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Great Test-Pectations - Mining Equipment Marketing

Fri, Aug 05, 2016 @ 02:37 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Industrial Branding, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content, Advertising, Content Creation, Content Marketing

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(This week's post is a recent article we wrote for POWDER BULK SOLIDS on a major factor in mining equipment marketing - trying before you buy! Thanks to Stedman Machine Company for the opportunity to work with them to create one of the finest marketing programs I've been a part of in my nearly 40 years in the business. Lohre also took the photos.)

Learn why it’s smart to try before you buy size reduction equipment.

By Chris Nawalaniec, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Stedman Machine Company

Why Test?

Selecting the right equipment is also a great way to save energy. Sure you could use a carpenter’s hammer to drive a railroad spike, but it is not very efficient, and while a sledgehammer is more common, an automatic spike driver can make the task nearly effortless. However if you are only driving a single spike, the additional energy required using the automatic option becomes cost prohibitive. A review of your material and process by the equipment manufacturer can help you avoid the pitfalls of under or over selection.

Mining-Equipment-Marketing-8-5-16.3.jpg(Stedman Machine Company photo of closed size reduction circuit system with the Stedman Grand Slam™ Horizontal Shaft Impactor and a round vibratory screener.)

Testing helps determine the most efficient processing technology to meet production needs. The right equipment saves time and money in the long run. Full-scale testing provides precise size reduction solutions for the exact material/s and demonstration of a specific model before purchase.

While the nuances of size reduction are infinite, commonly encountered industrial size reduction applications use equipment that achieves reduction through one or more of the following:

  • Impact -- hitting a friable material to break large parts into smaller ones
  • Shear -- tearing or ripping material
  • Compression -- squeezing and pressing down on a material until it breaks.

Design parameters that drive size reduction crusher selection include production requirements, material characteristics, project location, climate conditions, capital cost, safety and environment, the life of product/expansion plans and maintenance requirements.

Some types of machinery can last decades. Buying the wrong equipment can have long-term consequences in the cost of consumables, lack of production and downtime. Yearly consumables alone could exceed half the cost of the unit. Size- reduction equipment is typically integrated into a large system. By choosing the wrong equipment, it could inadvertently create a bottleneck that affects the productivity of the overall system.

Test facilities have hundreds of reports on file that may match your application. Saving the expenses of preliminary testing or in the selection of the proper size reduction method. Frequently the staff has experience crushing your material or a similar material. New applications are compared to existing reference data for similar applications. Past tests provide valuable insight into how to configure equipment and plan tests.

Picking the right test facility

Simple devices like the mortar and pestle and technologically complex machines like giant mining crushers perform the same basic task: making big things smaller. Finding the right equipment for this critical process step should begin with the question, “Do we need size reduction equipment, knowledge, or both?”

Choose a test facility that has a range of different size reduction methods. A full complement of hoppers, mechanical conveyors and screens enable test plant technicians to replicate both open and closed systems. Full-size crushing equipment is best for dependable results. It is difficult to scale up crushing results from a lab-size crusher. Lab machine tests may not determine the actual horsepower and machine size the project requires. 

Is the test plant set up to provide real-world conditions in which customers can view their materials being processed -- from feeding, through size reduction and discharge/separation? Does it have an open slot to allow for the installation of other machines on an as-needed basis? Are there cameras to provide live video feeds of materials as they are being processed?

Once the testing is done, toll processing, in the same facility, can produce enough product to test downstream processes, such as briquetting and extrusion, in the future facility to ensure that the process will perform as expected. Remember, the goal is to find an application solution rather than simply buying equipment.

Mining-Equipment-Marketing-8-5-16.1.jpg(Stedman Machine Company photo of open size reduction circuit system with the Stedman Grand Slam™ Horizontal Shaft Impactor and a round vibratory screener.)

What the test plant needs to know

Size reduction process design begins with an understanding of the feed’s physical and chemical characteristics and ends with the product’s physical specifications and other unique product considerations. Five things are needed to evaluate testing possibilities:

  • Feed size
  • Moisture content
  • Tons-per-hour capacity required
  • Final product size
  • Safety data sheets

A material with high moisture content may become gummy and build up on the inside of the crusher. Moisture has a cushioning effect and can cause the material to stick together reducing productivity. When material buildup is a concern, the addition of equipment heaters and air cannons can be used to reduce build up allowing for more efficient operation. Brittle materials are easily crushed, but the process may create too many fines. Heat-sensitive materials may need cooling systems. 

Getting the material to the test facility may be a problem. Can the consistency of the material change during shipping to the test plant? Can the facility restore your material to its as-shipped condition? For typical tests about 200 to 500 pounds of material are required.

What to expect during the test

First steps are sampling of the raw feed to establish the input gradation, moisture level and creating a plan for crushing tests specific to the project goals. To achieve the desired particle size and consistency, the test facility will consider: particle size distribution (the percentage of lumps versus fines) as it enters the crusher, feed control (Will it become gummy or sticky?) and how material is taken away from the crusher. If the material has a large percentage of fines, it’s more efficient to separate the fines with a screener first. Only the oversized material goes through the crusher.

Plan to spend a few days observing the testing process and all the procedures necessary to produce the required end product including preparation, loading of your material and RPM sets for fine to coarse production. You’ll witness the real-time horsepower consumption through start up and full load.

Test plants are operated in either open or closed circuit. Open circuit means the material passes through the crusher once. Closed circuit means that material is re-circulated back into the crusher if it doesn’t pass through a certain screen mesh. In closed circuits, as much as 30 percent of material may re-circulate before meeting size requirements, which increases energy use by 30 percent.

If needed, the test facility will run your material through various crushing methods and/or determine how to fine tune the crusher’s configuration for your process. Two different type crushers may effectively reduce your material at the specifications you need, but one may require much less horsepower and less cost to operate.

Mining Equipment Toll Processing(Stedman Machine Company photo provided of closed, air-swept size reduction circuit system with a Stedman Vertical Roller Mill.)

The report

The data produced from the test of your material helps estimate operating costs from power consumption to wear parts and the information needed to select the right crushing and size reduction equipment. The written technical report provided to you will include the following:

  • Raw feed particle size distribution
  • Moisture content analysis
  • Product particle size distribution gradation analysis
  • Bulk density analysis before and after crushing
  • Abrasion Test to determine if an impactor is feasible for a particular application and to estimate hammer wear life.
  • Power requirements for startup and operation

Evaluating results and scale up

Performance data obtained on test plant equipment are scalable to accurately predict outcomes achieved on production models. Once your tests are done, the sales engineer will make recommendations for equipment type and size, open or closed circuits and other equipment like air cannons or heaters to loosen caking or sticky material. The equipment selected should produce the same particle size distribution as the test unit and the energy required at the production throughput rate is scalable from the test equipment.

Size reduction expressed in the simplest form is: “Material + Energy = Size Reduction.” Experienced, knowledgeable size reduction equipment suppliers will guide a customer through the correct questions and recommend the best-suited method for any specific materials. Reputable suppliers will refer customers to other equipment manufacturers with better-suited styles of equipment when their products are not suited to the application.

In conclusion, following these simple steps when and where you define your product and process, perform testing and consider your installation, you will succeed in buying a crusher that will provide years of trouble-free processing.

Stedman Machine Company, 129 Franklin Street, Aurora, IN 4001, 812-926-0038; www.stedman-machine.com, sales@stedman-machine.com 

About the author

Chris Nawalaniec is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Stedman Machine Company, the Aurora, Ind.-based manufacturer of size reduction equipment and systems, founded in 1834. Nawalaniec graduated from the University of Cincinnati (BSME, MBA) and has more than 30 years professional experience in size reduction and particle size separation. Nawalaniec oversees new machinery and system sales, as well as the full-service test plant that has been operating at Stedman for more than 90 years. (Read Chris' mining equipment marketing testimonial.)

About Stedman Machine Company

Stedman Machine Company works closely with its customers to determine the best, most cost-effective, efficient size reduction method and equipment for specific applications. Stedman’s line of equipment includes: Cage Mills, Grand Slam™ and Mega Slam™ Horizontal Shaft Impactors, V-Slam™ Vertical Shaft Impactors, Hammer Mills, Aurora Lump Breakers, Micro-Max™ and Vertical Roller Mill Air Swept Fine Grinders. Stedman operates a complete testing and toll processing facility staffed by experienced technicians with full-scale equipment, allowing customers to witness accurate crushing test results, predicted output capacities and processing data. Support services include system design and 24-hour parts and service


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Win With Technical Articles

Tue, May 03, 2016 @ 12:33 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in industrial photography, Process Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content, Marketing Content, Content Creation, illustration, technical illustration, Content Marketing

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Dear Powder Bulk Solids Show "Win with Technical Articles" winners,

  • Will Dartnall and Mark Gruber, Buckhorn
  • Jim Kinder, Carrier
  • Greg Boyer, Hosokawa
  • Steven Misiak, B&P Littleford Day
  • Wes Vinson, PEBCO
  • Mike Mullins, TEMA
  • Jasilyn Fuller, VEGA
  • Rob Driscoll, Robatel
  • Maria Petsola-Crawley and Dean Wicks, Macawber
  • Courtney Ridenour, ADF Engineering
  • Greg Thomas and Paul Hancock, Lewellyn

Thanks for visiting our website and claiming your prize. We hope you'll enjoy the game. Just go to Major League Baseball's site and let me know what game you would like to attend. Chuck Lohre, chuck@lohre.com, cell 513-260-9025.

### Beginning of the most successful Technical Article we have written. The phones started ringing as soon as it was published. We hear a lot about content marketing and social media (and we believe in it), but in the industrial marketing world we have always been about content marketing. 

And content doesn't get any better than a feature article in a major trade publication like this one that ran in April 2016 Pit & Quarry magazine. To succeed, you must be honest and educate readers even if you don't manufacturer every sort of variation of a particular process solution. Editor, Darren Constantino, uses our articles as examples of what it takes to get published in his magazine. Don't worry, they are calling you, not your competition.

Vertical Shaft Impactor (VSI) Primer

By Eric Marcotte, Inside Sales Manager, Stedman Machine Company 

Technical Article, Graphic Design, and Illustration for Stedman Machine

Introduction

All roads, you might say, lead to the Vertical Shaft Impactor (VSI) because these crushers make it possible to create roadways and just about everything else. Francis E. Agnew of California patented one of the first Vertical Shaft Impactors in 1927. His configuration stacked three VSIs atop each other to produce sand, thus starting the VSI evolution. 

Today, VSI crushers – and the folks who rely on them – have produced many configurations to include everything from the addition of cascading material into the crushing chamber, to air swept separation of lighter product. One version suspends the shaft from above like a sugar centrifuge. It’s also one of the most feature-patented crushers, so some of the things mentioned here might be unique to a single manufacturer. VSIs apply a large amount of energy to crush material and that’s why it’s one of the most versatile crusher configurations today.

VSI Benefits

When it comes to producing materials such as aggregate for road making, VSI crushers use a high-speed rotor and anvils for impact crushing rather than compression force for the energy needed for size reduction. In a VSI, material is accelerated by centrifugal force by a rotor against the outer anvil ring, it then fractures and breaks along natural faults throughout the rock or minerals. The product is generally of a consistent cubical shape, making it excellent for modern Superpave highway asphalt applications. The rotor speed (feet per minute) controls final particle size.

The VSI’s high cubical fracture percentage maximizes first-pass product yield and produces tighter particle size distribution. It has a high-throughput capacity ideal for beneficiation (elimination of soft material). Properly configured the VSI accepts highly abrasive materials. It has simple operation and maintenance. You can quickly change product size by changing rotor speed or cascade ratio. Some models have reversible wear parts to reduce downtime. The VSI typically has low operating costs even in high-moisture applications because of reduced energy costs and low wear cost per ton.

VSI Disadvantages

There are some feed size limitations with a VSI because of the small feed area available in the center of the rotor. Tramp material in the feed such as gloves, tools, etc. can cause problems with imbalance. The high RPM and HP require careful balance maintenance such as replacing shoes on both sides of the rotor at the same time. High wear part cost may be a problem for some hard abrasive materials, but the VSI may still be the best option.

Technical Article for Marketing Client Stedman MachineVSI Applications

Major limestone applications are for Superpave asphalt aggregates, road base, gravel, sand and cement. Industrial uses include: corundum, corundite, ferro silicon, glass, refractories, silicon carbide, tungsten carbide and zeolite. Mining applications include: bauxite, burnt magnesite, iron ore, non-ferrous metal ore, perlite and trona sulfate. VSIs are excellent for everything from abrasive materials to waste and recycling applications.

VSI Crushing Method

The VSI is typically used after a primary or secondary crusher. This makes a VSI ideal for making sand and for making coarse and medium aggregates for concrete/asphalt production.

Feed size and characteristics will affect the application of a VSI. The feed size is limited by the opening in the center of the rotor. Normally less than 5-inch material is desired, but very large VSIs can handle up to 12-inch feed. Another feature that will affect application is moisture, which can make the feed sticky. Required production capacity is the final limiting criteria. Large primary horizontal shaft impactors can output up to 1600 TPH and more. 1000 TPH is about the maximum for a VSI because of the limiting motor size and the rising G-force of a high-speed rotor, which is calculated by multiplying the radius times the square of the RPM.

Shoe configurations are many: rock on rock, groups of rollers, special tip wear parts and many others. The metallurgy of the shoes is also highly varied. Rotors can have three to six shoes. The number of shoes is typically governed by the diameter of the rotor. The larger the diameter rotor, the more openings are possible. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) mathematical models are utilized to simulate the flow and collision forces to reveal solutions for lower wear cost, consistent final product, and higher energy efficiency.

The material to be crushed is fed into the center of an open or closed rotor. The rotor rotates at high rpm, accelerating the feed and throwing it with high energy into the crushing chamber. When the material hits the anvil ring assembly, it shatters, and then the cubical shaped product falls through the opening between the rotor and the anvil and down to the conveyor below.

The rotor speed (feet per minute) controls final particle size. Speeding up the rotor will produce more fines, slowing it down will produce fewer fines.

Feeding methods

Center feed

The typical VSI is fed, from above, into the center of its rotor. The material is then flung across an open void to the crushing chamber.It then impacts the outer anvil ring. This crushing action imparts very high energy to the material and is very effective on most types of material. It gives a very uniform and consistent grade of product.

Cascade feeding

In cascade feeding, material bypasses the rotor and enters the crushing chamber from above. It’s called cascade feeding because as material fills up a large feed bowl, with an outer diameter larger than the outer diameter of the rotor, it spills over the side and falls into the crushing chamber from above, bypassing the rotor. The effect of increasing feed through cascade is similar to slowing the rotor. Cascade feeding in amounts up to 10 percent may have no effect on particle size distribution or quality. The product gradation curve and product shape will change, if an increased amount of cascade feeding is used.

(caption: Vertical Shaft Impactor, No Cascade vs. With Cascade Feed, Particle Size Distribution Chart)

Technical Article for Marketing Client Stedman Machine CoRotor and Anvil Configurations

The VSI features multiple rotor/anvil configurations for various applications. From open or enclosed rotors to the tubular rotor, each machine is configured for their unique application. In many cases the rotor table, rotor assemblies, anvil ring or rock shelf are interchangeable, allowing maximum application flexibility.

• Open top metal rotor shoe on metal anvil

The open top metal rotor is good for large feed or medium to very hard material, but it will work best for softer materials. It can handle medium abrasive, dry or wet, but not sticky materials. High reduction ratios are common, which are excellent for sand and gravel production in closed loop systems. Shoe shape can change the production size range. A straight shoe face design produces finer product, and a curved shoe face design produces coarser material.

• Tubular metal rotor shoe on metal anvil

The tubular rotor creates higher tip-speeds, which increases first pass yield with tighter particle size distribution and also reduces the recirculation loads. One unique feature is that the rotor rotation is reversible, allowing wear on both sides of the tube. Rotating the tube itself one-quarter turn also doubles the wear.

• Enclosed metal rotor shoe on metal anvil

The enclosed top plate on a rotor primarily prevents material from escaping from the top of the rotor, which could happen with an overfed open top rotor. (caption: Rock shelf when VSI at rest. In operation, the brown rock fills the chamber to the upper roof ring. Rock impacts rock in operation.)

Technical Article for Industrial Marketing Client, Stedman Machine• Enclosed autogenous rock rotor table on autogenous rock shelf

Any time the material or rock is used as an impact wear surface the term autogenous is used. Putting a top on the rotor table and shoes allows autogenous use. During operation of the VSI, a bed of material can be designed to build up inside the rotor against each of the shoe wall segments. The bed, which is made up of material that has been fed to the rotor, extends to a wear tip. The bed protects the shoe wall segment from wear.

Concerning the rock shelf anvil, it forms a near vertical wall of material upon which the accelerated material impacts. “Rock-on-rock” crushing reduces maintenance but can require up to 30 percent of material recirculation before meeting size requirements. Also, the rock shelf anvil absorbs energy that could otherwise be used for breaking, which may reduce efficiency. More RPM may be needed to achieve the same result as a solid metal anvil.

Good for medium abrasive materials, rock-on-rock configurations of either or both rotor and anvil may produce consistent material with low-wear cost and can handle wet but not sticky conditions. Reduction ratios from 2:1 to 5:1 can be expected. It’s widely used for quarried materials, such as sand and gravel.

_________________________________________________

Due to the many configurations of the VSI feed, rotor, anvil and open- or closed- system design; testing is the only way to ensure proper application of a VSI crusher.

_________________________________________________

Summary

The VSI is one of the most versatile crushers available on the market today. Even with some limitations, like feed size and output capacity, VSI features have been and continue to be developed to maximize first-pass yields and lower operating costs. If you test your process on full-scale equipment before choosing your VSI, you won’t be disappointed.

Stedman Machine Company, 129 Franklin Street, Aurora, IN 4001, 812-926-0038, www.stedman-machine.com, sales@stedman-machine.com

### End of technical article, thanks for looking it over. Now let's, "Play Ball."

About the author: Eric Marcotte joined Stedman Machine Company and its affiliate Innovative Processing Solutions in 2010. He has a Mining Engineering Degree from the University of Kentucky. 

About Stedman Machine Company

Stedman Machine Company works closely with its customers to determine the best, most cost-effective, efficient size reduction method and equipment for specific applications. Stedman’s line of equipment includes: Cage Mills, Grand Slam™ and Mega Slam™ Horizontal Shaft Impactors, V-Slam™ Vertical Shaft Impactors, Hammer Mills, Aurora Lump Breakers, Micro-Max™ and Vertical Roller Mill Air Swept Fine Grinders. Stedman operates a complete testing and toll processing facility staffed by experienced technicians with full-scale equipment, allowing customers to witness accurate crushing test results, predicted output capacities and processing data. Support services include system design and 24-hour parts and service.

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