With the global economic slowdown starting to bite, there are signs that mining companies are shifting their focus from a priority on tonnage out the door to improving productivity, quality and processing efficiency. This certainly appears to be the case, based on the large orders for Online Moisture Analysers that Callidan Instruments has experienced in the last 6 months.
One area where significant productivity gains can be realized is through better analysis and control of moisture. In practically every beneficiation process moisture in the material, either too little, or too much, is an issue. A lack of knowledge of moisture can result in poor plant operating decisions costing valuable time and money. Typical problems include clogging of machinery, incorrect dosing or dispersing of moisture, plant down-time, increased reject material, product non-conformance, down-graded product, product payment penalties, decreased yield and volume production anomalies.
The starting point for successful moisture control in any process is having accurate, dependable moisture analysis capability. With this, plant and quality controllers will be able to make better decisions resulting in better outcomes.
Moisture management specialist Callidan Instruments has experienced unprecedented orders in the last six months which they put down to a re-focus on processing optimization to improve profitability.
Examples of recent applications include:
A major coking plant in India recently ordered a MoistScan to control the amount of moisture in the feed coal to the charging and stamping station at strict percentage. By doing this, the company can optimize the coke oven residence time, therefore increasing output.
A major iron ore producer in South America recently installed 3 MoistScan units to better control the operation of vertical disc filters. By knowing the moisture in real time the vacuum pressure to the filters can be adjusted so as to achieve the target moisture required in the filter cake. This ultimately results in energy savings and improved saleable yield.
A fertilizer company in Northern America recently applied MoistScan® technology to measure the moisture online in phosphate fertilizer. This product is bagged and sold by weight according to a tight maximum moisture specification. Now that the moisture in the fertilizer is measured in real time, upstream processed a controlled to ensure that the moisture in the bagged fertilizer is “on-spec” thus increasing saleable yield.
A Nickel refinery in Australasia recently purchased multiple MoistScan® units to monitor the moisture in the feed product to the calciners. With this information they are adjusting the residence time in the calciners to achieve optimum moisture.
These are but a few examples of where different industries are using MoistScan® to make a real difference to their bottom line.