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Multotec Rubber has introduced its Hawkeye monitoring system to the mining sector aimed at accurately determining mill liner wear.

Monitoring the life cycle of mill liners has been problematic and intangible in the past. Feedback from Multotec Rubber’s customers focused on the issues around accurately determining mill liner wear.

In early 2011, Multotec Rubber committed to enhancing its web-based Hawkeye monitoring product to overcome the inherent difficulties associated with mill liners. The resultant system effectively reduces the aggravation and costs associated with mill liner shutdowns.

Spike Taylor, MD Multotec Rubber explains that Hawkeye is a visual, simple and easy to understand wear-based monitoring system which will enable end users to monitor mill liner life cycles. “This first of its kind monitoring programme for mill liners has been developed in a manner that allows a progressive visual display of the liner profile. The replacement profile is clearly shown in red in this visual display and it facilitates the accurate planning of the scheduled shutdown for replacement of the liners,” says Taylor.

While the Hawkeye monitoring system has been running successfully for years on screen panels in both South Africa and Australia, the development of a system for mill liner wear monitoring posed a number of challenges.

“It was an exceptionally complex process to arrive at this simple solution,” Taylor points out. “It is easy to monitor screen panels as they remain in a specific position. However, this is not the case with a mill liner. One needs to consider that because of the rotation of the mill, there is a lack of a specific base point for recording of wear.”

After extensive engineering and testing, the design of Hawkeye was perfected to the point where it will display lifter bar and shell plate wear profile results that are easy to understand.

Hawkeye allows the profile measurements to be related directly to the tonnages treated from data accumulated on the end users’ SCADA system. “This is an important factor when assessing the liner life cycle, as changes in throughput will have an impact on the replacement time frame,” adds Taylor.

Recording the liner life cycles will also result in predictable shutdown scheduling and eliminate the unplanned shutdowns typically associated with unpredicted liner failure. This greater level of predictability in terms of maintenance requirements on the mill results in a more productive and profitable environment.

“Additionally, this accurate recording of the life cycle will facilitate discussion of liner design changes between Multotec Rubber personnel and the end user, resulting in an improved life of the mill liner. This high level of monitoring allows accurate information to be retained and mill specific liner solutions to be provided.

“Because it is a web based system, end users have ready access to the mill liner data. The system allows the customer to set predetermined levels of access, according to individual plant needs. For instance, the plant personnel can have access to plant data while management could have access to data in more than one plant or even all the plants across a group,” says Taylor.

The item descriptions are fully, but simply, displayed and include the installed quantities. They are cross referenced between the Multotec Rubber item number and the customer stock code number. “This allows for ease of ordering and we are currently enhancing the system to allow the customer to automatically request quotations. This will result in far simpler stocktaking and will eliminate much of the human error that occurs.

“A close relationship between Multotec and its customers has culminated in many long-term fixed price contracts being instituted. With the advent of Hawkeye for mill liner monitoring, we are able to provide these customers with the major advantage of access to a high level of liner consumption data. This data allows the customer to more accurately forecast and control budgets while simultaneously ensuring maximised plant uptime,” Taylor concludes.

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