Germany 2019

Best of Germany 2014 - Mining Equipment and Mining Technology

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VDMA 10 VDMA MINING SUPPLEMENT • 2019 developing the company's largest subsidiary. These subsidiaries handle not only sales and service, they are stand-alone companies with engineering and support services, Wirtz explained. As an exam- ple, when it comes to the exchange of technical mining-related in- formation, the Australian subsidiary takes the lead. "They have been growing so fast and they have a wealth of experience," Wirtz said. In addition to investing abroad, JOEST has been investing at home, too. In fact, during the past few years, they have invested more than 10 million euros in the facilities at its headquarters in Dülmen, Germany. They now have a total of 80,000 m 2 with 65,000 m 2 under roof. "With the exception of some carefully selected weld- ing contractors, all of the work, including end-assembly and test- ing, is done in-house here at this location," Wirtz said. JOEST has grown at a time when many companies have strug- gled with soft economic conditions. Wirtz credited the company's success to its people and the investment it has made to understand a customer's needs. "The people selling our products to the mining business have been hired from the mining industry," Wirtz said. "They know what they are talking about." JOEST also has a research and development team in Dülmen look- ing at different new developments. "If we decide to go a completely new route, they develop a prototype here," Wirtz said. "However, it's not always new machines. We also look at improvements for existing ap- plications. A lot of those decisions are driven by the projects and the customers. We design a lot of custom projects for the mining business." Large mining screens are a prime example. At the end of Jan- uary, following extensive design effort using JOEST Australia's fi- nite element analysis (FEA) methods, JOEST began building a sin- gle-deck screen 4.88 m (16 ft) wide, 9.76 m (32 ft) long with a screening area of 47 m 2 (512 ft 2 ). Weighing 36 metric tons, it will be installed in a Pilbara iron ore process plant in July. "To date, this will be the widest screen built by a company in the JOEST Group, and the design has been based on successful developments over the years to meet the demands for larger machines in the mining industry," Wirtz said. "We decided to do it when a lot of other people were simply looking at it. We immediately embarked on a plan to execute. We considered several approaches. Knowing that a 1-ft increase in width could seriously alter the stress moments and increase the risk for machine failure. The customer insisted on 5 m and, using the FEA, we designed a system that we believe will perform well." Beyond iron ore, JOEST is also working with gold and copper miners and it has developed equipment specifically for lithium and they believe they are the front-runners in this area as well. "We have been working with a number of the large mining houses for 20 years now," Wirtz said. "Successful suppliers in these cases are pre-qual- ified. This is a status that has to be earned for the mining sector." Looking toward the future, Wirtz explained that research and de- velopment is essential. "That is why we work together with various universities, for example with the Technical University of Aachen, the University of Applied Sciences of Muenster and TU Bergakade- mie Freiberg-University of Resources," Wirtz said. "We are looking at new technology such as flame-cutting machines with integrated machining centers. We also use welding robots to achieve productivity at a consistently high level of quality. As the world leader in vibration technology with manufacturing facilities on every continent, quality is our top priority, no matter where in the world customers buy from us. Therefore, we continue to focus on Germany and plan further expan- sions, especially for quality-critical parts and components." Filter Press Technology In the mining business in general and tailings treatment in particu- lar, clogged filter cloths can be a significant factor in terms of both costs and time, especially since scheduling of replacements has always been an imprecise science. Now ANDRITZ, a global leader in solid/liquid separation solutions, has developed the Metris Smart- FILTERCLOTH that employs a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system to track its use and replacement. This increased transparency for filter cloth use will help op- timize the process and the equipment's availability. The system consists of an RFID chip that is tagged to each cloth along with a user-friendly software package. The machine operator can track the use of and document any damage to the cloths digitally on a tablet. The system enhances filter-press performance by monitoring filter cloth life precisely and recording any damage for trouble- shooting purposes. What's more, operators can even read the RFID chip during the filtration process. It can be used with all makes and models of filter press, disc filter and drum filter. The first tests were conducted in South America. "Since we started using the new RFID-enabled filter cloths a few months ago, we have collected a lot of data," said Davidson Vale, service product manager filter presses for ANDRITZ. "This means that we know much more about the process than ever before, and the data analytics and software are helping us transform this knowledge into concrete improvements. For example, it enables us to schedule replacements ahead of time based on current production demands. We have also been able to make some tweaks to the equipment's parameters to make the cloths themselves last longer, which obviously cuts down on costs. We are pretty confident that the efficiency benefits will offset the cost of this technology." Predictive maintenance facilitates optimized planning and maximized up-time, leading to higher machine availability with better performance. Additional smart sensors all around the filter Dr. Marcus Wirtz, managing director, JOEST.

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