September 22, 2017

Breaking the status quo on mill liners

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When it comes to under-performing mills in the grinding circuit it pays to look into the performance of the mill liner and aim to do things vastly different, in order to make the greatest strides forward and get the best out of a mill.

Rather than simply maintaining the status quo and working around the issue, plant managers would do well if they work with mill liner experts, who are able to analyse, re-model and optimise the type, pattern and material to be used in order to get the most out of a mill. In some instances, these “designers” of mill liners not only significantly boost throughput of the mill, but improve flow within the mill which can also dramatically prolong the lifespan of the liners.

According to Fernando Monteiro, Managing Director of Tega Industries, a leading manufacturer and supplier of mill liners, it is almost always possible to improve the performance of a mill using real-life inputs, such as ore types and densities, moisture content etc and analyzing it using the latest scientific analysis with modeling equipment.

The optimisation of mill liners can reduce the overall cost of ownership of a mill which translates to lowering the cost per ton treated

Energy efficient

“Apart from improving physical throughput, a good liner will ensure the mill uses less power to drive the mill, lower relining cost and less downtime due to longer intervals between mill liner changes. In addition, inspections using modern scanning and analysis devices can precisely measure the remaining life of mill liners to ensure that they are only changed when necessary and coincide with planned shutdowns.

“It is interesting to note though, that most plant managers are aware of this, but that staff further down the procurement chain, are not always familiar with overall cost-of-ownership benefits. Procurement officers may be inclined to buy a cheaper liner rather than a slightly more expensive engineered liner that saves costs elsewhere in the process and at the same time boosts production.

“When it comes to this type of service, we employ the latest technology to undertake our mill studies. Once we have the opportunity to undertake an analysis, we are invariably able to give clients the lower cost of ownership solutions for their mill. But, perhaps more importantly, we also provide entire technical backup and aftermarket support which is critical in ensuring the mill performs at optimum at all times, even as ore bodies and conditions change,” says Fernando.

Technical competence

He adds that nowadays expertise is everything and that it goes beyond just the sale of an item. Rather, it filters down to ensure the product keeps working for the client and the supplier’s technical teams are able to optimise the entire processes.

Tega Industries strives for a concept it calls “Partnerships in Practice” which works on the principal of working with customers to constantly improve their processes in every part of a plant – from bulk materials handling, to conveyors, chutes, transfer points, screens and mills. This is done using good old-fashioned human experience, plus the addition of hi-tech discreet element modelling, finite element analysis, computation fluid dynamics etc.

“Perhaps that is the advantage of making use of a manufacturer with global reach, who is able to leverage local skills and experience, combined with global best practices to give customers the kind of service they need. With a newly developed, state-of-the-art factory and laboratory in Gauteng, we are central to all mining activities and this allows us to respond quickly to customers’ requirements,” concludes Fernando.

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