December 14, 2017

Improving screens for better bottom lines

Kenny Mayhew-Ridgers, Kwatani’s general manager engineering, says the company has the capacity to design and manufacture solutions to suit the precise requirements of a mine.

Working closely with mines to ensure optimal designs for vibrating screens and feeders gives Kwatani the opportunity to constantly improve products by applying the latest technology.

Kwatani, previously known as Joest Kwatani, is one of the largest OEMs producing custom engineered vibratory equipment solutions for the African mining sector. The company has Level 3 BBBEE accreditation with 30% black ownership and was first in its class to exceed the mining charter requirements.

According to Kenny Mayhew-Ridgers, Kwatani’s general manager engineering, the company’s four decade focus on customised solutions for mining operations has given it the edge in terms of expertise and experience.

“Not only do we have the capacity to design and manufacture solutions to suit the precise requirements of a mine, but we also stay close to the product – scientifically measuring its performance in order to test our designs and fine-tune aspects for continuous improvement,” Mayhew-Ridgers says.

“Our engineering know-how and equipment allows us to apply our core expertise in advanced simulation tools in our design phase,” he says. “We can model the strength of our equipment and conduct multi-body dynamic simulations to predict its motion throughout the entire operating sequence, so that we remove the guesswork from the equation.”

This expertise equips Kwatani well for the job of upgrading existing plants cost effectively, without necessarily having to remove all existing infrastructure and equipment.

“Using our best practice engineering and conducting a scientific assessment of the conditions on site, it is often possible to integrate a more efficient solution into existing constraints without the high cost of major plant modifications,” Mayhew-Ridgers says. “This way, the new equipment’s cost-of-ownership can be kept to a minimum while still enhancing the mine’s sustainability in the immediate and longer term.”

He says collaboration from the customer is readily forthcoming, as mines fully understand the value of each engineering improvement and financial benefit it can bring to the performance of their whole operation.

Kwatani’s history of supplying the mining sector has also led to a range of more standardised designs which can be adapted according to customer requirements.

“Our standard specifications are useful when providing quotations to engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contractors,” he says. “But we also like to engage with the large contractors on an informal basis, to share ideas about the latest technologies and innovative ways to help mines become more productive.”

At its 17,000 m2 premises in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, Kwatani’s research and development is ongoing within the business. The facility caters for the engineering, manufacturing, assembly and testing of vibrating screens and feeders for a broad spectrum of commodities and industrial applications; it also includes an exciter gearbox and electrical motor assembly and refurbishment operation.

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