December 15, 2017

Real time process optimisation

 Real time 2 - TBM SMALL FRAME ASSY PER2 1000

By providing results of bulk materials industries continuously, Scantech’s COALSCAN and GEOSCAN-M allow for real time process control, contributing to the significant reduction in plant operating costs.

Scantech is conscious about the impact that weak commodity prices are having on the bottom-line in the mining sector so it has been continuously adapting its product features to enable companies to cope.

Scantech specialises in online analyser technologies for bulk materials industries including minerals, cement, steel and coal applications. These analysers provide results typically every two minutes, thereby permitting real time process control, leading to reduced plant operating costs.

As a specialised developer, manufacturer and supplier, Scantech customises technology, service and support uniquely for each commodity and customer. With service engineers and agents across Africa, and well over 1,000 installations of its six different technologies, it is a proven global leader.

Undoubtedly, one of the areas in which Scantech has excelled is in the provision of products that allow for penetrative analysis of mined materials. All the company’s analysers are penetrative through the full bed depth.

Due to the natural variability in all mined materials, there is significant heterogeneity in the conveyed materials. Yet the process of conveying and stockpiling causes segregation to the point that measurement of the surface of the conveyed flow almost never represents the true average quality. While surface analysis methods are suitable for finer, homogenised flows, for instance concentrates or some pellet flows, they are not appropriate for primary crushed ores where fully penetrative analysis is the only method that has proven effective.

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Site-specific applications and conditions  

Scantech analysers are designed with the latest technology, software, safety considerations and correct science. Scantech ensures the analysers are configured to material types and site-specific applications and conditions by not selling off-the-shelf systems which have proven ineffective at a number of sites.

Scantech has always maintained that “one size does not fit all”. Definitely, this has been proven time and time again with cheap systems, or those promising no ongoing maintenance costs, or calibrations that remain accurate for ever, failing to perform even at the most basic level.

Product range


Scantech’s COALSCAN range of ash, moisture and elemental analysers utilises various technologies (dual energy transmission, natural gamma, microwave and PGNAA) to ensure continuous representative measurement of conveyed flows. COALSCAN has been the industry standard for nearly 30 years and has proven to be reliable, easy to calibrate, low maintenance and low cost to operate.


Scantech’s GEOSCAN-M is the world leading real time, continuous, non-contact, full flow, elemental analysis technology in the minerals sector with more than 60 installations in the iron ore, copper and other base metals and industrial minerals sectors over the last 15 years. Minute by minute results are used to monitor feed and product flows to control bulk diversion (sorting), blending and feed forward control in processing operations. Ore reconciliation and metal accounting are possible as continuous analysis measurements are more reliable than laboratory analysis of samples due primarily to high sampling errors in coarse conveyed flows or poor representativity of small samples.

Lower ownership costs

 All of Scantech’s analysers are non-contact systems and therefore have minimal impact on plant downtime. Remote access capability allows most issues to be resolved without site visits. Service support and regular site visits ensure optimised performance and actual improved results over time. Site’s operational costs are reduced by better asset utilisation and increasing yields.

 From designing to commissioning

As well as designing and building the technologies, Scantech is well suited to install the systems too. Numerous installations have been completed, particularly on the GEOSCAN elemental analysers in the minerals sector, both in underground and surface mining operations.

Scantech’s expertise is invaluable to companies considering such technologies due to the many experienced staff sourced from the industries we serve. All marketing staff are qualified scientists or engineers with hands-on resource sector experience and often provide consultative advice for engineering and mining companies to ensure evaluations of the technologies are performed objectively prior to purchase. Involvement from the design stage through to plant implementation has resulted in effective performance immediately after handover and a high confidence in the reliability and accuracy of the analysers.

When companies spend a few hundred thousand dollars they expect some proven operational performance and confidence in a product that has many happy customers and is not a prototype. We have seen a number of products enter the market that have been total failures due to customers believing misleading marketing claims. We have an evaluation process that we can offer companies to help ensure they don’t waste resources on the wrong technology or product for conveyed material analysis applications.

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