Sandvik scales up local production of screening media

Local screening media production by Sandvik Rock Processing makes it possible to use the company’s unique material formulations to manufacture world class screening media products.
Local screening media production by Sandvik Rock Processing makes it possible to use the company’s unique material formulations to manufacture world class screening media products.

With the aim of being the global leader in screening solutions, Sandvik Rock Processing is scaling up the local manufacturing capabilities of screening media in South Africa. Riaan Steinmann, EMEA operations director Screening Solutions at Sandvik Rock Processing, says this is a testament to the company’s belief in the capabilities of its local operations, and to bringing its solutions closer to customers.

“Our local screening media manufacturing operations at Crown Mines in Gauteng align with our global procurement focus on sourcing raw materials,” says Steinmann. “This makes it possible to use our own unique material formulations to manufacture world class screening media products.”

Together with its specialised materials, Sandvik Rock Processing also optimises each screening media panel design to maximise wear life and efficiency, he says. The company has developed panel load limit calculations to ensure structural integrity while avoiding over-designing.

“Optimising our screening media allows us to streamline our screen designs, leading to overall mass and cost reductions,” he explains. “As an essential part of our vibrating equipment offering, our screening media offer optimal performance at the lowest overall cost.”

He notes that the open-case polyurethane dispensing machine at Sandvik Rock Processing’s Crown Mines facility is specially designed in a flexible machine configuration – to produce a range of polyurethane products of the highest quality and at the most efficient rate.

“Various non-standard polyurethane parts can be made in an open-mould casting process,” says Steinmann. “This is achieved by placing moulds on a heated casting table, and then filling them with hot-coat polyurethane mixing systems using the dispenser casting hose.”

This allows the machine to produce parts such as non-standard-sized screening panels and sideliners, wedges, discharge liners and protector liners – providing flexibility in meeting a diverse range of products even at low volumes. He highlights that Sandvik Rock Processing regards innovation as a strategic cornerstone, using the discrete element method (DEM), for instance, to analyse material flow and optimise the selection of aperture size and type for each application.

“Our screening philosophy is that the optimal design and selection of screening media panel should cater to the distinctive characteristics of the ore being treated,” he explains. “This in turn needs to align with the vibrating machine’s physical and dynamic parameters. It is our strong portfolio in both vibrating screen equipment and screening media that puts us in the best position to provide tested solutions to the market.”

Sandvik Rock Processing R&D teams undertake continuous research using data from on-site performance. These studies investigate efficiencies and wear characteristics of screening media products under various operating conditions – and build the findings back into new designs and products.

The local production of screening media by Sandvik Rock Processing promises to deliver shorter lead times and lower transportation costs for customers. Importantly, there is also a positive impact on the resilience of the supply chain. Steinmann adds, “There is also the environmental benefit of shorter transportation routes, which aligns with our own sustainability goals and those of our mining customers”

“We work towards finding the right balance between local and global sourcing, and are committed to supporting the local economy, skills development and job creation capability,” says Steinmann.

He acknowledges that, like all businesses in South Africa, the local screening media facility must meet the challenges of power disruptions from loadshedding, cable faults and cable theft. To prevent these issues from affecting the reliability of production and supply, Sandvik Rock Processing has invested significantly in sufficient backup power generating capacity to keep the plant running as required.



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