Crusher manufacturers are placing products with improved features for higher productivity coupled with low operating costs for the aggregate industry. Significant improvements done in the product line in this regard includes, adding automated features in the machines, dovetailed by making the equipment rugged for higher productivity and lower maintenance. While new products placement are being made to suit the customized demand requirement. P.P Basistha finds out the details.
Higher Productivity & Low Operating Costs—the Key
To minimize manual operations in its crushers, Taurian Engineering would equip its crushers with a dedicated software in the control panel. The software will enable the plant operator to monitor the productivity of the machines from a remote distance through a dedicated satellite, without deploying additional manpower at the site. According to Mr. Shankarnarayan, Vice-President Operations, Taurian Engineering, “the dearth of high skilled operating manpower has led us to develop the dedicated software to the benefit of the aggregate industry.” He informs, “the bigger benefit of the software is that it would allow the operator to undertake preventive maintenance of the equipment, if necessary, led by the advantage of monitoring the working of the plant.”
The software will also enable Taurian provide repair solutions for the machines from its factory plant at Roorkee. Taurian is looking to launch the machines incorporated with the advanced feature by the end of 2009.
Mr. Shankarnarayan adds, “Taurian crushers derive their competitive advantage based on their automated control systems. The automated control systems allow smoother operation and consistency of output.” For enabling the crushers to provide better output Taurian has entered into a collaboration with US based Astec to manufacture hydraulics. Taurian also boasts of making its crushers fuel efficient in terms of its lubricants consumption. The crushers claim to consume 68 litres of lubricants as compared to 300 litres consumed by other crushers.
Taurian manufactures crushers and screening plant with a capacity range from 350TPH to 500TPH. The company plans to launch new track mounted crushers with a capacity range of 200-500TPH in due course.
Necessary automation has also been put in place by Terex Finlay’s in its crushers to minimise operating costs while ensuring high productivity. According to Terex Finlay, the company’s J1160 Jaw crusher has an advanced PLC control/monitoring systems that facilitates an automatic start/stop sequence which makes the machine more user–friendly resultantly reducing operator’s error. The hydrostatic system also provides precise control of the chamber ensuring that the operator can vary the speed of the jaw which results in increasing the throughput. The hydrostatic transmission also enables the operator to use the reverse function to clear chamber should a blockage occur.
In order to make its machines suited to the Indian operating conditions, Terex Finlay’s cone crusher comes with a unique option of pre-screen which screens out the minus size of the material prior to entering the cone chamber thereby reducing the amount of fines generation which is required by good number of mining customers.
Terex Finlay has made certain technological advancements in its machines for easier maintenance. The cone crushers of the company are driven through hydraulic drive which provides better protection and ability to start cone under load. It does not require v-belts or expensive clutch system, thus reducing the costs of maintenance and down time.
The use of pre–screens on the cone crushers also reduces the amount of wear and tear on the cone lines, thereby reducing the down time.
Terex Finlay, which manufactures crushers and screens, also offers wide range of solutions for iron-ore washing. The company has recently launched the C1540 RS Cone Crusher with on board screener. The machine has an option of having a prescreen, beneficial for the mining industry. The machine will be at display at the IMME 2008 show at Kolkata.
Software incorporated machines for efficient productivity is also offered by Southern based crusher manufacturer, Proman. Proman’s crushers come with a smart box. In the smart box diagnostic data of the machines can be stored. This serves to be useful diagnostic tool for preventive maintenance of the crushers. The smart box can be accessed from the web and details of the information in the box can be stored in the computer.
Proman has recently launched the Ortner washing machine with hydroclone for washing sand. The combination of the crushers, according to Proman, with the machine consumes, 1/3rd of water and 1/6thof power over traditional spiral classifier or bucket wheel.
The other modifications made, for longer life of the machines includes, heavy duty frame, large diameter integral shaft assembly, main shaft position controller, easy adjustment of back lash, top frame rotation system and better dust seal. According to Mr. Purohit, “Metso’s computer designed crushing chambers helps in providing optimum chamber profile for uniform product upgradation, better distribution of wear resulting in few linear changes, for increased availability of the machines and improved efficiency.
Further as per Mr. Purohit, “for easier maintenance of the machines Metso’s new series MP crushers are the latest series of secondary and primary crushers which have higher availability. The machines have uniform production and are easier to operate. This crusher produces higher crushing force among similar crushers available in the industry. As per Metso, the MP crushers are an upgraded version of old Symons cone crushers.
The MP crushers are equipped with rotating bowl which compensates for uneven federates and allows crushers to operate in non-choke feed conditions. Hydraulic motor and gear drive arrangements provide finer control of setting. The settings can be adjusted while the machines are in loading conditions. Automated hydraulic tram release systems passes uncrushed material instantaneously. Release system maintenance the crushing force and automatically returns the crushers to its production setting after tramp occurrence. Hydraulic rotating bowl provides additional cavity clearing.
Metso has assorted product line to meet the customized demand requirements of the industry. For lighter duty high performance crushers are offered. The HP crushers are high speed, optimized eccentricity and cavity profile. The HP crushers are provided with hydraulic setting adjustments to optimize the crushing operations. The machine can be provided with different type of cavity to suit the machine.
For quaternary crushing, Metso offers rock on rock barmac for specific applications where reduction ratio is low. For smaller tonnages, Metso offers LT series track mounted crushing and screening plants and NW series wheel mounted crushing and screening plants, to the specific needs of the industry with easy maintenance features.
Further, according to Mr. Purohit, “to suit the demand requirements of the Indian industry Metso’s machines are being customized to suit the Indian mining conditions, with varied degree of automation to achieve better machine availability allowing crusher operation at maximum capacity.” He mentions, “one of the greatest challenges for the operator is to control the plant operation with varied feed granulometry, shape, color as well as other rock properties. The application can be expanded to multi–camera unit to control the complete communication circuit i.e crusher, SAG/ ball mill circuit.”
In order to meet the high demand requirements of the Indian market, Terex Pegson and Power Screen are opening a manufacturing plant in Hosur on 45 acre site, near Bangalore. The plant will be Terex’s first production facility in India.
The Indian plant is expected to start assembly operations in mid 2009 with additional manufacturing processes to be added over long term. As per Mr. Khoda, Terex’s factories at Coalville and Dungannon in UK will continue to build machines for other emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, Russia, Brazil, and rest of the world.
Not to be left behind, Sandvik is making improvements in the technical features of its crushers for higher productivity as well. As per Mr. Ramanna Kumar, Senior Manager, Sandvik, “to make our crushers well adopted for the Indian market requirements, we are undertaking constant upgradation in the features of our machines.”
A recent innovation made in the crushers includes, “automatic setting regulator.” With the advancement in place, the operator can make an automatic adjustment in the setting of the crusher based on his desired output requirement.
According to Mr. Kumar, Sandvik crushers, both jaw and cone is a product of know how and experience optimized by 3D CAD and Finite Element Analysis. He mentions, “each model is tested virtually for stress, strain and shock, deformation, thermal loading, vibration and noise under vide range of load conditions for optimum results.
Sandvik manufactures jaw crushers with a capacity range from 55TPH-1160TPH. While the cone crushers are available with a capacity range of 22-1050TPH. Sandvik also have cone crushers with high operational efficiency for right size aggregates.
Putting advanced features with finer technological improvements in its crushers, has also been carried out by Puzzolana Machinery Fabricators. Puzzolana manufactures crawler mobile, skid, stationery-crushing and screening plants.
FEA is also utilized in manufacturing its crushers by Eastern India based Torsa Machines Limited. According to Mr. Gopi More, MD, Torsa Machines, “the FEA concept of production minimizes the usage of steel during the production process and at the same time retains the rugged features of the machines. The production concept allows the company to make its products price wise competitive. Torsa manufactures low and medium capacity crushers.
Torsa has entered into a distribution tie-up with Minyu Machinery Corporation of Taiwan, to make high capacity crushers above 150TPH for the Indian market.
Making Rugged MachinesWhile advancements are being made by manufacturers adding automated features for higher productivity, Southern India based crusher and screen manufacturer has been laying emphasis in making the machines rugged for higher productivity.
To minimize operating costs without checking productivity, Nawa has designed crushers with roller bearings to save operating costs in terms of energy and long life. The company claims its roller bearing cone and jaw crushers are ideal for high stone crushing, successfully demonstrating for the lowest operating costs per ton crushing.
Mr. Raju adds, “for easy maintenance all our equipment are designed for easy access to remove and fit the regular wear parts. The crusher stations are provided with maintenance hoists for easy lifting of heavy parts during maintenance. All auxiliary systems like hydraulics, lubrication etc are automated for safety as well for easier maintenance.”
Nawa plans to exhibit at IMME Kolkata its comprehensive know how in washing, screening and classification equipment as applicable to the mining industry. Nawa will be displaying Linear Vibratory Screen for applications for fine medium and coarse screening of sand, aggregates, ores, for angular, cubic or flaky materials etc.
It will also be displaying screw classifier. Screw classifier is an important piece of equipment in the benefit of mineral ores and sand washing. It is multifunctional equipment and does washing classifying and de–watering, all simultaneously.
While manufacturers are positioning their products with advanced features for high productivity and low operating costs, it will concurrently be essential to disburse knowledge solution among the end–users of the equipment for greater knowledge availability for optimum utilization of the machine. It would be essential to have a pie in the Indian crushing market estimated at around Rs. 1500 crores in terms of value. The market size is well–expected to increase in terms of value and units with large scale mining expansion lined up by the government and the private sector with surge in demand of metals in response to strong economic growth.