Quarry managers often have different goals while some want to streamline their workforce, others might look to eliminate downtime, produce a new type or better quality of product, reduce energy consumption or moving employees away from the harsh onsite environment into a control room, which increases the attractiveness of the quarry as a workplace.
The variety of reasons for automation mean there is no standard solution. With the Metso SiteBooster site optimization solution there are some steps to be followed to help upgrade a plant’s performance.
Step 1: Checking components in crushing process
The first step is checking any electrical and hardware components that are in use which generally takes a day or two and can involve looking for signs of wear, checking waterproofing and ensuring that any hardware is still fit for purpose with an emphasis on operator safety.
Observe how the plant is running. We have to identify the real issues behind any inefficiency, which often don’t match quarry managers’ beliefs about what needs fixing. For example, when one manager asked us to install a larger crusher to increase material flow, our audit found that the problem was in fact caused by poor management of the feed hopper level. Our solution was to install an analogue level sensor in the hopper and a scale in the conveyor belt, increasing production by 30%.
Step 3: Designing the new crushing automation system
We try to incorporate as many of the latest components and processes we’d use for building a new plant as possible into upgrades. But of course any modern systems must be able to be smoothly integrated with the plant’s existing equipment. As well as hardware, we might also need to upgrade the software.
Step 4: Building intelligence, implementation, and start-up of crushing plant automation
The software solution we provide involves two components: the operating control system (PLC) and the operator interface (SCADA). The need for these is analysed during the design phase, with design build and testing, repeated until we get everything exactly right.
Prime Technologies Ltd.