MDC: You mentioned the entire portfolio is part ‘Planet Positive’. Could you give some examples on how?
Davey: Planet Positive is our all-encompassing approach to sustainability. It covers the environmental, social and financial aspects of sustainability. Planet Positive efforts enforce our purpose to enable sustainable modern life.
All of our products in the Stirred mills portfolio are Planet Positive examples. They provide up to 45% higher energy efficiency compared to horizontal ball mills. Reduction in media consumption is up to 40%, which helps reduce the energy consumption in manufacturing the media and shipping to potentially remote sites. Reduction in the foundation requirements means less concrete for those foundations. This lowers CO2 emissions through reduced cement production requirements & shipping volumes to the site.
Rodrigo Rizzoli, Metso Outotec’s Stirred Milling product line director highlights energy and cost savings efficiencies:
MDC: How are energy consumption and costs affected?
Rizzoli: Stirred Mills have been proven to provide energy savings compared with traditional ball mills. The finer the product required, the more efficient stirred mills will be. The attrition grinding action, vertical arrangement, and the finer media size distribution contribute to make stirred mills more energy efficient grinding machines. The Vertimill energy savings range from 30% to greater than 50% compared with ball mills. Energy and grinding media costs are very significant in mining operations.
MDC: Can you cite some examples where you are working on delivering significant improvements?
Rizzoli: Some very positive results have been achieved through partnerships with various mining companies and Metso Outotec.
The most relevant case we are currently working on is with an iron ore producer where they needed to increase production by 50% between 2017 and 2021. The new wear components we have offered have an estimated average service life of 5,5 thousand operating hours, meaning an increase of up to 40% lifetime in comparison to the wear parts the miner previously employed.
MDC: In terms of wear and spares for stirred mills, how does the particular application impact the lifespan of the components? What should the client take into consideration?
Rizzoli: In the past years, we have developed new designs and alloys to improve the performance of wear parts. The new generations of screw liners grant longer wear life, up to 50% compared to the first version depending on the application. Moreover, it was designed with a wear cap to efficiently protect the screw shaft.
Improvements also occurred in the method of replacing parts. The new process enables replacement in 7 minutes instead of the previous 25 minutes. The new installation practice eliminated the use of straps and chains around the components, replacing them by a lifting eyebolt appropriate for the loads, which can be threaded into an insert installed on the component. These new practices help to ensure greater safety.
MDC: What other parts and services can help in maintaining a stirred mills performance and longevity?
Rizzoli: Our solutions aim for safe operation and help to increase the availability, production efficiency and reliability of a plant.
Parts wear out over time and need replacement to ensure increased safety and production levels. Some examples of parts and services to improve overall process performance are: special lifting tool devices for wear parts; screw maintenance solutions for faster liner replacement, a hydraulic arm for the mill door; screw transport, draining media systems and automation solutions.
Other offers include performance contracts, training, equipment upgrades and refurbishments as well as field services, plant diagnostics and upgrades. Depending on their exact needs, there is really a wide range of offers that can help make a difference for our customers.
Interview with MINING.com, first published on MINING.com.