Tag Archives: Kwatani

Kwatani wins major screening order from Central Asia copper mine

Competing with leading OEMs from around the world, vibrating screen specialist OEM Kwatani says it has snatched a mammoth export order for over 70 screens from a mining operation in Central Asia.

The order was signed in April with a large copper mine in the region, which boasts a production rate of 35 Mt/y. According to Kwatani General Manager Sales and Service, Jan Schoepflin, the machines will be rolled out and delivered over a tight schedule of just eight months.

Kwatani, now part of the Sandvik group within the Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions division, is already hard at work manufacturing the large and medium-sized screens at its South Africa-based manufacturing facility.

“This is Kwatani’s largest order to date and is probably the largest single order for screens ever placed with a company in Africa,” Schoepflin says. “We are proud to have won such a prestigious bid in the face of intense competition, showing how our global reputation has been growing.”

The order is for large double-deck multi-slope screens, which feed high pressure grinding rolls, as well as for single-deck linear screens feeding concentrators. The screens in this order will be installed on isolation frames to minimise the extent to which dynamic loads affect the plant’s building structures, the company says.

Kwatani says it is well known for its design, manufacture and servicing of large, robust screens which are engineered for tonnage.

“As the largest OEM for vibrating screens and feeders in Africa, we have had great success on the continent and abroad with our large ‘banana’ screens,” Schoepflin says. “These and our other custom-engineered screens have been supplied to over 50 countries to date.”

The stringent and lengthy technical adjudication for this project was conducted for the mine by two leading international project engineering houses. The size and value of the order ensured all the mining industry’s foremost screen suppliers participated in the bid. Other indicators of the order’s scale are that the screens will consume around 700 t of steel, and will altogether be fitted with 21,000 screening panels.

Schoepflin notes that an important consideration for customers is not only the proven quality and performance of its screens, but Kwatani’s ability to deliver on time.

“Any large capital expenditure decision on a mine is taken with time-sensitive factors in mind,” he says. “For instance, the delayed delivery of critical equipment can prevent a mine from meeting its planned production targets. This undermines the financial basis for that decision – an eventuality that no mine can afford.”

The end-customer and the project houses, therefore, had to have full confidence in Kwatani’s capacity.

With growing demand from a buoyant mining sector, the company recently added another 3,000 sq.m to its existing 17,000 sq.m facility in Spartan, Johannesburg. Its design and manufacturing capabilities are ISO 9001:2015 certified, ensuring that the latest order to Asia will comply with the highest global standards, he says.

“We also pride ourselves on the quality and resilience of our supply chain, which underpins our ability to manufacture to demanding deadlines,” Schoepflin says. “We carefully select our supply partners – most of whom are local enterprises – and collaborate closely with them to build their sustainability and responsiveness.”

To keep the project’s schedule on track, dedicated in-house project managers and procurement specialists meet regularly with supply partners to ensure a smooth and streamlined process. This has required alignment of all local and global procurement, including motors, drives and steel. The company’s agility allowed contracts and prices to be tied down for timeous delivery, despite the global supply chain disruption that lingers from the COVID-19 lockdowns, Kwatani says.

Kwatani will conduct training of the mine staff in maintenance and troubleshooting, so that they can fulfil these essential duties independently. The mine will be able to source all the necessary spares from Kwatani, who will also send an engineer or technician to site to supervise and sign off on certain major tasks.

Meeting delivery deadlines and avoiding penalties will require detailed logistical planning for the completed units, Schoepflin notes. The screens will be delivered in batches to a South African port, and shipped as break bulk due to their size. Production of the screens is expected to be complete by early 2023.

FLSmidth, Kwatani, Multotec and Zest WEG set for Electra Mining Africa

Major domestic and international mining equipment suppliers are gearing up for Electra Mining Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, with FLSmidth, Kwatani, Multotec and Zest WEG just some of the names set to show off their offerings from September 5-9.

MissionZero on show

FLSmidth will be using this year’s exhibition to demonstrate the progress it is making in realising its MissionZero strategy, an ambitious program that aims at allowing mines and process plants to achieve zero emissions, zero water waste and zero energy waste by 2030, it says.

One of the innovative products to be featured on the stand includes its REFLUX® Flotation Cell (RFC). “This draws on FLSmidth’s established REFLUX technology, which has been in the industry for many years now and has proved outstandingly successful, particularly in the coal industry,” Alistair McKay, FLSmidth Vice President for Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and South Asia, said. “The RFC brings together the REFLUX concept with flotation technology and will allow process plant operators to start recovering the smaller fractions in their ore feeds, as well as introducing coarse flotation into existing systems.”

McKay adds that the RFC is now at an advanced stage of development and that FLSmidth is hoping to have a pilot plant operating in South Africa before Electra Mining Africa.

FLSmidth has many existing products and technologies that are already contributing strongly to MissionZero. Among them are its SmartCyclone™ solution, which automates the monitoring and control of cyclones; LoadIQ, a product that uses a system of smart sensors and artificial intelligence-based software to determine the optimal load in SAG mills; and its EcoTails™ system, developed in collaboration with Goldcorp (now part of Newmont), which blends filtered tailings with waste rock to create a geotechnically stable product called GeoWaste, which can be used to fill excavated areas.

While FLSmidth is a global group, much of the equipment that will be featured on its stand is produced in South Africa, either in whole or in part, at its Delmas Super Center, which manufactures vibrating screens; feeders, breakers and sizers; and polyurethane screening media and flotation parts.

Kwatani’s new age of efficiency

Kwatani plans to come to the Johannesburg Expo Centre ready to cast the spotlight on its modern multi-slope screen design and its strides in digital innovation.

While multi-slope screens – generally known as ‘banana’ screens – have been available since the 1980s and are, therefore, not necessarily new to the market, Kwatani has, in recent years, ushered in a whole new approach to the design of these screens, according to CEO Kim Schoepflin.

“Traditionally, multi-slope screens have always been renowned for their high velocity,” she says. “While the high velocity translates into high capacity, the downside is the resultant screening inefficiency and the high wear rate of the panels, which in turn translates into high maintenance costs.”

Kwatani can design its screens to perform efficiently at a lower building height and fit into existing screen infrastructure. The lower physical height of the screen also impacts the capital cost of complementary equipment such as pumps.

Apart from its leading-edge multi-slope screen design, Kwatani will also showcase its advances in the digital space. Digital technologies, says Schoepflin, have the potential to unlock new ways of managing variability and enhancing productivity. The miniature version of the Kwatani multi-slope screen to be displayed at Electra Mining Africa will, therefore, be digitally-enabled.

Kwatani COO, Kenny Mayhew-Ridgers, added: “We approach digitalisation in two ways. We believe that sensors are the starting point, as they are where data is created. Embedding sensors in plants, which in turn churn out large volumes of data for analysis, is increasingly attainable.”

Schoepflin continued: “The second scenario is the cloud environment, which is gaining strong momentum across the industry. As mining companies digitally transform, they simultaneously expect greater control over their data with all the benefits of a cloud experience. At Electra Mining Africa, we will, therefore, showcase these two scenarios – sensors with a PLC/SCADA and control room environment, as well as a cloud solution.”

The company also plans to highlight how the recent acquisition of Kwatani by Sandvik further advances its innovation drive, Schoepflin says.

“Leveraging Sandvik’s substantial experience in this field, Kwatani will further drive its digital offering, thus ushering in a new age of efficiency and winning the productivity and cost-control battle for our customers,” she concluded.

Multotec to showcase ESG-focused offering

Multotec has exhibited at every Electra Mining Africa exhibition since the show was launched in the 1970s. As usual, it will have a strong presence at this year’s event, with its in-house experts on hand to brief visitors to the stand on the company’s line-up of minerals processing equipment.

“Given that the Electra Mining 2020 was cancelled due to COVID, we see this year’s show as an excellent opportunity to reconnect with our customer base,” Rikus Immink, Multotec’s CEO – South African Operations, said. “The overall theme will be how our equipment and systems can assist customers in realising their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. We will also be emphasising our strong commitment to South Africa. We are a global group now, but we started in South Africa and the country still accounts for about half our revenues.”

Virtually all Multotec’s products can, to an extent, reduce consumption of resources such as water and energy and allow for more efficient operations, the company says. A prime example is provided by the pulping chute, a highly innovative concept in fines scrubbing first installed at Ekapa Minerals’ Combined Treatment Plant (CTP) in Kimberley in late 2019. More recently it has been successfully trialled at a diamond mine in Botswana. “We are very proud of this innovation and it will feature very strongly on our Electra Mining stand,” Immink says.

Other Multotec products to be highlighted at the show and which are able to contribute to energy and water saving include the company’s classification cyclones, which provide efficient solutions for desliming and dewatering; its ultra-fines spirals, which offer a non-chemical process for fines recovery and allow easy water recovery; its centrifuges and filter presses, which deliver effective solid liquid separation and dewatering solutions; and its screening media, whose many benefits include the recovery of non-chemical water.

Immink also notes that Mato belt cleaners, which will also feature on the Multotec stand, prevent spillage and reduce clean-up requirements. “This is not a product that gets much attention and yet it can play an absolutely crucial role in cutting wastage and in maintaining a clean environment,” he said.

The Multotec products that will be showcased at Electra Mining Africa 2022 are manufactured in South Africa, primarily at Multotec’s extensive facilities in Spartan, Johannesburg, with an accredited local content certificate from SABS.

Zest WEG focuses on efficiency, sustainability

After a decade-long expansion of its manufacturing capabilities in South Africa, Zest WEG, the South Africa-based subsidiary of Brazil’s WEG Group, says it is well placed to extend its already extensive footprint in the African market.

“We now have six manufacturing facilities in Gauteng and Cape Town, producing a wide range of equipment including gensets, transformers, electrical panels, E-Houses, MCCs and mini sub-stations,” Zest WEG’s outgoing CEO, Juliano Vargas, says. “This ability to manufacture locally gives us a huge advantage in the African market, as we can produce economically and deliver promptly to countries throughout the sub-Saharan region.”

Most of Zest WEG’s product offering will be on display at the Electra Mining Africa 2022 exhibition.

Vargas’s successor as CEO of Zest WEG, Eduardo Werninghaus, said: “Our theme, as always, will be how to change energy into solutions. There will, however, be a particular emphasis on efficiency and sustainability.

“One of the products that we’ll be highlighting is our range of WEG IE4-rated super-premium efficiency electric motors which were launched locally last year and which cost no more than their IE3 predecessors. These are the most energy efficient motors in the market and offer major operating cost advantages to users.”

Werninghaus says that the WEG IE4 motors have already received a warm reception from the mining industry, which is struggling with constantly rising electricity costs. “A medium-sized mine typically has between 2,000 and 3,000 electric motors on site – powering everything from fans and pumps to conveyor belts and screens – so the potential for very significant energy and cost savings is huge.”

Werninghaus adds that Zest WEG will also be showcasing many high-tech products and systems at the show. These include the already available WEG Motor Scan, which allows the continuous monitoring of electric motors and other rotating machines; and Pump Genius, a software package that enables a standard VSD to be dedicated to specific pumping systems with various motor and pump combinations, thereby providing improved control and monitoring capability.

Also on show will be WEG’s new Motion Fleet Management system, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to diagnose and monitor rotating equipment such as motors, VSDs, gearboxes and compressors. Based on cloud computing technology, the performance of assets can be monitored at any time from any part of the world. This approach reduces unplanned downtime and optimises repair actions.

“Keeping abreast of digital developments is a priority for us and Electra Mining Africa will give us an opportunity to show just how far we’ve come on our digital journey,” Werninghaus concludes.

Kwatani customers set to benefit from Sandvik Rock Processing integration

Both local and foreign customers – as well as mineral processing OEMs looking for specialised solutions – are set to benefit from the recent acquisition of vibrating screen specialist Kwatani by global multinational Sandvik, according to the South Africa-based company.

The closing the transaction occurred late last year with Kwatani becoming part of Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions. 

The deal highlights South Africa’s world class nodes of excellence in the engineering sector, according to Kim Schoepflin, CEO of Kwatani, who says the Sandvik collaboration is a milestone for local industry. It also contributes significantly to the government’s industrialisation strategy, to foster world-class industries that can compete globally and promote job creation locally.

“The acquisition will allow Kwatani greater access into foreign markets through Sandvik’s extensive distribution network,” she says. “Our modern Kwatani facilities in Kempton Park, accredited in terms of ISO 9001:2015, is now the global engineering and manufacturing base for vibrating screens and feeders for customers.”

She adds that an added benefit for customers is the support they will receive through the Sandvik service network of engineers and technicians in the field. The proven interface between Kwatani and Sandvik equipment – for instance, a Kwatani screen feeding into a Sandvik crusher – will, the company says, add considerable value to customer’s purchasing choices.

“Customers get the best of both worlds, and can feel confident of the efficient dovetailing of our product ranges,” Schoepflin says.

Sandvik brings state-of-the-art resources which further leverage the benefits to Kwatani customers, the company says. This includes access to monitoring and automation processes as well as a depth of research and development into the application of technology like simulators.

Kwatani continues to invest heavily in its resources at its Kempton Park facilities, Schoepflin says, which employ and develop local expertise while sustaining a strong supply chain of local players. Sandvik supports this model, and shares the vision that business sustainability must be based on effective engagement, investment and commitment to the local economy. Kwatani’s local empowerment strategy supports transformation and is compliant with the South African Mining Charter.

“We work closely with local supply partners in our value chain – many of them being small businesses – to embed quality systems and manufacturing capacity,” Schoepflin says. “Customers can therefore be assured of quality throughout our products’ construction, with a reliable, sustainable and cost effective local production base.”

With its cost base rooted largely in the South African economy, Kwatani can offer customers a consistent pricing regime that is not vulnerable to frequent exchange rate fluctuations, it says. This has added to the popularity of Kwatani’s products at home and abroad, with the company twice being recognised in the Exporter of the Year awards hosted by the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC).

“Our growth has allowed us to build our complement of competent staff, who are continuously upskilled to stay a step ahead of industry needs – with the help of our in-house training centre,” Schoepflin says.

An important indication of Kwatani’s depth of expertise and field experience is its ability to precision-engineer specific solutions for other OEMs in mineral processing. This extends to highly specialised equipment like sorters, which demand very precise feed characteristics and other protection.

“We are a partner of choice to OEMs whose equipment must operate within tight specifications, and which may have other specific requirements that a standard range of screens would not accommodate,” Schoepflin says.

Kwatani’s approach addresses the three key elements of vibrating screen performance: ore properties, screen design parameters and screening media. Its engineering solutions address all these priorities, Schoepflin says, giving customers optimal results at the lowest cost of ownership.

Kwatani’s mill discharge screen expertise to pay off at Namibia gold mine

Namibia’s mining scene is seeing an exciting expansion and technological innovation at a leading gold mining operation, with Kwatani supplying five mill discharge screens – all custom designed and manufactured at its Gauteng facilities.

Kim Schoepflin, CEO of Kwatani, says her company has a long history in Namibia and a strong footprint across various commodities there – including an established presence at this gold mine. It has worked with the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and the end-customer for two to three years on conceptualising the optimal solution.

“The mine is gearing up to increase its production by 50%, to take advantage of the strong gold price,” Schoepflin says. “Our role was to ensure that our discharge screens meet their exact process requirements – with our efficiencies of up to 95% – while delivering mechanical integrity for minimal maintenance downtime.”

The expansion includes the installation of two latest-technology mills – a high-pressure grinding roll (HPGR) and a vertical mill – which will boost production while reducing energy demand. Kwatani’s mill discharge screens, each measuring 3-m wide by 8-m long, will handle the coarse and fine material from the HPGR and the vertical mill. The company will also supply three silo feeders of 1.2 m by 2.5 m in size, to feed material from the silo to conveyors.

“Our screen design optimises the retention time on the deck, allowing for better screening and stratification,” Schoepflin says. “Due to the volume of slurry and water sprayed onto the screens, the added retention time assists with better drainage at lower cut points.”

The coarse screens were designed at a decline, and feature a larger screening media aperture with higher amplitude and stroke. Together with lower speed, this achieves better screening efficiency for the coarser particles. The fine horizontal screens, with smaller aperture screening media for the finer feed, were designed with a higher speed and lower amplitude and stroke; this will optimise the screening efficiency of the finer feed to these screens.

She also highlights the attention paid to the isolation of the vibrating screens. In this case, Kwatani engineers selected rubber buffers, which have higher dynamic loads but are more suited to wet applications and screens with a heavier mass.

“The number and type of buffers were defined according to the mass of the screens,” Schoepflin says. “The selection of rubber buffers for larger screens also assists with start-up and shutdown time, allowing the screens to come to rest more effectively.”

For these five screens, Kwatani, now part of Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions,  designed and supplied custom counter-balance frames to minimise the dynamic load to the plant infrastructure. The company’s screen technology includes designing its exciters in-house. This ensures that screens receive the necessary G-forces for optimal material stratification and screening, matching customers’ process requirements with the best possible efficiencies.

“To make sure our screens cope with the high capacity demands of modern processing plants, we rigorously test all units in our in-house testing facility before dispatch,” Schoepflin said. “These units began their journey to Namibia at the end of November 2021, and our team will support the commissioning when the customer requires.”

Kwatani adds to Northern Cape iron ore reference list with latest screening installation

South Africa-based vibrating screen and feeder specialist Kwatani will soon add another installation to its extensive footprint in the Northern Cape, this time for a new customer in the iron ore mining segment.

“We have over 1,000 screens, grizzlies and feeders in this important mining region, giving us a market share of about 95% of heavy-duty screening applications there,” Jan Schoepflin, Kwatani’s General Manager: Sales and Service, said. “With our well-established branch in Kathu, we are also able to assure our new customer of quick and highly competent service levels.”

The ore characteristics of iron ore demands mechanically robust screening equipment and Kwatani has built a name for itself in these applications, according to metallurgist Frengelina Mabotja, Kwatani’s, Head of Sales for SADC. “Our equipment is engineered for tonnage and continuous throughput, without compromising efficiencies,” Mabotja said.

Kwatani’s scope of work on the 700 t/h dry processing plant includes a 1.5-m-wide grizzly screen to remove fines from the run-of-mine material before it reports to secondary crushing and a 1.5-m-single deck scalping screen. The company will also install two 2.4-m-wide, double-deck sizing screens to separate material after secondary crushing, and five feeders to draw material from bins and stockpiles onto conveyor belts for feeding onto the downstream process.

“Our niche expertise allowed us to, once again, offer high performance sizing screens customised for this unique dry sizing application and optimise material separation by achieving the required cut size for the customer’s desired product size,” Mabotja said. “Our solution optimises the material separation while maximising efficiency and ensuring mechanical reliability for continuous and economical production.”

She highlights the depth of in-house experience – from both a metallurgical and mechanical approach– which allows Kwatani to assist the decision making of customers on equipment choice and specifications.

“Through the work of our design team, supported by our manufacturing and testing facilities, we have ensured that the solution will be fit for purpose and reliable,” she said. “The customer was also able to visit our 17,000 sq.m local manufacturing operation in Kempton Park regularly to see how we work, to check on fabrication progress and to witness the testing process.”

The equipment was completed on a tight deadline of 8-12 weeks, for delivery by year-end in line with the customer’s timeframe, according to the company.

“Our fully-equipped branch in the Northern Cape, staffed by specialists with decades of mining experience, will oversee the installation and commissioning of the equipment,” Mabotja said. “Our team will also schedule regular site visits to monitor on the equipment’s performance and condition, and advise on maintenance requirements.”

To underpin the reliable operation of all equipment supplied, Kwatani will also provide training for the customer’s maintenance personnel in the basic maintenance routines required.

Kwatani became a part of Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions late last year.

Kwatani large vibrating screen customisation pays off

Process plant designers often underestimate the movement of large vibrating screens when these machines start and stop, a challenge for which Kwatani says it has found an innovative and cost effective solution.

According to Kwatani’s Chief Operating Officer, Kenny Mayhew-Ridgers, the company has achieved considerable improvements in many screening applications by selectively fitting torsional springs alongside coil springs.

“It is well known that the vibrating motion of a screen impacts on the building and structural accessories around it,” Mayhew-Ridgers says. “This vibration is addressed by fitting isolators between the screen and the plant floor, and by constructing the plant building to certain minimum structural specifications.”

However, the focus is often on the frequencies that the screen generates in its steady-state phase – or the normal running phase – rather than during the transient phases when the screen is starting up or slowing down to a stop, Kwatni says.

Mayhew-Ridgers highlights that it is during these transient phases that the screen’s movement becomes amplified and potentially most destructive. Isolators between the screen and the floor – common among which are coil springs and rubber buffers – are meant to absorb vibrations and prevent damage to surrounding infrastructure. However, the transient phases, especially when stopping, can generate considerable sideways movement of the screen, which must be avoided.

“Traditional isolators like coil springs usually perform well in controlling the up-and-down movement of the screen,” he says. “Our experience is that the sideways movement, which is induced most strongly when the machine stops, can be better controlled by torsional springs.”

However, he notes that coil springs retain the advantages of being cost effective and providing a good linear isolation of the screen from the building structure. In this respect, their isolation characteristics are generally better than rubber buffers which excel in terms of their damping qualities.

“The torsional spring provides the best of both worlds, giving a good linear range for compression during operation while also becoming non-linear like the rubber buffer during stopping,” Mayhew-Ridgers says.

Using its experience observing screens operating in the field, Kwatani has developed and trialled various solutions in its dedicated testing centre at its headquarters in Kempton Park, South Africa. By optimising the best combination of coil springs and torsional springs, the company says it has succeeded in achieving the best results for customers.

“It’s not that torsional springs are better than coil springs,” Mayhew-Ridgers says. “It is about finding the right combination – through intensive testing and adaptation – for the customer’s particular requirements; we have both the expertise and the equipment to do this.”

Kwatani breathes new life into scalping screens with rubber, polyurethane wear panels

As mines move towards using one large scalping screen between primary and secondary crushers – rather than a modular approach using multiple smaller screens – Kwatani says it has found ways to triple the panel life in these single mission-critical units.

According to Kenny Mayhew-Ridgers, Chief Operating Officer of Kwatani, any downtime in this single-line stream would require the mine to store several hours of production. While some mines schedule regular weekly production halts during which an exciter or worn screen panels can be replaced, many operations are not so lenient, he said.

“The message from these mines is clear: the longer the scalper can run between maintenance interventions, the better,” Mayhew-Ridgers said. “Our research and development efforts, together with extensive testing in the field, have allowed us to extend the life of screen panels from eight weeks to over six months.”

While smaller screens use wire mesh screening media, Kwatani has evolved larger screens that use rubber or polyurethane screen panels. Although these panels present less open area, they deliver important advantages.

“Key to the success of our design is our integrated approach – which matches the panel design with that of the scalping screen itself,” Mayhew-Ridgers said. “This allows us to achieve a balance between screening area, aperture layout and screen panel life – a result based on a sound understanding of screen dynamics.”

Whereas wire mesh undergoes rapid wear from abrasive materials, the rubber or polyurethane panels are more wear resistant and deliver longer life, according to the company. The latter require gentler declines for effective stratification, but a key factor is the stiffness of the screen bed.

“The stiffness of the supporting structure must go hand-in-hand with the screen panel design to achieve our required results,” Mayhew-Ridgers said.

Polyurethane panels, while strong and lightweight, have screening apertures that tend to be too stiff for heavy-duty scalping applications. This leads to blinding. Rubber overcomes this problem, however, and also delivers improved wear life.

Kwatani has also developed a panel replacement system – with a fastening mechanism on the underframe – that improves safety and saves time, it says.

Kwatani branching out from South Africa roots

Vibrating screen and feeder specialist Kwatani says it is transitioning from equipment supplier to solutions provider, as it attracts customers from well beyond its South Africa headquarters.

According to Kwatani General Manager Sales and Service, Jan Schoepflin, the company’s strong in-house expertise and design capability – combined with the manufacturing quality it consistently achieves – ensures its customised solutions deliver optimal performance at the lowest possible lifecycle costs.

“Our recent orders show that our customer base in Southern Africa remains strong, while there is growing recognition of our cost-effective offerings in West Africa, East Africa and North Africa,” says Schoepflin. “At the same time, orders from countries like Canada and Russia indicate that our markets abroad continue to grow.”

Kwatani says it remains the market leader in the supply and servicing of vibrating screens and feeders on iron ore and manganese mines in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. It also counts platinum, coal, diamond and gold mines in its customer base. Its West Africa orders have been mainly to gold mines, and there is growing potential for gold mining in East Africa, Schoepflin says.

Over its four decades of operation, Kwatani has produced about 16,000 custom-designed screens, and is building, on average, 30 to 40 units a month in its ISO 9001:2015 certified facility close to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

“Our reputation has been built on prioritising what our customers need, and doing business with integrity and trust,” Schoepflin says. “This means delivering on what we promise and making sure that customers achieve the expected value from our products.”

The company’s solution focus is underpinned by its significant and ongoing investment in local skills, ensuring that its designs leverage strong mechanical and metallurgical engineering expertise, according to Schoepflin.

“This confidence in our products allows us to offer a process guarantee to customers, to deliver the tonnage, throughput and fractions that they expect,” he says. “Depending on which country our customers operate in, they may also have different industry and quality standards/certification expectations and we work closely with them to understand these clearly and meet their requirements.”

Schoepflin also emphasises the company’s service capabilities, which include its local service centres closer to customers, and its support partners in other countries.

“The careful selection of these partners is vital to meet customers’ stringent technical expectations,” Schoepflin says. “In some countries, our partners can also manufacture components according to our drawings and specifications, should there be an urgent requirement from a customer.”

Kwatani collaborating with EPCMs, miners on bespoke screening options

Mineral process plant designs are favouring higher-capacity vibrating screens and a more holistic approach to plant optimisation, according to screen specialist Kwatani.

“These trends hold great potential for the mining sector, and Kwatani has been at the forefront of technologies driving this direction,” Annelize van der Walt, Kwatani’s Business Development Manager for Mining and Minerals, says.

Vibrating screens are essentially the “glue” that integrates various unit processes, from bulk materials handling to optimally liberated comminution and pre-concentration, according to the company.

“Larger, engineered-for-tonnage screens are growing in popularity, as they reduce the number of processing modules and hence the level of infrastructure required, especially on mega-projects,” van der Walt says. “Higher capacity is becoming the new design standard for greenfields projects.”

There is also an ever-greater demand for reliability and uptime in these mission-critical machines, as well as an expectation of longer lifespans. All this requires bespoke solutions that address site-specific conditions, van der Walt says, while leveraging digital technology for real-time monitoring and control.

“Kwatani’s metallurgists and engineers use their extensive on-site experience and in-house laboratory facilities to innovate from our proven technologies,” she says. “A cornerstone of our philosophy is close collaboration with engineering, procurement and construction management contractors and end-customers to customise solutions, from concept to construction, commissioning and operation.”

Annelize van der Walt, Kwatani’s Business Development Manager for Mining and Minerals

Specific conditions include waterless beneficiation in arid Mauritania, where Kwatani’s screens operate completely dry in an iron ore plant. In South Africa and Botswana, meanwhile, the company has retrofitted dewatering screens to reduce water consumption, while increasing output by 40% with the same footprint.

“We also recently designed screens for exceptional ore characteristics in a precious metal beneficiation facility in Canada,” she said. “This required a high level of customisation, not only in the screening media but in the mechanical design.”

Remote mine locations – which are difficult to access for maintenance and replacement purposes – also guide the design parameters. In a recent project, Kwatani innovated by selecting special hard-wearing materials for the construction of the screening equipment. The design included components that would provide early warning of wear.

Embracing a more holistic plant design approach, customers often invite Kwatani to participate in optimising the screening side of their chosen beneficiation technology, van der Walt says. A different screening approach would be taken, for instance, in a dry pre-concentration application than in wet dense medium separation.

“This holistic approach is also facilitating greater synergy between original equipment manufacturers,” she says. “This is a very positive trend, allowing us to consider the impact of different equipment on the performance of each – from mineral processing apparatus to transfer chutes.”

Underpinning Kwatani’s responsiveness to customer’s specific needs is its ongoing research and development.

“Our R&D unit is currently working on projects to suit our designs to novel crushing and grinding technologies, which are changing the whole approach to the process flow of future plants,” van der Walt says. “These are significant innovations for the mining sector, and we are excited to be at the forefront with our evolving screen designs.”

Kwatani is incorporating digital technologies to facilitate remote monitoring and control of its vibrating screens. It is also piloting a service app for mobile phones, which helps operations predict their maintenance needs more accurately. The app also helps to drive down the total cost of ownership by gathering data that can be used in future design improvements.

Kwatani problem solving doubles diamond mine’s screening feed rate

Kwatani says it has helped a South Africa diamond operation double the feed rate of its degrit screen through the use of one of its customised solutions.

The customer was operating several multi-slope screens to dewater product between 0.8 mm and 5 mm in size, before it was treated by dense medium separation (DMS). However, the screens were causing a severe carry-over of water onto the conveyor belt to the DMS, according to the South Africa-based OEM.

“The feed rate on each screen was being limited to about 250 t/h,” Kwatani CEO, Kim Schoepflin, said. “We tackled this by designing and manufacturing a customised multi-slope screening machine to fit the customer’s existing footprint.”

Schoepflin said Kwatani’s replacement was able to double the feed rate to about 500 t/h, with minimal water carry-over.

As a result of the success of this unit, the customer requested Kwatani to replace the whole bank of screens, it said.

In another contract, a customer asked for assistance with underperforming screens that could not deliver the original design parameters. They also wanted to increase the tonnage throughput by 17%, according to the company.

“We conducted a careful evaluation in collaboration with the customer, and came up with an innovative and economical solution,” Schoepflin said. “Simply replacing the existing screens with Kwatani’s new larger screens would have been costly and time consuming, so we decided instead to replace the screen’s existing gearboxes.”

The replacement gearboxes delivered greater vibration, but without exceeding the output torque the existing motors driving the gearboxes could provide.

“Drawing from our portfolio of locally designed and manufactured exciter gearboxes, we were able to implement this solution very quickly,” she said. “The two new exciter gearboxes were delivered to site and were in operation within two weeks – successfully and immediately increasing the screen’s throughput.”

The benefits to the customer did not stop there, according to Schoepflin. The newly optimised operating parameters meant the material bed depth was lower, so the drive motors drew a lower amperage and reduced the cost of power consumed.

“Our customised screening and feeding solutions – developed by our in-house team of experienced mechanical engineers and metallurgists – are based on consultation with each customer,” she explained. “The result is a design that delivers the optimal processing performance and tonnage at the lowest cost of ownership.”