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Condition Monitoring

Effective Monitoring, Higher Equipment Uptime

Effective wear liner monitoring can help mines reduce equipment downtime (increase uptime), as it facilitates timely interventions which may necessitate liner replacement.

Wear liners, thrown in the line of duty to protect components of critical equipment like grinding mills, are subjected to incessant battering from abrasive material. Consequently, for all the durability of the material they are made of, at some point they give in. For instance, relating to grinding mills, Multotec describes a typical scenario: “While each mill liner profile is designed to provide the correct trajectory to achieve either impact grinding or attrition grinding, depending on the application, the liners inevitably wear over time and affect the grind efficiency of the mill”. And so, it is monitoring the condition of the liner profile taken between the liner’s installation and when they are replaced that is critical. And the more effective the monitoring process, the better.

Data to predict life of liner

Through effective inspections (monitoring), which the liner supplier conducts regularly, plant engineers can be able to get reliable and representative results (historical data) on liner profiles which can help in predicting the life of a liner. The data gathered is critical to improving grinding mill operations. Coupled with critical mill parameters, the data can be used to estimate the point where a liner becomes inefficient, automatically, a mill becomes inefficient. In short, when equipped with the information, it would be up to plant operators to decide a point where liners can be changed to improve efficiency. Wear liner monitoring can help mines reduce downtime, as it facilitates timely interventions.

The cost of poor liner wear monitoring

Unfortunately, it is not always the case that liner inspection, well-intentioned as it may be, is carried out correctly. Thus, this explains why equipment failure resulting from poor liner monitoring is not uncommon.

Typically, inspection (monitoring) is only as accurate as the method employed. For instance, Pin Gauge Systems poses a number of challenges, which result in more time spent in inspection and inaccurate results produced.  This is because it involves inserting nails into the rubber places and a pin gauge to get the profile of the lifter and measuring the length of the pin by hand to gather data. Worse still, considering that measurement can only be done when the mill is shutdown, it causes downtime to mill, which results in loss of productivity. The ensuing loss of productivity can translate into a huge revenue loss.

Alternative liner monitoring

Mine operators are spoilt for choice with a wide range of liner monitoring options, if claims that manufacturers of the devices make are anything to go by. The devices have the ability to eliminate physical inspections, as is evidence in two products – MultoScan, a product from Multotec, and Abreco IoT, a new product from Canadian company, Abreco.

MultoScan, a product from Multotech, one of the manufacturers of equipment liners, uses laser light to automatically calculate the dimensions of the liner on the component and determine the degree of wear. Equipped with a WiFi device, it is able to transmit data regarding the profiles of the lifters and shell plates to a receiving tablet. Then, the data can be analysed and generate predictive replacement scheduling for a customer.

 

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