Dwindling commodity prices are forcing today's mining operations to increase output. Sometimes the solution is to upgrade the existing infrastructure; however, in most cases it has to be achieved with the same or reduced workforce and with the same equipment capacity through improved process efficiency and higher uptime.
Measure, Manage and Improveis the mantra for this years' Mill Operators' Conference and while this in most cases relates to the above process efficiency, Siemens has set its focus on the availability and uptime aspect since unscheduled downtime is one of the biggest threats to any grinding operation.
Pinion misalignments, resonance, unbalance and bearing and gear meshing faults in geared trains, as well as long-term changes in the condition of the mechanical components or structures and auxiliary systems in gearless systems are the main reasons for unscheduled downtimes in today's mill drive trains.
Our paper outlines the efforts that have gone into adapting conventional condition monitoring methods in conventional, pinion driven mill drive trains as well as gearless systems to capture the gradual deterioration of wearing parts or structural changes in the drive train not only on fixed speed application but also on variable speed applications with multiple operating points.
The paper further explores the use of condition monitoring systems as a tool to assess spare thermal motor capacity to potentially push equipment beyond its nameplate rating, along with the process that was followed to correlate measured frequency spectra and envelopes to ambient and load data to understand the kinematics of the drive train.
Neurohr, M, Stratton, S and Roesch, T, 2016. Advancements in Condition Monitoring on Mill Drive Trains for Proactive Maintenance and Early Fault Detection Purposes, in Proceedings 13th AusIMM Mill Operators' Conference 2016, pp 263–272 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).