

Symons cone crusher at Lehigh Hanson's Harding Street plant in Indianapolis, IN, USA
Symons cone crusher at Lehigh Hanson's Harding Street plant in Indianapolis, IN, USA

Many of the day-to-day challenges for classic crushers involve the complexity of the different machine designs and combinations. Our stakeholders for classic crushers agree that reduced complexity through increased modularization in product offerings is a key element in maintaining the product and necessary for new product development. By designing replacement parts and upgrades to be modular with as many installed base configurations as possible, we can simplify the stocking of upgrade kits, we can respond to customer inquiries faster and we can deliver solutions more quickly. Overall, this makes it easier for the classic crusher product team to do business and customers get their solutions implemented on a faster timeline.

Find out more about crusher upgrades here.


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