Tag Archives: circularity

Sandvik cone crushers go circular with recycled wear parts

Sandvik Group is encouraging circularity in the mining industry through the recycling of steel from used cone crusher parts to make new crushing equipment.

While extractive industries such as mining are responsible for 50% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, recycling steel from mining equipment could make all the difference, according to Anders Åkesson, QM EHS Manager, Crushing & Screening at Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology (SMRT).

Circularity is becoming vital in the reduction of CO2 emissions, and can help improve the environmental position of many industries. With the mining industry contributing a large percentage of global CO2 emissions, implementing circularity could help it make vital reductions, Åkesson says.

To produce equipment, the mining industry predominantly uses manganese steel, which is renowned for its work-hardening properties and resistance to abrasion. This means the material becomes harder with the more impact it receives, creating a low friction surface suited to crushing. For this reason, manganese steel has been used in high impact applications for over 100 years, making it an ideal material for cone crushers.

Cone crushers are used to grind down rocks, which are fed into the top of the crusher and pressed between the mantle and the cone. This breaks the rock down into smaller fragments, which are then passed through lower levels of the crusher where they are broken down further.

“It’s vital that cone crushers are made from a material that provides the necessary force to grind the rocks, while withstanding the abrasive nature of the process,” Åkesson said.

Using recycled steel from used cone crusher parts to make new cone crushers, Sandvik SMRT has demonstrated and improved circularity of steel production for mining equipment, he explained. The division was nominated for Sandvik’s first sustainability award in April 2020, which recognises sustainable innovations from its employees.

Sourcing manganese steel from one of the world’s most sustainable manganese foundries, based in Sweden, was the first step SMRT took towards its sustainable innovation. A total of 91% circular steel was used to manufacture wear parts, such as the cone and mantle of a cone crusher. These wear parts are reused to produce new wear parts for the cone crushers – creating a continuous cycle, Åkesson said.

Moving away from a linear model, Sandvik increased the circularity and sustainability of its products and eliminated 79% of production emissions, according to Åkesson. “In addition, Sandvik cone crushers help SMRT’s customers to lower their environmental impact as they are buying from the circular economy – contributing to their own sustainability goals,” he said.

Åkesson concluded: “With mining contributing towards CO2 emissions in more ways than one, it’s essential that the industry uses methods that reduce emissions. Reusing and recycling steel to manufacture mining equipment has demonstrated an opportunity that helps meet the sustainability goals of both equipment suppliers and their customers. If the industry wants to become circular, taking a look at equipment a good place to start.”

Sandvik’s Parts and Services business helps miners achieve sustainability goals

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology says its Rebuild and Upgrade programs are helping customers achieve their ‘circularity’ goals.

Designed to extend the equipment’s life cycle by refurbishing the entire unit at optimal intervals, the program lowers a customer’s total cost of ownership, according to Erik Lundén, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology Parts and Services division.

Lundén’s division provides customers with products and solutions that drive their businesses towards a more sustainable model.

“One of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s sustainability targets for 2030 is to become more than 90% circular, halving waste from its production,” the company says. “One way the company helps its customers accomplish similar results is through its Rebuild and Upgrade programs, which extend the equipment’s life cycle by refurbishing the entire unit at optimal intervals.”

Lundén said: “We want our customers to be able to get the highest rate of usage out of their assets. Our Rebuild and Upgrade programs do this by helping them avoid unnecessary capital expenditure investments through an optimised maintenance strategy, which lowers the total cost of ownership. This has the benefit of minimising material and scrap rates as well as downtime, extending operational life and reducing running cost.”

During the refurbishment, customers can also opt to upgrade components to help the equipment operate more sustainably, from the latest engine emission technologies to increased safety features. These changes can drive sustainability efforts, such as reducing fuel use, emissions and ventilation power requirements, the company says.

On loading and hauling equipment, for example, a major intervention at the optimum rebuild interval between 12,000 and 16,000 engine hours can extend the reliable life of the equipment to longer than 30,000 hours – at a fraction of the price of a new unit, Sandvik says.

Similar to the Rebuild program, another option available to customers looking to improve their sustainability profile are the Sandvik Component Repair, Replace and Exchange solutions.

“Our component offerings, which break down into Component Exchange, Component Repair and Return, and Fixed Price Repair and Return, minimise environmental impact by reusing components,” Lundén says. “This regenerates the life of the component and avoids the creation of scrap. Additionally, repairs don’t have to be carried out on site, which limits the interactions of workers with high-risk load equipment scheduled for repairs.”

For Component Repair and Return, a Sandvik engineer inspects and repairs the original components; with Component Exchange, the component is remanufactured according to stringent standards and equipped using the latest product improvements, the company explains.

Digitalisation has shown to be a vital tool for mining and construction companies seeking to modernise their operations while driving towards a more sustainable model, according to Sandvik.

My Sandvik Digital Service solutions transfer data into easy-to-use knowledge about fleet performance, maximising productivity, operational efficiency and safety, it says. Connected machines offer close to real-time data all year round and insights into how to get the most out of the equipment, the company added.

“From a sustainability standpoint, digital services provide clear insights into fuel consumption and excessive idling time, which can drastically reduce emissions underground,” Lundén says. “Equipment alerts on speeding, brake violations and freewheeling in neutral, for example, can also improve safety for operators and other staff in the mine.”

According to the company, up to a 5% emission reduction can be achieved by applying My Sandvik Productivity, while an up to 10% emission reduction can be had with long-term remote monitoring services, as well as a substantial component life increase.

Another aftermarket offering that is a crucial component to safety management and comes with sustainability in mind is the Eclipse Sustain fire suppression system. Eclipse Sustain is the world’s first 100% fluorine-free fire suppression for mobile equipment, Sandvik says. Fluorine-based foams can persist as a hazardous substance in the ground for thousands of years after use. “With Eclipse Sustain, it can be simply rinsed off with no detrimental effect to the surrounding environment,” the company says.

Finally, the way parts are shipped to customers can have a significant effect on a company’s carbon footprint. Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology considers logistics as an influential way to make its processes more sustainable.

“If you ship a drill bit on a boat, it will generate around 100 times less CO2 than if you fly it to the customer on an airplane,” Henrik Ager, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, says. “That approach reduces our generated CO2 by 10,000 t, which in comparison with the total emissions for the division is significant.”

This is an edited extract of a Solid Ground article by Sandvik