Semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mills are an essential component of mining and minerals processing industries. Working around the clock, downtime is not an option. Optimising operational performance is Acoem online vibration monitoring systems’ number one priority.
At Kanmantoo Copper Mine in South Australia, regular, half-yearly inspections are no substitute for continual monitoring when it comes to ensuring that systems are operating at their highest possible standard.
An inspection earlier this year identified a bearing fault deterioration in the mill’s gearbox. Mine management needed a time-sensitive, accurate and reliable way to monitor further deterioration before it could cause more damage to the mill or a total operational shutdown.
The Acoem online vibration monitoring system
The solution the mine chose was the ONEPROD KITE online vibration monitoring system and the decision proved to be invaluable. Not only did the ONEPROD KITE detect a significant increase in acceleration levels of deterioration on the Motor Non-Drive End (NDE) bearing in late April, but the system’s patented ‘Bearing Defect Factor’ also confirmed a fault developing in the motor bearing. With levels increasing rapidly, management took immediate action and the bearing was replaced eight days after the initial fault was detected.
“At Hillgrove Resources we push our equipment to perform to no end to meet production targets. With this in mind, the ONEPROD KITE system detects early failure modes, and logged data undergoes analytical assessment to evaluate the risks associated with the safety of our people and the equipment,” commented Hepa Orikena, Maintenance Superintendent at Kanmantoo Copper Mine.
“The monitoring of known failure modes has us one step closer to meeting a planned outage or planning for a potential break down. The ONEPROD KITE system enables “finger on the pulse” management of our in-service critical equipment,” he added.
Preventative Maintenance to Avoid Production Loss
When SAG mills experience unexpected faults like those detected at Kanmantoo, they can dramatically affect production and site operations. Without the ONEPROD online system, these deteriorations or systems failures would not have been identified early enough to remedy the situation without causing further complications or a mill shutdown.
The result would likely have been catastrophic in terms of lost production time, more costly repairs and frustrating employee furlough.
Acoem KITE is just one of a range of specialised wireless and online monitoring and preventative maintenance solutions from Acoem that is available in Australia.