Tag Archives: FLSmidth

Checkproof app to help digitise FLSmidth’s maintenance, service workflow

Software as a service company, Checkproof, says it has expanded its agreement with FLSmidth as the mining OEM looks to streamline its maintenance and service work across the globe.

The move follows Checkproof’s work on digitising FLSmidth’s front line work on sites in China, India, Kazakhstan and Arizona (USA), it said.

To support FLSmidth’s work on maintenance and service inspections of its product lines, the CheckProof app is used to perform and report front line daily tasks in any mobile device, securing routines, traceability and follow-up work, the company says.

Checkproof has also been implemented to digitise processes and to support company improvements for quality control of final assembly inspections at FLSmidth’s manufacturing facilities, it said.

Having first implemented the app in China, in 2017, FLSmidth has now gone global with CheckProof.

Tony Durant, Head of Mining Service Execution Europe, Russia and North Africa, FLSmidth, says: “CheckProof has given us the opportunity to change the way we work; to build a coherent and standard methodology to digitise our maintenance services deliverables at one of our customer’s sites. It offers an easy way for us to monitor the status of equipment and all daily maintenance activities.

“The tool itself is easy to use and can be quickly adopted for different kinds of equipment maintenance scenarios. This, combined with the ability to construct libraries within CheckProof, allows working procedures with only minor adaption needs to be scaled quickly, so minimising repeated work creation effort.”

Håkan Holmgren, CEO and Founder of CheckProof said the latest global agreement with FLSmidth represented both a natural and exciting step for the company.

“It’s an acknowledgment that CheckProof generates results, and we are particularly glad to have the confidence of a world-leading player such as FLSmidth,” he said. “We will continue to work hard to support their day-to-day operations and to improve performance, for FLSmidth to reach their goals and offer sustainable productivity worldwide.”

FLSmidth to provide gold processing package to Gold Fields’ Salares Norte

FLSmidth says it has sold three system packages to Gold Fields for its greenfield Salares Norte project in Chile.

The large downstream gold product line project comprises, FLSmidth says, three complete process islands: a Merrill Crowe, an AARL (Anglo American Research Laboratories) elution circuit and a refinery.

The process plant will treat 2 Mt/y of ore and is expected to produce an average of 2.6 Moz of silver and 286,000 oz of gold annually during its first seven years in operation, FLSmidth said.

FLSmidth’ s systems were chosen for their proven quality and the durability of the technologies involved, according to the OEM. “These factors were crucial for the customer given the modular, fully-automated and custom design required for the specificities of the gold mine, which is situated in the Atacama region of northern Chile at 4,500 m in elevation,” FLSmidth said. “Given the high altitude, it was important that the systems were as automated as possible, with the option of remote monitoring.”

The company added: “Salares Norte further solidifies our position as a premium supplier of projects and solutions even in the most challenging conditions. This contract is also noteworthy given how few new, large gold/silver mines have been established in South America in recent years. Supplying a significant portion of the flowsheet gives FLSmidth another strong reference with a major gold miner.”

Outotec and Metso have also won major orders for Salares Norte.

Jorge Carvajal, Project Sales Director, said: “These orders are the result of work well done and close collaboration. This, in conjunction with a strong focus on our customer during the entire process, were crucial in solidifying our position as a key technical solutions provider in the gold market.”

FLSmidth set for A$50 million roasting contract at TMA’s Gabanintha vanadium project

FLSmidth is to supply the key roasting kiln section of the Gabanintha vanadium project process plant as part of a binding notice of award the OEM has signed with project owner Technology Metals Australia.

Technology Metals Australia developed a relationship with FLSmidth during the definitive feasibility study (DFS) phase of the Gabanintha project, with the Denmark-based OEM conducting the pilot plant scale salt roasting test work on a bulk sample of Gabanintha magnetic concentrate at its facility in Pennsylvania, USA.

The pilot scale rotary kiln test work (pictured), using a 9.8 m long by 0.9 m in diameter rotary kiln, enabled continuous processing of the magnetic concentrate to provide measurement of key processing factors such as salt dosage, vanadium solubility, recovery and residence times. Such data was used by FLSmidth to assist in engineering design, sizing and cost estimate studies for the ‘roasting’ section of the processing circuit for inclusion in the DFS, TMA said.

The DFS envisaged the development of a plus-16 year operation, producing 27.9 MIb/y of vanadium oxide, with production commencing in 2022. From years one to 12, the run of mine processing rate was estimated to be 1.7-2.3 Mt/y and the total pre-production capital for the build came in at A$454 million.

The supply proposal under the notice of award contemplates the completion of a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study and supply of the required equipment for the complete roasting kiln section of the Gabanintha processing plant. The value of the proposed supply contract is circa-A$50 million ($35 million, ex GST), including approximately A$860,000 (ex GST) for the FEED study.

The commencement of the FEED study is subject to written instruction from the company to proceed and is envisaged to be completed within 26 weeks.

FLSmidth-supplied equipment qualifies for export credit agency financing support through Denmark’s EKF, subject to EKF board approval and thorough due diligence, Technology Metals Australia said. The ASX-listed company said it will be actively pursuing the opportunity to access this funding support as an important part of the overall project funding strategy.

FLSmidth automated lab wins contract extension at Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal

FLSmidth says it has had its Operate and Maintain contract at the Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal on South Africa’s west coast renewed for another three years.

The company has successfully operated the quality control laboratory at Saldanha – Africa’s largest iron ore export facility – for the past eight years, according to Martin Matthysen, Director, SPA (sampling, preparation and analysis), Sub Saharan African and Middle East at FLSmidth.

“An average of approximately 8,500 t of iron ore per hour pass by conveyor from the rail head to the ship during loading,” Matthysen said. “Our automated laboratory located above the conveyor must sample and test from this ore stream, delivering accurate and precise data timeously to stakeholders.”

He says the automated system installed by FLSmidth for a leading iron ore producer takes a representative sample of the ore and processes it though the laboratory with minimal human intervention. It is the only laboratory with ISO 17025 accreditation for the iron ore sector, according to the company, complying with standards ISO 9516 for chemical analysis, ISO 4701 for particle size determination, ISO 3087 for moisture analysis, ISO 11536 for loss of ignition analysis and ISO3082 for sampling.

“Operational quality and stringent standards are vital in this process, as both the seller and the buyer of the ore must be confident that test results on the shipment are accurate and precise,” Matthysen said.

“The laboratory analyses the material’s chemical composition, particle size, moisture content and loss of ignition levels – as these indicators all impact on the final price of the product.”

The accuracy of results is further checked by participating in a proficiency testing scheme as well as ‘round robin’ analysis – in which samples are verified by laboratories selected by end-customers elsewhere in the country and world, according to the company.

“We are pleased to have delivered exemplary past performance at Saldanha, in service of our client’s best interests and efficient operation,” Matthysen said. “Our ongoing focus on quality has also ensured that we remain compliant with all-important ISO standards in our daily processes.”

He added that the automated laboratory’s ability to deliver reliable and accurate results as quickly as it does, is also a vital benefit to the client.

FLSmidth taking mineral sampling and lab automation to new heights

As ore grades continue to decline in the mining space, FLSmidth says its expertise in mineral sampling and laboratory automation is becoming increasingly valuable to mines.

“The more you understand about the characteristics of the ore entering your process plant, the better you can treat it,” Martin Matthysen, Director, SPA (sampling, preparation and analysis), Sub Saharan African and Middle East at FLSmidth, said. “But this needs technology that can sample high volumes, maintain rapid turnaround times and deliver quality results.”

Only then can plant operators respond to laboratory data in real time, which is one of the keys to effective plant optimisation. With over 30 years of experience, FLSmidth has been a pioneer in laboratory systems integration, as well as driving automation in the laboratory environment, it says.

“Our particular expertise in laboratory automation is now recognised worldwide,” Matthysen said. “This is why we have supplied 95% of all automated laboratories to the global mining industry constructed over the past dozen years or so.”

This automation expertise was bolstered last year when the company completed the acquisition of IMP Automation Group, a global leader in automated laboratory solutions for the mining industry. Included in the transaction was IMP’s 50% share in a joint venture which provides complete operations and maintenance-based solutions for automated labs, the company said.

FLSmidth’s offerings address all stages of a mines’ sampling and analysis requirements. It designs solutions for exploration and ore characterisation, grade control, process plants and port shipment. The highest quality equipment is sourced and applied to a laboratory solution to achieve accurate sampling, effective sample preparation and detailed sample analysis, the company says.

Each laboratory design is unique, Matthysen says, as it must suit each customer’s operating conditions and strategic goals. The design process, therefore, demands close collaboration with the customer and a detailed examination of mined material and process demands. This ensures the laboratory generates exactly the type of analytical data the plant operators require.

“With our world-class mineral research and testing facilities, we are constantly pioneering innovations that add value to customers,” he says. “Our automated solutions also offer consistency and traceability, while improving ergonomics and eliminating hazards to laboratory personnel.”

Among the company’s innovations has been an environmentally friendly methodology that replaces traditional wet chemistry. With no acid being used to dissolve platinum ore, for instance, the process produces no toxic waste – dramatically reducing the impact on the environment, according to FLSmidth.

“We are accredited in terms of international quality standards, and work strictly to our customers’ stringent specifications regarding health, safety and environment,” Matthysen says. “Our expertise gives customers the confidence not only to procure laboratories from us, but increasingly to contract us to maintain and operate those facilities on their behalf.”

Karara Mining to stack tailings high to keep costs, water use and footprint low

Bis, FLSmidth and Karara Mining have developed a “unique mobile stacking conveyor” solution that has cut water use, costs and the environmental footprint at the iron ore miner’s operation in Western Australia.

If Karara’s iron ore mine had chosen a wet tailings storage facility, the tailings pond would have been roughly 8 sq.km based on its 30-year mine life, according to FLSmidth.

The operation is also in the Mid-West region of Western Australia, an area with scarce water reserves, so losing so much water to wet tailings would have been costly to both the environment and Karara’s bottom line.

With these factors in mind, Karara looked at implementing a dry-stacked/filtered tailings system to allow for significant water recovery and reuse. As well as reducing costs, dry stack technology would reduce the tailings footprint to around 4 sq.km, according to FLSmidth.

Bis worked with Karara and FLSmidth to develop a solution to build, own, operate and maintain a “unique mobile stacking conveyor”, FLSmidth said. This fixed infrastructure solution was developed by the three companies to integrate a walking conveyor and stacking technology normally used in large-scale copper mining operations.

Aside from the significant reduction of the physical footprint compared with the wet tailings alternative, Karara was looking for cost efficiencies in other areas, FLSmidth said. “For instance, the planning of a wet tailings storage facility needs to factor in an ongoing maintenance strategy. This comes with a perpetual cost that can only be guessed at while the decades pass,” the company said. “With dry-stack tailings, the total cost of ownership over the mine’s lifetime is easier to estimate and Karara were confident the dry stack solution would be cost competitive.”

Water usage was another key consideration for Karara. With environmental and cost factors in mind, Karara wanted to look at ways to have greater control over water assets on site. The ability to reuse and recycle water in the mining process would lead to substantial cost efficiencies by minimising the amount of makeup water needed for the mining operation, FLSmidth said.

The technology implemented into Karara’s tailings storage facility was also an important factor as Karara wanted the flexibility to continually update the equipment with the view of running it more efficiently as new technology became available. It engaged Bis to operate the facility machinery based on its deep industry experience with materials handling and bulk logistics, FLSmidth said.

FLSmidth, meanwhile, was identified by Karara as being able to meet the project’s requirements and mine-specific needs.

The mining OEM said: “A primary demand was the ability to supply a cost-effective dry stacking technology ideal for dry climate mining operations that reduced water requirements. With FLSmidth’s advanced stacking capability (machinery working off stacked pile) and ability to stack tailings at 15% moisture content, this meant tangible water savings for Karara.

“At Karara, the dry tailings will be stacked in four lifts to the maximum height approved by the Western Australia Government. The solution proposed by FLSmidth also created a smaller tailings storage footprint, which also meant improved site rehabilitation potential.”

Karara worked closely with Bis and FLSmidth to get the project off the ground and make Karara the first mine in Australia to take full advantage of this dry-stack technology, FLSmidth said.

The tailings storage facility is fast approaching the completion of Lift 1 and, together with Karara, Bis and FLSmidth are already in the planning stage to lift the equipment to the second level.

FLSmidth stresses service capability as mines focus on productivity

Optimising customers’ production and maximising their return on investment is the ongoing mission of FLSmidth’s warehousing facility in Stormill, west of Johannesburg, South Africa, the company says.

According to Derek Lane, Operations Manager at FLSmidth, continued investment in the facility over the past decade has kept it at the leading edge of customer service. Today, it has grown to 10,500 m² under roof and 1,660 m² under crane, with dual lifting capacity of up to 40 t.

“We have technical capability across FLSmidth’s range of KREBS® slurry pumps, cyclones and valves,” Lane says, “allowing us to service customers through sub-Saharan Africa and into the Middle East.”

Meeting customer needs is paramount, and the operation has a strong focus on stocking strategic parts to facilitate the rapid assembly of new product. In addition to this, and central to the pump operation, is also the efficient refurbishment and retrofitting of equipment. Supporting the customer drive for lowest total cost of ownership, the Stormill facility also stocks a range of service exchange units assisting mines to maintain uptime.

Strategic stocking is done on the full range of KREBS pumps from the UMD™ heavy duty, millMAX™, split casing slurryMAX™, gravelMAX™ and vMAX™ range, all of which feature a recessed impeller design allowing the pumps to run dry. In addition, Technequip™ valves are stocked in a variety of sizes, both flanged and wafer type.

“Our workshop and warehousing capacity equip us to respond quickly to customers in various regions of Africa and beyond,” he says. “This is critical in helping maintain their operational uptime while keeping costs down.”

The quality of the FLSmidth’s KREBS pump range also allows them to be offered to customers on a trial basis. Trial pumps can be run against time or tonnage targets to ensure that they exceed the performance of existing equipment, Service Manager, Martin Jones, says.

“The service component in these trials includes a dedicated service technician who visits site for checking and fine-tuning during the trial,” he said. “This level of technical on-site collaboration from our teams allows operational parameters to be closely monitored and refinements made to specific performance requirements.”

An important cornerstone of FLSmidth’s customer support strategy is closely aligned with the operational drive by mines to achieve the lowest operating costs possible. Jones says that by providing a range of service support options for all new products supplied, the company is able to add value to mine sites. Within South Africa, service support options include regular visits by service technicians to site, as well as more intensive levels of service in the form of bespoke maintenance contracts, and field service support teams operating in strategic locations.

“Some customers request a period of commissioning assistance, for example, and we can provide experts on site for as long as the customer requests them,” he says.

Lane highlights the importance of regular and correct maintenance of equipment to minimise lifecycle costs and maximise productivity. To meet this goal, FLSmidth conducts customised training on request for customers. This could be focused on hands-on maintenance staff dealing with essential day-to-day maintenance. It is also available for higher-level staff such plant engineers, on topics such as product selection. The training can even be delivered in different languages suited to the region.

The large stockholding of spares at Stormill for pumps, cyclones and valves is based on historical and forecasted customer consumption. Key customers also hold strategic consignment stocks at their sites. These are currently located in Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, as well as with an agent in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.

“This allows us to have the stock as close to the customer as possible, to optimise availability,” he says.

He emphasised that all the Stormill facility’s activity is strictly governed by recognised international standards. The operation is certified with ISO 9001 for quality, ISO 14001 for environmental management and OSHAS 18001 for safety and health.

FLSmidth boosts eastern Canada support offering with Mill-Ore Industries buy

FLSmidth says it has acquired the assets of Mill-Ore Industries Inc, increasing its level of service for customers in the mining-rich hub of eastern Canada.

The acquisition, which includes facilities and equipmen, will see all Mill-Ore employees transfer to FLSmidth.

FLSmidth said: “Miners in eastern Canada can now expect faster, personal and local service, with support provided in French and English. This move is part of our commitment to increase the level of service for French-speaking customers and to streamline our overall service process.”

The company said it had, for a period, been evaluating local service units in eastern Canada, with the target of growing business and improving customer service. Mill-Ore Industries, which was an important Canadian service centre for KREBS® pumps and cyclones, was chosen as the ideal acquisition, it said. “It will continue to provide the same high level of service customers have associated with Mill-Ore Industries, but will operate under the new name of FLSmidth Service Center, Eastern Canada,” the company explained.

In the coming months, additional services will be rolled-out to increase the service capabilities available through the centre.

Mikko Keto to head up FLSmidth’s mining division

Mikko Keto is set to join FLSmidth as President, Mining Industry, less than two weeks after leaving his post as President of Minerals Services and Pumps at Metso.

Keto, who will embark on his new role from early July 2020, will also become a member of the Group Executive Management team at FLSmidth. The appointment follows current President, Mining Industry, Manfred Schaffer’s decision to retire in 2020.

Keto worked for Metso for 10 years, the last two of which he headed up the Minerals Services and Pumps business area, where he delivered growth in services along with profitability improvement, FLSmidth said. He also served as a member of the company’s Executive Team.

His prior roles for Metso include Senior Vice President, Spare Parts, Senior Vice President of Performance Services business line, President of Automation Services, Vice President of Flow Control Services, and various line management positions. Before joining Metso, he was Head of Sales for the Maintenance business unit at KONE Corp and held senior management and sales positions at Nokia Networks, with assignments in multiple countries.

FLSmidth CEO, Thomas Schulz, said: “Mikko Keto will lead the FLSmidth Mining organisation in capturing profitable business opportunities. He comes with an extensive experience in Service Line Management, Spare Parts and lifecycle offerings. He brings a strong commitment to customer partnerships, and believes strongly in delivering significant enhancements in performance, sustainability and asset optimisation.”

Keto said: “I am excited to join FLSmidth and help drive profitable growth in the mining business and further develop FLSmidth’s portfolio of solutions towards zero emissions. FLSmidth has close to 140 years’ experience, excellent technologies and outstanding competencies in its global workforce.”

On the retirement of Manfred Schaffer, Schulz said: “Since joining FLSmidth in 2014, Manfred Schaffer helped navigate an extended mining industry downturn and led the mining organisation through the transition to a new way of working. In the face of market headwinds, Manfred travelled extensively in order to meet with as many customers as possible and support sales opportunities. I am very thankful for Manfred’s strong contribution to our mining business over the last five years.”

FLSmidth to boost plant efficiency with SmartCyclone system

With process plant optimisation techniques becoming a necessity for mines looking to maximise their operating performance by keeping costs low, throughput high and downtime to a minimum, FLSmidth has devised an automated monitoring and control solution for reducing cyclone-related process deviations.

The SmartCyclone™ system delivers in all three areas for cyclone circuits, according to the company, improving cyclone overflow particle size distribution, predicting and controling cyclone maintenance schedules, and optimising closed-circuit grinding processes.

FLSmidth said: “This equates to monitoring the performance of individual cyclones within a circuit in real time, preventing unplanned breakdowns from occurring and monitoring wear rates while ensuring the cyclones are operating optimally at all times. This translates into higher efficiencies in the plant and ultimately, higher profitability.”

The SmartCyclone closed circuit grinding optimisation system combines a variety of FLSmidth patented technologies, including the FLSmidth Krebs SmartCyclone wear detection sensor technology and the Krebs’ patented roping sensor technology (with patent-pending wireless controller system). This technology immediately identifies if a cyclone is malfunctioning, the company said.

The closed circuit grinding optimisation system also incorporates FLSmidth’s ECS/ProcessExpert® process control software with a new patent-pending SmartWear™ cyclone maintenance algorithm.

One of the largest benefits associated with this software is the ability to develop a uniform operation strategy that outlines the best way to run the plant, according to FLSmidth. “Once this strategy has been established, the necessity to train new operators is reduced.”

Reducing or eliminating manual operation, which decreases the potential for human error, is also one of the overarching benefits of SmartCyclone, the company says.

FLSmidth has more recently enhanced its Krebs SmartCyclone system with wireless technology that
enhances installation by eliminating the need for individual nodes and the interconnecting cables between the sensors and nodes and associated controllers.

It uses a central wireless controller that can handle up to 16 sensors per unit; providing real-time wireless detection and communication of roping and/or wear data. The new wireless controller unit is a handheld device that can be removed from its docking/charging station to sync the individual sensors. Once removed, it goes into battery-power mode and the user can walk to a desired sensor, activate it with a magnet, trigger and set the necessary operating parameters.