Tag Archives: Master Magnets

Master Magnets Disc Magnetic Separator gets to work on Nigeria coltan project

Master Magnets has manufactured and despatched a Disc Magnetic Separator to Nigeria for use in the processing of coltan.

The magnetic separator is used in a process to extract primarily tantalum from coltan, which is a combination of columbite and tantalite.

For this new project, tests were undertaken in the Master Magnet test facility in Redditch, England. The tests confirmed the level of separation, capacity and the magnetic separator configuration.

Once completed, the samples were returned to the client in Nigeria for analysis. On receiving confirmation the separation matched their processing requirements, an order was placed.

The origins of the Disc Magnetic Separator date back to the early 1900s. Although manufacturing techniques have significantly changed and more advanced machines have been incorporated, the basic function design remains virtually the same. The separator is widely used to ensure an accurate separation of dry minerals that have varied magnetic susceptibilities.

Typically, a Disc Magnetic Separator features up to three high-intensity electromagnetic discs, each set at a different height from a feed conveyor:

  •  Disc one – this will be set the furthest from the feed material. The objective is to extract only the most magnetically susceptible particles;
  • Discs two and three – the second and third discs are set at lower gaps. This increases the magnetic force at each disc and enables the separation of different grades of magnetic material.

The magnetic intensity can be further adjusted by varying the current of each coil. This allows each disc separator to be designed and set-up for an individual mineral ore.

For this latest project, the test work recommended a model MDS3-375 Disc Magnetic Separator. This featured three high-intensity electromagnetic discs, (with six electromagnetic coils) each set at a different height from a 380 mm wide feed conveyor.

The tests had determined the MDS3-375 Disc Magnetic Separator could process between 500 kg/h and 600 kg/h.

Master Magnets says it is one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of magnetic separators for the mineral processing sector. The company’s manufacturing and test facilities are based in Redditch, UK.

Over several decades, it has developed an extensive portfolio of high intensity magnetic separator for purifying and concentrating minerals. Laboratory-sized versions of many of the designs are found in their Technical Test Facility.

Master Magnets reflects on 40 years and looks to the future

Master Magnets celebrates its 40th anniversary this month and, in that time, the Birmingham-based magnetic separator and metal detector manufacturer has developed a reputation as a leader in the recycling, mining and mineral processing industrial sectors.

Since January 2017, the Master Magnets brand has been owned by Bunting Magnetics, a leading supplier of magnet-related technology. The European manufacturing headquarters are based in Berkhamsted, in Hertfordshire, UK, and it has an extensive overseas network of distributors and marketing agents.

Master Magnets was founded in 1978 by Geoff Worley, a qualified engineer with 15 years experience in the magnetics industry. The company grew steadily throughout the 1980s despite economic challenges and was “perfectly positioned for the increased demand in the early 1990s,” the company says.

At that time, there was high levels of investment in the UK coal industry and globally located mineral processing projects.

“Using his considered knowledge, Geoff and his team of engineers developed a range of magnetic separators specifically for those key industries. For the coal and mining industries, they developed large Electro Suspension Magnets which would be suspended over conveyors to remove large tramp metal such as pit props and bars.

“The drive in mineral processing was for higher purity non-metallic minerals. The team designed the Induced Roll Magnetic Separator and established a laboratory where clients could test materials,” Master Magnets said.

As demand increased, the company expanded and made investments in new manufacturing technology including heavy-winding gear for ever-larger Electro Suspension Magnets. A bespoke super-strength magnetiser, weighing over 14 t, was also acquired, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

The Master Magnets brand became globally recognisable as exports increased. In 2003, Master Magnets acquired the company Integrated Recycling Systems and relocated to Redditch. Further acquisition took place in 2005 with the purchase of the Metal Detection business. This further expanded its manufacturing portfolio.

Master Magnets continued to evolve and expand. Worley took partial retirement and handed the reigns of the business to Adrian Coleman. Coleman had started his career at Master Magnets in 1984 as an apprentice and witnessed the evolution of the company.

Coleman said: “Master Magnets gave me the opportunity to develop my engineering career. In 1988, they supported me through a four year Mechanical Engineering course at Birmingham University. This gave me the necessary engineering skills to join the design office. As the company grew, I took up the position of Production Manager, before becoming Managing Director in 2008.”

In 2017, Worley agreed to sell the Master Magnets business to Bunting Magnetics.

“He foresaw the investment needed to maintain Master Magnets’ reputation as a global leader and identified Bunting as the ideal partner. Coleman was appointed as the General Manager, an important step that ensured business continuity,” Master Magnets said.

Simon Ayling, Bunting Magnetics Europe’s Managing Director, said: “Master Magnets has developed a long-standing strong identity and reputation as a leader in metal separation technology. The acquisition means that we can invest in their manufacturing facility in Birmingham and in the development of new separation technology.

“When Geoff [Worley] founded the company, his aim was to produce well-engineered equipment to solve metal contamination and separation problems. That challenge has been passed onto us and we are excited by the future.”