Improving site performance

There are many things affecting aggregates crushing plant performance and therefore profitability. All producers want to get to peak performance, but few have complete visibility on the many ways that can be used to achieve optimal performance. This is where Metso Outotec’s Performance services come into play.
September 1, 2022
By Jukka Salovaara
Metso Outotec

 

One of the root causes of underperformance is the lack of proper process controls, resulting in many crushing plants being manually controlled based on a few crusher KPIs like maintaining Closed Side Setting (CSS) or power draw. As there are no better control possibilities available at the plant, it may not be wrong to operate this way.

However, by understanding the key areas affecting process performance and specific machine application and tweaking them based on site conditions and targets, many operations would have a lot to gain. Some of these areas that should be examined are:

  • Feed arrangements of crushers and screens
  • Feed levels of crushers
  • Surge protection between stations
  • Operating parameters of crushers – Closed Side Settings (CSS), speeds, strokes
  • Crushing chambers – are they fit for purpose?
  • Screen apertures and screening efficiency
  • Operating parameters of screens – strokes, throws

The overall process conditions on any crushing plant change over time, so this tweaking should happen periodically to achieve constant improvement. Causes that call for changes can be external, such as fluctuating feed material properties, and process related, such as changing production targets of certain fractions.

There are a few aspects that generate most of the production related challenges:

  • Reaching production targets
  • Having low yield of the most valuable fractions
  • Low crushing plant operating profit

The list of things to follow and change might seem overwhelming at first, but the good thing is that the target is not a perfect process but relative improvement. It’s possible to reach significant improvement on throughput just by changing the crushing chamber to the optimal one for the application.

Getting more out of the existing equipment

Start by understanding the current situation of the process and setting improvement targets, such as achieving maximum throughput and/or improving yield. There are two logical starting points for improvement:

Jukka Salovaara, Metso Outotec
Article written by Jukka Salovaara, business support manager, aggregates crusher wears, Metso Outotec.

Process performance

  • Sometimes the best place to start is to control and adjust the process for maximum throughput. This can be done by better managing bottlenecks and therefore increasing the entire circuit capacity by better sharing the load between different stages. Examining feed control systems and set-up can also have a major impact on operations.

Asset performance

  • Sometimes priority should be put on individual machine performance. A good example of this is selecting a better performing crushing chamber for a particular crusher. This improves the yield of wanted fractions, resulting in an increase of saleable product.

To further amplify the effect of the above improvement options, it is important to make sure you are acting on correct data, in which remote monitoring solutions play a larger role than we often see at sites. Metso Outotec Metrics remote monitoring system combined with crushing site audits help identify where to start to get to tangible results fast.

Meeting individual, measurable needs

There are many causes of underperformance, and it is important to get a full view before acting. Metso Outotec’s Performance services are designed to meet the individual needs and deliver measurable benefits. A key element of our performance driving solutions is that we can make commercial arrangements so that you only pay for the performance gains you receive. We aim for mutually agreed targets and measurements, and our solution combines products and services with application know how in order to reach the desired targets.

Content produced in association with Metso Outotec

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