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MEI Online: Control & Instrumentation: Latest News: June 9th 2003

:: Grinding Mill Monitor  

A team of researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia have developed a device to monitor variations in vibrations generated by autogenous and semiautogenous grinding mills, and to use this data to help optimise mill performance.

The system, developed as an AMIRA project (Project 667), uses three accelerometers mounted on the mill shell to ‘listen’ to the vibrations caused by collisions within the mill and to pinpoint their positions, intensities and nature. According to CSIRO Minerals’ Jonathan Campbell, “our instrument provides crucial information about the charge inside - the charge load and the position of the toe and shoulder - with which to monitor the performance of the mill”. “In addition, estimates of charge size have been obtained on a pilot-scale mill and the trends have been confirmed from observations at production scale. Another important feature of the system is its ability to detect undesirable operating conditions and catastrophic events. For example, when the charge impacts above the toe position it crashes straight into the liner causing damage. The instrument can detect when this is happening, allowing corrective action to be taken before significant damage is done."

The project is drawing to a close and a second phase has been suggested. If approved, the research will focus both on making the instrument more robust and suitable for permanent installation, and on applying the outputs to the direct delivery of benefits to mill operators. The second stage of the programme will also use discrete-element method modelling, both for millcharge motion analysis and wear studies, and to make predictions about the impact of specific abnormal operating phenomena and charge/liner impact energies on mill wear.



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