The Rise of Intelligent Crushers
September 05, 2018
The mining industry has been in a frenzy of digitalization and innovation, and that trend is poised to help operations get the most productivity out of their less reliable and efficient assets by using advanced data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT). At Unicast, we’re constantly innovating to improve the durability of crusher wear parts through advanced metallurgy. Crusher manufacturers are heading toward the same goal through built-in computer intelligence that will allow miners to forecast equipment wear and reduce unexpected downtime.
In early July, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technologies released its CH800i series of connected cone crushers, the company’s first line of “intelligent” crushers. The CH800i crushers allow operators to make smarter crushing decisions by reviewing the actionable intelligence that they can get from the My Sandvik portal.
Sandvik upped the automation on this line, with an ability to continuously measure crusher liner wear, and compensate for the damage. If uncrushable material or tramp iron gets into the crusher, Sandvik’s Hydroset feature and the crusher’s electric dump valve will automatically give overload protection and let them pass through. As well as being more intelligent than their predecessors, the CH800i line is also more robust, with a 65 per cent stronger main shaft and a 50 per cent stronger bottom shell.
Metso is also piloting a cloud-based IoT solution in 2018, which allows the company to collect and analyze data from three Metso Nordberg MP crushers. The results so far have been encouraging: the company has identified some failure modes and succeeded in predicting failures ahead of time. In time, this solution could allow for predictive crusher maintenance based on the real and projected deterioration of parts.
These innovations are notable advances in crusher maintenance and protection. Currently, most equipment manufacturers offer some sort of automated adjustment to prevent wear parts from deteriorating too quickly. FLSmidth, for example, has overload sensing technology with the option for automated correction, and automated closed-side setting (CSS) adjustments on its Raptor High Performance cone crusher line, which starts at 300 hp and goes up to 2000 hp.
But even as crushers become more intelligent and durable, there will still be a strong need for tough jaw crusher wear parts and cone crusher wear parts that can handle tough conditions for longer periods and prevent unplanned downtime that can cost mining operations money.
Unicast’s line of wear parts for jaw and cone crushers — including parts like jaw plates, cheek plates and wedges for jaw crushers, and bowls, mantles and distributor caps for cone crushers — are cast with proprietary alloys and innovatively designed to offer superlative performance and a longer wear life than other OEMs. Unicast makes Terex parts, Pioneer parts and Caterpillar parts, as well as wear parts for other OEMs like Metso and Sandvik, and creates custom-designed parts suited to an operation’s needs.
In 2015, Unicast custom-designed titanium carbide-reinforced manganese alloy jaw plates for the jaw crusher at Triton Minera’s El Limon plant in Nicaragua, which dramatically increased the wear life from 3.5 days fixed/7 days moveable to 15 days fixed/90 days moveable.
Stop losing time and money on unplanned downtime caused by insufficient wear parts. Unicast’s industrial wear parts can withstand extreme temperatures and tough working conditions longer than other products. Contact us at 1-866-728-3557 or visit our website to learn more.