Grinding Process Improvement Projects

Metcom uses a structured, systematic process to evaluate and improve industrial grinding circuit performance. This process is a joint effort, executed by the project team which consists of Metcom specialists and plant metallurgical staff.

Metcom’s system focuses on three overlapping areas:

  1. process design,
  2. process control, and
  3. measurements & information.

A grinding process improvement project is conducted in the following phases:

  1. Initial Site Visit
  2. Circuit Survey
  3. Benchmarking and Identification of Improvement Opportunities
  4. Implementation of Recommended Changes
  5. Verification of Improvements

The Initial Site Visit is the project starting point, and its purpose is threefold: prepare the team, prepare the plant, and gather information. Metcom has developed a detailed checklist which drives the activities of the initial site visit which typically takes three to five days onsite.

Examples of team preparation activities include:

  • Seminar presentations and discussions on Metcom methods
  • Site tour and inspection
  • Survey planning
  • Identification of training needs
  • Examples of plant preparations include:
  • Review of plant instrumentation and calibrations
  • Sample point review and identification of needed modifications
  • Sample cutter design and fabrication
  • Laboratory procedure development
  • Examples of Information to gather:
  • Flowsheets
  • Equipment detail data sheets
  • Electric power and media costs
  • Historical circuit performance and data

At the end of the initial site visit the team will have generated a project plan with action items required to be completed prior to execution of step 2, the circuit survey. As an added benefit, the initial site visit often identifies “quick-wins” that can be exploited immediately.

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