Tag Archives: Mining IoT

Rajant Corp furthers Eastern Europe, CIS ambitions with CompTek pact

Rajant Corp, the provider of Kinetic Mesh® wireless networks, is expanding further into Eastern Europe and the CIS with a strategic distribution agreement with Russia’s CompTek.

The Russia-based reseller of network and telecommunication equipment will help support machine-to-machine connectivity and mobility in markets like open-pit mining, underground mining, indoor warehousing, ports, and other industrial markets, Rajant said.

Marcin Kusztal, Sales Director Eastern Europe and CIS for Rajant, said: “Russia has a vast, high tech economy and CompTek is keenly focused on providing their channel partners with value-added solutions within their portfolio to support emerging IIoT networking demands.

“Rajant’s unique ability to hold many connections over multiple frequencies and overcome obstructions in the hardest-to-network areas was missing from CompTek’s offerings. With Rajant, CompTek has what their telecom operators, systems integrators, application developers, and resellers in more than 100 cities in Russia and the CIS have been looking for, creating favourable conditions for its partners’ business development.”

Nikita Ivanov, Comptek’s Head of Sales, added: “We believe Rajant is the most valuable solution for clients in different verticals and markets.

“Industrial wireless networks are needed more than ever. As companies try to digitalise most processes to evolve their overall productivity, Rajant solutions are vital for them. We are happy to be partnered with Rajant.”

Back in August 2019, Rajant announced it was expanding its global presence to include Eastern Europe and the CIS, with its first strategy targeting the mining market in Russia and CIS, and its second approach looking at developed countries (Germany, Switzerland and part of Eastern Europe) where investment in developing advanced technologies was a high priority.

Weir Minerals strives for unmatched hydrocyclone performance with release of Cavex 2

Almost 25 years after the original Cavex® hydrocyclone came into the classification market, Cavex 2 is set to introduce a step-change in performance and sustainability, with water and energy savings, according to Weir Minerals.

The launch of Cavex 2 marks a new generation of hydrocyclones, Weir says. Like the original Cavex hydrocyclones did more than two decades ago, Cavex 2 introduces new geometric features to offer performance unmatched by any cyclone in operation today, the company claims.

Debra Switzer, Global Product Manager for Hydrocyclones at Weir Minerals, said: “Our Cavex 1 design set an industry benchmark over two decades ago with its unique 360° laminar spiral inlet geometry, which significantly reduced turbulence. This design was so successful and desired by the market that it was widely replicated by competitors.

“Following years of research, development and trials, we have improved upon this design with the creation of LIG+™ inlet and chamber design. This unique design produces a more stabilised flow pattern, further reduces turbulences and friction throughout the hydrocyclone and provides up to 30% additional capacity.”

The advanced LIG+ design (patent pending) enables the Cavex 2 hydrocyclones to classify up to 30% more feed slurry, while occupying the same footprint as competitor hydrocyclones, according to Weir. This allows operators to achieve more throughput with fewer operating hydrocyclones, reducing the upfront capital expenditure.

The new design has taken into consideration the shape and angle of the hydrocyclone to ensure particles report to the correct stream, Weir says. This reduces recirculation and misclassification, further improving separation efficiency.

“Cavex 2 allows our customers to do more,” Switzer says. “A more sustainable circuit, with lower energy and water requirements. Expand the capacity of their existing circuits, without increasing the footprint of the cyclones or clusters. It’s the kind of generational engineering leap that will change the way circuits are designed for decades to come.”

Cavex 2 takes advantage of Weir Minerals’ Synertrex® IIoT technology, which enhances the overall performance of the hydrocyclone. Armed with this technology, operators are automatically alerted to roping or blockage conditions ahead of time, ensuring the hydrocyclone runs under the most optimal operating conditions.

“To minimise the amount of bypass that is produced in any hydrocyclone, it is favourable for it to operate in the semi-roping condition,” Switzer said. “This is often difficult to do continuously because any upset in the hydrocyclone’s feed conditions could move it into the roping condition, but, with Synertrex, this balancing act can be closely managed.”

Cavex 2 hydrocyclones can be customised to suit almost any application, according to Weir, with a variety of spigots, vortex finders and liners. Liners are available in a range of material options, including Weir Minerals’ proprietary R55® rubber compound or Linatex® premium rubber, both of which have been proven to outlast competitors elastomers in similar applications, Weir says. Liners can be replaced via a ‘snap-in’ system requiring zero adhesive, while smaller models (400CVD and below) are available with moulded fibreglass housings, the company says.

Switzer concluded: “Every stage of the Cavex 2’s design has been guided by the needs of our customers. As a consequence, it has been tested in multiple mining applications throughout the globe. These tests revealed outstanding results of up to 30% additional capacity.

“Decreasing ore grades and increasing need to reduce both water and energy usage have created the need for a low maintenance, highly efficient hydrocyclone, which can be readily retrofitted into existing circuits to increase throughput and maximise returns.

“I can’t wait for our customers to see what this new range is capable of.”

TOMRA connects ore sorters to the cloud with TOMRA Insight

After a successful launch in its recycling division, TOMRA is rolling out its cloud-based data platform, TOMRA Insight, to mining customers.

TOMRA Insight enables sorting machine users to improve operational efficiencies through a subscription-based service that turns these machines into connected devices for the generation of valuable process data.

Following a successful launch last year by TOMRA Sorting Recycling, TOMRA is now also being made available to customers of TOMRA Mining and TOMRA Food. For all three industries, the platform is enhanced by new features and functionalities that make TOMRA Insight even more valuable than when it was launched to recyclers in March 2019.

The data from TOMRA Insight is gathered in near real time, stored securely in the cloud, and can be accessed from anywhere and across plants via a web portal available for desktop and mobile devices, according to the company.

Felix Flemming, Vice President and Head of Digital at TOMRA Sorting, said: “By capturing and using valuable data, TOMRA Insight is transforming sorting from an operational process into a strategic management tool. This tool is constantly becoming more powerful as we continuously develop it in response to customers’ needs and priorities. New functionalities and features are released every three weeks – a routine during which TOMRA works closely with customers in pursuit of shared objectives.”

Data captured by TOMRA Insight provides valuable performance metrics that help businesses optimise machine performance.

Operating costs are reduced by simplifying spare part ordering and offering flexible access to data and documentation, according to the company. Downtime is reduced by monitoring machine health and performance in near real time, identifying gaps in production and analysing potential root causes. This allows management to move to predictive and condition-based maintenance, preventing unscheduled machine shutdowns.

Throughput, meanwhile, is maximised by evaluating variations and optimising sorting equipment, accordingly. Sorting to target quality is enhanced by having accurate material composition data to enable decisions to be based on more detailed information.

For the mining and mineral processing industries, TOMRA Insight’s ability to collect detailed data from TOMRA’s sorting machines means that previously hidden information can lead to improvements in efficiencies and profitability.

Data captured by TOMRA Insight is analysed on behalf of customers by TOMRA Mining engineers, and key findings shared in confidential reports supplied to customers on a monthly basis. This arrangement has the advantage of combining objective statistical analysis with the interpretive skills of a service team familiar with the customer’s unique challenges, TOMRA says.

“TOMRA Insight’s data-gathering helps mineral processors in near real time and in retrospect,” the company said. “Machine operators are empowered to take prompt action in response to changes in material composition on the line and managers are empowered to make operational and business decisions based on more complete information.”

Comparisons between multiple sites or lines can now be made more accurately and difficult-to-reach processing operations can be remotely monitored from more convenient locations, the company said. This functionality is especially useful in the face of widespread travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

One early, pre-launch user of TOMRA Insight is the Black chrome mine in South Africa (pictured above), one of two mining projects that form the basis of the Sail Group’s plans for long-term sustainable chrome production. Since TOMRA Insight was connected to sorting machines here at the start of 2020, the data platform has convincingly proven its effectiveness, TOMRA said. Among the gains made so far are improvements in process monitoring and streamlining, more efficient line-feeding and machine running times, and reduced downtime.

Albert du Preez, Senior Vice President and Head of TOMRA Mining, said: “By accessing information, TOMRA Insight is unlocking new opportunities. Mineral processors can now move from making decisions based on experience and local observations to decisions based on experience and hard facts. This means TOMRA Insight can help reduce waste rock and downstream processing costs, enabling processors to earn more dollars per tonne.”

To build on these benefits, TOMRA Mining is working closely with customers to continuously develop TOMRA Insight. The future will bring the addition of more features and functionalities, which customers will automatically receive as part of their Service Level Agreement.

Minemax bridges the strategic mine planning and metallurgy divide

Minemax has released Minemax Scheduler 7.0.1 to, it says, help strategic mine planners model mineral processing more accurately.

“Mining companies have had an ongoing need to integrate strategic mine planning with other parts of the business to create realistic high-value mine plans,” the company says. “Recently, Minemax has introduced Minemax Scheduler 7 with Financial Constraints that brings mine planning and finance together into one single platform.”

Scheduler version 7.0.1 is taking another leap forward by addressing the gap between strategic mine planning and metallurgy, Minemax says.

In metal production, the throughput and metal recovery of a processing plant is dependent upon the blend of rock types and grades. Up until now, it has been difficult, if not impossible, to model this with strategic mine planning tools, Minemax says. With Minemax Scheduler 7.0.1, mine planners are now able to model this relationship more accurately, and therefore, develop more reliable strategic mine plans, according to the company.

In addition, Minemax Scheduler 7.0.1 features new Capex functionality that allows mine planners to easily model specific requirements for capital expenditure decisions.

“Firstly, mine planners can now easily determine the optimal time to start a new mining area, associated with capital expenditure such as ground works, infrastructure or road development,” the company said. “This is now modelled in software explicitly in the ‘capital expenditure’ menu without any tedious workaround required. With this framework, it’s just a matter of adding new capital expenditure options and selecting the pit or pits associated with the mining expansion.

“The same steps can be used for starting new dumps. Once the capex set up is done, Minemax Scheduler simultaneously optimises mine schedules with multiple capex decisions to find the optimal solution.”

Secondly, there is often a limit on the number of new trucks purchased per period due to delivery and installation restrictions. Minemax Scheduler 7.0.1 allows mine planners to specify the maximum number of capex instances per period. This is a new addition to the existing Capex functionality, restricting the total number of instances for the entire schedule, the company says.

All maintained and subscribed users can now download Minemax Scheduler 7.0.1 through the Minemax Software Manager and benefit from these new enhancements, the company says.

Matrix to bring Maestro’s Plexus PowerNet to US mining market

Matrix Design Group is to introduce Maestro Digital Mine’s Plexus PowerNet™ networking system to the US market following the signing of a distribution agreement between the two companies.

Plexus PowerNet, the first coaxial-based gigabit network, provides both data and power over a single cable, according to Canada-based Maestro. The system delivers a high-speed, low-latency digital communication network that provides PoE+ power to Access Points, cameras and any other IP-based devices, it says.

The Plexus PowerNet coaxial cable carries both power and network connectivity, eliminating the need to run both fibre and power to new network devices. The system can also extend a fibre-optic-based system from the fibre patch panel at any level as needed. Plexus PowerNet eliminates the need for costly outside fibre-optic contractors and can be installed and maintained by any mine personnel, Maestro says.

Chris Adkins, Sales/Business Development, Matrix Design Group, said: “For a mining application, Maestro gives mines the ability to have high-speed data and power without the technical and time constraints of running a fibre network to the face of the mine. Of course, the maintenance requirements of fibre are complex, but Maestro has reinvented the high-speed data network, allowing delivery of real-time data and power combined into one durable coaxial cable that’s easy to install, maintain and repair.”

The Plexus PowerNet is a backbone network system that can be used in mines with or without a fibre-optic network, Maestro says.

“Supporting existing underground infrastructure, Plexus provides network connectivity to new and existing IIoT devices and automation technologies,” the company said. “It enables the digital mine and connected worker for: autonomous and tele-remote vehicles; telemetry to drills, loaders and support equipment; support for short interval control and connectivity to tablet and smart devices; IoT sensors, such as environmental and seismicity; Voice over IP; augmented reality; asset tracking; PoE+ based IP cameras and PoE+ LED lights for paste fill; and PLC connectivity. Plexus is an enabling technology for the digital mine.”

Michael Gribbons, Co-founder and CEO, Maestro Digital Mine, stated: “The collaboration with Matrix Design Group is an essential part of expanding our reach into the US market with a team that understands the value of our digital network solution and how it aligns with the mines in the area. Bringing digital solutions, such as the Plexus PowerNet, online enables worker safety, increased production and reduced costs; all of which are vital to Maestro and Matrix.”

New leadership at remote optimisation consulting company

Orway IQ has named former Sibanye-Stillwater employee Marnu Lombaard as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Lombaard, who was named company chief with effect from May, takes over from Fred Kock who filled the role temporarily during the establishment phase of the business development, the company said. Kock remains a Director and Technical Consultant within the business.

Lombaard joins the company from Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold segment where he held the position of Vice President Metallurgy and Surface operations.

“Marnu brings to the position a wealth of knowledge and an array of experiences in the mining industry on a national and global level,” Orway said. “His expertise in technology, global strategy and leadership combined with his strong operational experience in the mining industry, make him ideally suited to accelerate our remote optimisation consulting solution (MillROC) to the mineral processing industry.”

MillROC, a joint venture project between Orway Mineral Consultants and Process IQ, is focused on delivering a remote optimisation consulting service for the mineral processing industry. The cloud-based system is initially focusing on comminution circuits.

“The Orway IQ Board feels Marnu’s vision for our company leverages our strong digital foundations, embraces an innovation mindset, builds on our customer-centric culture and invests in the capability of our people,” the company said.