2017 Procemin • Automatic Grinding Control Using PST Technology
Assessing the Benefits of Automatic Grinding Control Using PST Technology for True On-Line Particle Size Measurement
Despite the recognized significance of ground product fineness on both line capacity and downstream process performance (typically flotation), less than 10% of mineral ore concentrators today use real-time particle size measurements in automatic control applications for the final product particle size.
Although “near-line” particle size measurement instrumentation has been in place for several decades and is commonly installed in most modern concentrators, its availability and low measurement frequency have typically been inadequate for reliable use in automatic control. Their low availability is often associated with problems with slurry sample collection and handling systems required to present the samples to the size measurement instrument.
Recently, an innovative technology for real-time, on-line particle size measurement has been developed by CiDRA Minerals Processing, under its commercial name Particle Size Tracking (PST), already proven in several commercial installations, demonstrating near 100% availability with minimal maintenance, thus overcoming the limitations of previous technologies.
Investment decision makers require convincing, reliable estimates of the expected economic value that automatic grind control projects will deliver. This paper presents a methodology for estimating such value from the installation of the new PST particle size measurement technology, capable of tracking particle size on each individual hydrocyclone overflow stream, thus adding significant new options for improved process stability and performance. Based on actual plant operating records, accumulated over long periods of time, the evaluation approach herein described assesses and highlights the significant potential contribution to be expected from this unique PST technology.