Tag Archives: Krebs

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.

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.

FLSmidth reflects on KREBS slurry pump dominance in Africa

KREBS® slurry pumps have become leaders in mill discharge applications in Africa, with the latest Ultimate Mill Discharge (UMD) pump leading the way in these heavy-duty applications, according to FLSmidth.

Andre Hall, FLSmidth Regional Product Line Manager — Pumps, Cyclones and Valves, said: “West African gold mines and the copper operations of Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo are among the areas where these robust pumps dominate.

“Their popularity,” he says, “is based on their long wear life and high efficiency.”

Ghana is a particular success story for UMD pumps, according to Hall, with nearly all gold mines there using the equipment manufacturer’s pumps to discharge slurry from their mills, he added.

“The KREBS UMD is popular at these mines largely because it lowers the total cost of ownership due to the millMax™ proprietary design that eliminates inefficient recirculation and grinding of slurry within the pump,” FLSmidth said.

“Prior to the millMAX wear ring design, slurry pumps experienced two major problems: mechanical grinding of solids between the suction liner and impeller, and flow recirculating back to the impeller eye on the suction side. Both of these problems decrease pump life and increase power consumption.”

The wear ring stops recirculation by closing the suction-side gap, while still allowing for a large clearance between the impeller and the suction liner, according to FLSmidth. This eliminates the grinding of solids. Adjusting the wear ring while the pump is running, meanwhile, restores performance and provides longer wear life and higher continuous efficiency, in all, lowering the total cost of ownership.

Hall says: “The UMD’s casing symmetry also means less inventory for customers. Mines that have pumps rotating in both left-hand and right-hand orientations must stock different casings, liners and impellers, adding to the operational costs.”

The advantage of the UMD is that it uses the same casing, suction liner, wear ring and back liner, which reduces overall net working capital.

The KREBS gravelMAX™ pumps continue to do well in the Mpumalanga coal sector of South Africa, according to FLSmith, where 14 of these pumps recently replaced competitor units on a single site.

Commonly applied in a cyclone feed application within the dense medium separation (DMS) circuit, the pump’s wider passage allows pumping of larger solids.

“We are also active in iron ore in South Africa with pumps in the DMS circuit,” Hall says. “A Lesotho diamond mine also operates KREBS pumps, which have demonstrated a four-fold increase in wear life compared to a competitor’s previous units.”

In sump pumps, FLSmidth has the vMAX™ range, which features a recessed impeller design allowing the pumps to run dry.

The company explains:“When the sump has been emptied of slurry, the recessed impeller allows the slurry to return safely down the discharge pipe without contacting the impeller, ensuring that it does not vibrate when dry.”

Another recent innovation in the KREBS slurryMAX range of pumps is being introduced to the Africa market after an enthusiastic response in the US and Australia, FLSmidth said. With multiple liner and impeller material options, the slurryMAX split-case pump can handle the majority of applications for any plant across multiple industries.

Namakwa enlists FLSmidth pumps to cut downtime, costs at Kao diamond mine

The installation of a FLSmidth KREBS millMAX™ pump at Namawka Diamonds’ Kao mine, in Lesotho, is, according to the mining equipment maker, providing the miner with significant cost savings through increased impeller, casing and back liner wear life.

FLSmidth’s engagement at Kao started when the mine required a pump conversion in the field – an undertaking that can be difficult and time consuming, according to the mining OEM. “It is also a high-stakes operation as a cyclone feed is critical to the overall process and ability to generate returns. A wrong decision can mean a lot of lost revenue,” the company said.

It was the potential for cost efficiency that convinced Kao diamond mine to implement the KREBS millMAX Pump. After initial discussions, the first trial pump – a millMAX 8×6 centrifugal seal (C/S) – was installed in a cyclone feed application (DMS 2 pump 1).

Initial results after seven months showed the millMAX was performing extremely well on the wear side, according to FLSmidth.

“So, once you get the green light, you need to confirm the duty details and measure up the existing installation to ensure that when you begin to install the pump there are no surprises,” the company said.

Brad Moralee, Head of Product Unit Pumps, Cyclones and Valves at FLSmidth, said: “It’s high pressure for us: you are typically given a window of opportunity during a shutdown to complete the change, after which the new pump must run as expected when the plant is re-started.

“You need the combination of a great product but, more importantly, great technical understanding of the duty to be able to propose the correct solution. We understand what is at stake from the customer side.”

The change produced impressive results in comparison with the previous solution from another supplier, according to FLSmidth, with the millMAX increasing the wear life by nine times, across impeller, casing and back liner. “This has seen Kao make significant cost saving on direct replacement costs, reduced downtime and saved labour expenditure,” the company said.

While Kao mine operators were impressed with the benefits from the switch, a slight gland leakage was causing concern, according to FLSmidth. To resolve this, FLSmidth suggested running a one-month trial with the slurryMAX, which had just recently arrived on the South Africa market.

“The slurryMAX trial was based purely on its sealing capabilities as Kao were confident of the hydraulic performance of the pump and had no concern about wear as they were confident the slurryMAX would show predictable and even wear life across all wet-end parts,” the company said.

Kao’s confidence also came from the fact the slurryMAX design is based on the millMAX range, whose wear ring technology has created an efficient and long-lasting slurry pump.

The main difference between the millMAX and the slurryMAX is that the millMAX is an all-metal pump meaning it does not have an outer casing and an inner wear liner (the casing itself is made from the high chrome wear material), while the slurryMAX is a split casing design that has a replaceable inner liner. The purpose of this design is that multiple material liner options are available to fit in the same outer casing.

“The slurryMAX features an improved, more efficient impeller and an optional water drain plug for easier maintenance, allowing water that might have settled at the bottom of the pump to be drained quickly,” the company said.

Leigh Rieder, FLSmidth Sales Engineer, concluded: “Kao is extremely happy with the hydraulics and lack of excessive wear of our pumps, which has meant that their cost of ownership is low. We have recently received an order from the customer for two more slurryMAX pumps and they have expressed interest in our slurryMAX 6×4 and slurryMAX 10×8 pumps.”

Test work proving up FLSmidth’s ‘game-changing’ Ecotails solution

Testing by one of the world’s leading gold producers has confirmed FLSmidth’s Ecotails™ solution will be a game-changer for the mining sector, according to one of the company’s regional dewatering product line managers.

The solution, which combines filtered mine tailings with waste to form a GeoWaste, lowers water usage, rehabilitation costs and tailings footprints, according to the company.

Back in 2017, FLSmidth and Goldcorp signed an agreement to develop EcoTails, with the solution being studied for full-scale testing at Peñasquito, an operation with an average daily throughput of 130,000 t/d.

FLSmidth Regional Product Line Manager (Dewatering), Leonard Neluvhola, said the Ecotails solution is nearing the end of a lengthy testing process with the company, now called Newmont Goldcorp following a recent transaction.

“The success of its application to date confirms that Ecotails will be a game-changer for the mining sector,” Neluvhola said. “Not only can mines improve their environmental performance by applying this system, they will also see bottom line benefits too.”

He said the Ecotails solution involves dewatering and filtering tailings to a point where moisture content is just 10% to 25%.

“Up to 90% of the water in tailings can therefore be reused in the plant,” he said. “This is a vast improvement on pumping highly diluted slurry to a conventional tailings dam, where the water is lost to evaporation.”

The drier tailings are then mixed with the mine’s waste rock, after it has been sized and screened to be transportable by conveyor. “The resulting GeoWaste can be placed by a stacking system, as it is much more stable than wet tailings and can be stacked higher on a smaller footprint,” FLSmidth said. “This helps to address the serious concern mines have about the large footprints consumed by their tailings dams and waste rock dumps.”

In addition to its greater stability, GeoWaste is more conducive to vegetation growth, according to the company. “It is an ideal medium for concurrent environmental rehabilitation,” FLSmidth said. “The concurrent approach is becoming more popular, as it can mitigate the costs and risks of mine closure. Wet tailings can also present a greater danger of land contamination through leaching.”

Neluvhola said: “With our Ecotails experience and complete system offering, FLSmidth can provide a complete materials handling solution.” This includes crushers, sizers and screens, KREBS® pumps, thickeners and filters, conveyor and stacking systems, conducting tests and studies, system engineering and automation systems.

Neluvhola highlighted that FLSmidth in South Africa collaborates with customers on in-depth test work to ensure the application of Ecotails on their mines is fit for purpose.

“We can conduct testing at laboratory scale, and then advance to pilot stage when a mini-plant can be operated on site,” he said. “This allows us to test the technology using the customer’s own mined material in the thickening, filtering, conveying and blending phases to inform our technical designs.”

FLSmidth seals the deal with Krebs Technequip TGW knife gate slurry valves

FLSmidth says its Krebs® Technequip™ TGW series of wafer-style knife gate slurry valves have proven themselves across the globe.

The valves are designed specifically for the harsh and abrasive slurries encountered in the mineral processing and power industries, with applications ranging from cement, sand and gravel to coal, phosphate, ash and alumina.

They are designed as a space saving option for heavy-duty applications, according to the company. The long-lasting replaceable elastomer sleeves offer a sealing solution that uses the latest technology, with the valve’s operation based on its full port design, FLSmidth said. This allows the gate to be fully isolated by the sleeves from the process in the open position.

“As the gate closes, it pushes between the two sleeves, discharging a small amount of material out of the bottom of the valve,” FLSmidth said. “This prevents material build-up in the seat area ensuring full gate closure, as well as preventing damage to the gate. When the gate is in the open or closed position, there is a 100% bi-directional bubbletight seal and zero downstream leakage.”

To ensure long life, all valves are supplied with dust boots – or ‘bellows’ – as a standard feature, protecting valve stems and actuators. Hardware such as nuts, bolts, and washers, meanwhile, are zinc-plated to protect against corrosion. Each component is also individually epoxy-painted before assembly.

Several actuation options are available, including pneumatic, hydraulic, electric and bevel-gear actuators, as well as manual hand-wheel operators, the company said.

The choice of materials is vital to the valves’ performance, reliability and lifespan, according to FLSmidth. “Sleeves are constructed of dense moulded elastomer, complete with an integral stiffener ring moulded into the sleeve. They are also available in a range of different materials to suit the application,” the company said. The valve housing is ASTM A536 cast ductile coated for corrosion resistance, while the upper cavity is pre-lubricated with a silicone-based grease, to improve actuation and decrease wear.

Founded in Toronto, Canada, in 1957, Technequip was acquired by FLSmidth in 1993 and integrated into the company in 2007. With installations across the globe, the slurry valves have proven themselves worldwide with features like the fluorocarbon gate coating for reduced friction during actuation, the high strength stainless steel gate clevis and two-coat epoxy paint. The valves also contain no packing gland, as this can jam the gate, and have machined gate guides so no spacer bars are required. Various accessories are available, including solenoids, limit switches and junction boxes.