Weir Minerals targets customer ‘pain points’ with integrated solutions teams

Weir Minerals says its integrated solutions teams are combining experience from comminution to tailings, from chemistry to hydraulics, to deliver reliable solutions that solve its customers’ most frustrating pain points.

Since brothers James and George Weir founded what would become the Weir Group with their 1871 invention on the Weir boiler feed pump, engineering expertise, the company says, has been the driving force of its success.

“For almost 150 years, Weir has built its business on the principle that if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right and to do something right on a mine, you need the right team,” it said.

This is where the company’s integrated solutions teams come in, which combine technical expertise, local access and global knowledge to optimise mining companies’ entire process, according to the company.

John McNulty, Vice President of Global Engineering and Technology for Weir Minerals, says the industry needs integrated solutions now more than ever.

“With this approach, we continually listen to our customer’s pain points and identify ways in which we can improve their process,” he said. “Integrated solutions also aligns closely with the Weir Group’s sustainability strategy.

“We often talk to our customers about the challenges they face in terms of energy consumption, water usage and waste, and brainstorm ways in which we can help reduce their environmental impact. In this current climate, this approach is absolutely critical.”

When confronted with a problem that requires more than a single piece of equipment, Weir Minerals draws on its integrated solutions teams, made up of process engineers, design engineers, product experts, materials scientists, supply chain and logistics experts, as well as local sales teams who know the customer’s site.

These multi-disciplinary teams ensure a problem is considered from all perspectives, identifying potential issues and opportunities to optimise the circuit with upstream and downstream benefits, according to Weir Minerals.

With almost 10,000 employees operating in more than 50 countries, Weir Minerals can build teams with experience working in every kind of mine and quarry, in environments ranging from Canada’s frozen oil sands region and Indonesia’s rain-prone coal mines to remote deserts in Chile, Mongolia and Australia.

“As well as optimising equipment to provide maximum efficiency and wear life in any given situation, the integrated solutions team’s expertise allows them to tailor solutions that can be flown onto site when the roads freeze in the winter, prevent crocodiles climbing onto floating equipment, and utilise waste products like tailings as a resource,” the company says.

Seda Kahraman, a Regional Process Engineering Manager for Weir Minerals, says the company believes nothing is ‘impossible’, with engineers continually looking for better ways of doing things.

“Our team is made up of specialists each possessing different process systems’ expertise including, but not limited to: troubleshooting, designing tools and process simulation programs,” he said. “We combine this wealth of knowledge to deliver innovative solutions that address our customers’ varied needs.”

The key to Weir Minerals’ integrated solutions approach is the entire team of experts collaborating to identify all root causes of a customer’s challenge, considering all the contributing factors – which is where Weir Minerals’ interdisciplinary expertise is so important, it says.

The team perform process audits during site visits to identify bottlenecks and then, using flowsheets, mass balances, 3D layouts, and feasibility studies, advise on the most appropriate solution for the customer to not just resolve the problem they came to Weir Minerals with, but to optimise their process to save energy, reduce water waste or increase capacity, and ultimately save the customer money.