The mining industry continuously strives to increase output by improving process efficiency and reducing wastage thereby demanding the adoption of the required measurement and automation solutions.
This driving need has encouraged Endress + Hauser Australia to develop a unique working demonstration rig for the mining industry, aptly named ‘Mine Model on Wheels’. This transportable rig, a world first, allows plant operators and process engineers to model and optimise complex wet processes such as flotation cells and thickeners.
Engineers can also develop, first hand, an understanding of the sophisticated instruments, automation strategies and plant asset management techniques used in the mining sector. Starting early , the set-up will be taken to major mining hubs and sites across the country giving process engineers, instrument technicians and plant operators the opportunity to enjoy a hands-on experience with the rig.
The ‘Mine Model on Wheels’ incorporates most of the instruments used in a typical mining process plant and as the processes run, the engineers can analyse their impact on the field instruments. Being fully functional, users are able to evaluate the advantages and limitations of different instrument solutions for each application.
A leading metallurgist from the mining industry provided Endress+Hauser with crucial industry knowledge thereby ensuring the development of a rig that offers practical solutions. Two common key processes in refining mineral ores are flotation cells and thickeners.
The flotation cell physically separates fine grained solids in an aqueous suspension using air bubbles and flocculants. Endress+Hauser’s rig incorporates several control loops including level control, interface measurement, density, pH control, mass flow and dosing. Thickening increases the concentration of a suspension by sedimentation. The parameters measured here include slurry density, bed level height, underflow density and dosage of the thickener.
After touring various regions across Australia, the rig will travel overseas where it has already generated a lot of interest.