TABLE OF CONTENTS Oct 2015 - 0 comments

Increase screening uptime with preventative maintenance tips

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By: Karen Thompson

Mining producers are striving to say goodbye to downtime and hello to efficiency. In addition to managing the mine, it’s the producer’s responsibility to keep all equipment in proper working order.

To do so, they use different technologies and services to increase equipment productivity and extend lifecycle. And services that involve a relationship with a manufacturer provide producers with long-term savings and equipment reliability, ultimately increasing ROI.

To get the most out of equipment and lessen downtime, consider a few key strategies: a vibration analysis program, a comprehensive service program and proper screen selection and installation.

Get the Full Picture

The ideal vibration analysis system is designed specifically for vibrating screens. This offers producers a way to safely monitor their screens’ performance in real time. These new programs also detect irregularities early — before they lead to diminished performance, decreased efficiency and increased operating costs.

The vibration analysis system should have eight triaxial sensors, which are attached to key places on the equipment. From there the sensors transmit 24 channels of data to a heavy-duty tablet, which then illustrates the machine’s orbit, acceleration and deviations.

Next, find a vibration analysis system that not only offers real-time reporting but also maintains historical reports on the machine’s performance. Storing machine information in the cloud provides indications of repeat concerns that, if addressed, will improve efficiency and decrease expenses.

Also look for a vibration analysis system that provides key reports on the machine’s performance. An orbit report illustrates the machine’s orbit and waveform, as well as data about acceleration, stroke, speed and phase angle. A tuning report concludes deviations between measurement points while providing recommendations on balance, acceleration, stroke and speed. Each tuning report provides producers with feed and discharge analyses as well as diagonal measurements. The variety of data paints a detailed picture of exactly what’s taking place with each machine. 

For the greatest reliability, choose a system that sends information via Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth. Wi-Fi technology has a larger range and higher bandwidth than Bluetooth, which means improved safety, speed and reliability when working near machinery and in isolated areas.

Advanced vibration analysis systems transfer all data wirelessly to a certified engineering team for analysis. Engineers evaluate the machine’s performance, alert the user to any issues, and suggest recommendations for improvement. If the results require a thorough examination, an engineer will schedule a service call. Otherwise, the customer rests assured that the equipment is healthy and efficient.

Build Relationships with Manufacturers

Beyond real-time technology, partnering with a manufacturer ensures heightened equipment functionality through programs such as screen installation, commissioning and operator training. Although producers might take the time to perform preventative maintenance, job turnover can mean inexperience and lead to extended downtime on a worksite. That’s where a manufacturer comes in. Manufacturers, who focus on partnering with a company for success, rather than just machine sales, quickly provide onsite assistance by certified technicians when more than operator-level service is needed.

A thorough, trained technician should walk through a detailed checklist to evaluate screening equipment, train personnel on proper operation and screen installation, as well as work with the customer to develop a preventative maintenance plan. Implementing a preventative maintenance plan maximizes equipment service life and uptime while saving on costly repairs.

Additionally, a good manufacturer ensures your essential replacement parts are in stock — always.

Installation Speculation

Even with the best maintenance plans, issues will occur if screen media isn’t properly selected and installed. Sometimes screening finishes too early, completing before it reaches the end of the screen. By using a heavier screen media with reduced open area on the feed end, you can improve wear life and reduce change-outs while still achieving the right product specifications. Other times it finishes too late, sending wrong-sized material off the discharge end resulting in material contamination, premature screen wear or screen damage. Other producers might struggle with blinding as clay-heavy materials clog the screen openings, or pegging, where near-sized stones get trapped in screen media openings. Working with a manufacturer proficient in screen media takes the guesswork out of screen installation and ensures extended life of the screen.

It’s tough to confidently select a brand and style of screen media, especially with the wide variety from which to choose. There’s polyurethane and woven wire, a hybrid of the two, rubber and self-cleaning screens. There are square and slotted openings — all of which have different percentages of open area. Top that off with installation options, from tensioned to modular panels. How does a producer begin to choose the options that simplify maintenance and lengthen screen life?

First, understand that each type of screen media serves a different purpose for different applications, and some work best in tandem with other types. Work with a manufacturer or dealer to find the best combination for the operation and to maximize profits by having a screen specialist blend multiple types of screen media on a single deck.

Getting the right style and combination of screen media up front saves time and money by lessening maintenance issues and preventing premature wear.

Lifetime Commitment

A good maintenance program prevents downtime because it includes a detailed vibration analysis program, comprehensive service program, and proper screen selection and installation. Working with a reliable manufacturer that employs professional service technicians ensures fewer screen changeouts, less downtime and less money spent on new screens. These technicians will work day-in and day-out to help producers improve existing screening processes and stay up-to-date with necessary upgrades.

Overall, maintaining equipment increases the longevity and efficiency of machines. And, as with any business, profits are the key measure of success. Partnering with the right manufacturer ensures peak equipment performance and reliability for years to come. 

Karen Thompson is the president of Haver & Boecker Canada. 


A technician performs a vibration analysis test to provide key information on equipment performance.
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