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Screen monitoring can boost performance

First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
2008 November December
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Technician using SSP software
SSP smart equipment.JPG cap: SSP makes it possible to monitor a range of operational parameters in real-time, both on site and at the factory

Real-time monitoring of vibrating screen performance could help guarantee reliability, according to Metso Minerals

Performance monitoring software is becoming a common feature on construction equipment but now the benefits may also be seen on vibrating screens. Metso Minerals has joined forces with Metso's Automation division to develop the new technology.

Metso Minerals is offering a sophisticated system that can boost the productivity and reliability of screening plants. The screen security package (SSP) works by tracking the motion of the screen at different locations around the screen in real-time.

The system can also track the performance of the bearings, oil temperature, speed, acceleration, orbits, structure vibration and dynamic natural frequencies. The SSP package includes a sensor system that is connected to an electronic control unit and is intended to prevent overloading, blockages or resonance issues.

Metso vibrating equipment manager Ron Kuehl said, "This new technology and level of accuracy allows us to design and evaluate our vibrating equipment at a whole new level." The system is designed to ensure that screening units run at optimum performance, while monitoring various parameters to prevent faults developing into serious issues. Jeff Leonard, senior vice president of communication at Metso said, "Screens are very important to the minerals separation process and when they stop, there is a problem as it impacts on the whole production process. Overloading can cause failures." The SSP was developed by Metso's US-based mining group in Columbia and also features the Stress Monitoring System, that is patent pending, which uses both the stroke angle and acceleration for evaluation and fine-tuning. It can simultaneously compare both the angles and values of the stroke (in acceleration) in the same spot on each side of the machine. If any anomalies are found, then the system will trigger an alarm so that the operator can make the necessary adjustments.

According to Metso, this type of monitoring system is unique in that it provides instant results to the customer, as well as transmitting the results to the factory service department for evaluation.

The primary benefit to Metso customers using this system will be realised through increased uptime and a longer time between failures. Also because the system can globally transmit machine statistics to any authorised person, it will be possible to suggest improvements, identify wear, predict failures and assist with evaluating warranty claims.

Remotely monitoring the screen readings will improve Metso's response time, lower the operating expenses associated with Metso vibrating equipment, and provide more input to clients on what is happening at the site.

All types of vibrating equipment can be monitored with the SSP. Customer-specific alarms can be set for almost all of the input signals. These alarms can be communicated via e-mail alerts, sirens or flashing lights. Alternatively, the alarm can be tied into an existing PLC or computer system designed to monitor the whole plant.

Another advantage with the SSP is that customers will be able to see their machines run in Metso's factory during the manufacturing test. This technology will also allow the manufacturing team to qualify the machines using the range coordinates for the specific machine established by engineering.

Leonard said, "It's the catastrophic failures that we hope to eliminate and it's completely retrofittable to existing screens. If the operator can monitor the frequency of the screen, we can make it more reliable."

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