Tag Archives: nextSTEP

FLSmidth to take on productivity improvement challenge at Middle East phosphate op

FLSmidth says it has been chosen as the technical partner and the supplier of key equipment for the productivity improvement project at a phosphate beneficiation plant in the Middle East.

The order, valued at approximately DKK200 million ($32 million), was booked in March. It will focus on improving the overall plant production through improved plant availability and throughput, according to the company. The operation will also achieve an associated reduction in water consumption resulting from a modified desliming circuit, FLSmidth added.

The agreement includes the engineering and procurement of all equipment associated with the productivity improvement projects, including crushing, material handling and desliming circuits.

Mikko Keto, Mining President at FLSmidth, said: “Boosting customer productivity is a key objective and this combination of equipment and know-how will enable us to deliver this to the customer. As the full technology and engineering partner, we will not only supply the complete range of process-critical equipment but we can also support its integration across the project, ensuring maximised productivity improvement.”

FLSmidth is to deliver engineering, procurement and technical support services and supply all tagged equipment associated with the remedial projects at the site. This encompasses additional capacity in the fine ore circuit; a new cone crushing station; a new desliming circuit; a new concentrate bypass circuit; and optimisation of the existing flotation circuit, including installation of nextSTEP™ flotation technology.

FLSmidth takes nextSTEP in flotation technology at South Africa platinum mine

FLSmidth’s innovative nextSTEP™ rotor and stator flotation technology has proven itself at a large platinum mine in South Africa, the mineral processing company says.

According to Ricus van Reenen, Regional Product Line Manager – Separation at FLSmidth, the nextSTEP rotor and stator combination has been at work for over a year at the mine, achieving positive results.

“The customer has achieved significantly lower power consumption on the full-scale retrofits we installed early in 2018,” van Reenen says. “The more efficient design allows the same or higher slurry circulation at reduced rotor speed, leading to lower power draw.”

The retrofits have been applied to both primary and secondary flotation applications, where energy savings of over 10% have been achieved, according to FLSmidth.

Years of research and development have been invested in the nextSTEP technology, which was originally launched in 2015, the company says. Among the key design elements are the addition of slots to the stator, adjustments in the rotor profile and a parallel distance between the rotor and stator.

“Energy dissipation is now more uniform than in traditional forced-air designs,” van Reenen says. “This means a more even wear pattern across the rotor and stator, and therefore longer intervals between maintenance.”

In the South Africa installations, the wear on the rotors and stators has been minimal after more than a year’s operation, the company says. In one flotation cell, the equipment has been operational for 15 months. The thickness of the rotor has reduced from 65 mm to only 60 mm, and the stator from 75 mm to 70 mm. After 13 months of operation in the second installation, the wear is even less, with the rotor’s thickness having reduced from 65 mm to 63 mm and the stator going from 75 mm to 73 mm.

van Reenen highlighted that there have been other benefits experienced by South Africa users of the new technology. Among these has been 16-18% less blower air usage, with more concentrated bubble formation.

“Better turbulence energy dissipation around the rotor and stator region, with its related finer bubble size distribution, creates more surface area for bubble-particle attachment,” van Reenen says. “This has delivered more froth and a higher mass pull on our local units.”

The success of the nextSTEP technology has led to further retrofits being planned in South Africa, in line with FLSmidth’s drive to promote mines’ productivity and performance. Van Reenen says the intensive R&D process continues apace and is not just in the rotor and stator design but also includes areas such as smart control systems and continued digitalisation of process solutions.