Failure rates in large, multi-sloped screens can be high and the loss of a single screen can shut down an entire plant.

The challenge

Optimising screen monitoring and health

The Australian coal market is currently stable after a volatile couple of years that has seen the industry contract. Low-profit mines have closed and exploration all but ceased in the area of coal. Over the next five years, the industry is expected to achieve low growth, concentrating on production, cost reduction, optimisation of current resources, yields, and plant availability.

Availability in particular screens is a major issue in coal preparation plants. These screens can dictate plant availability and are often subject to failure. Unplanned outages, even for a modest-sized plant producing metallurgical coal, can cost A$60k-$100k per hour.

Our response

Predicting screen failures

Screen failure rates in large, multi-sloped screens can be high and the loss of a single screen can shut down a plant module, and in some cases, the entire plant for extended periods. In addition, the unforeseen failure can result in damage to equipment surrounding the screen such as feed and discharge chutes, mounting points, and in extreme circumstances, the plant structure itself may be damaged.

Failure rates in large, multi-sloped screens can be high and the loss of a single screen can shut down an entire plant.

The CSIRO Coal Processing Research Team has been working with ACARP support on the development of screen monitoring equipment.

The results

Improved screen monitoring and health

The screen monitoring system that has been developed will allow plant operators a six to eight hour warning of impending screen beam failure. This system will also provide operating parameters, such as frequency of operation, stoke and motion. Research into the effects of reducing the screens g-force efficiency is also underway.

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