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modular screens: the way of the future - quarry
Bill Ziogos is Metso Outotecs screening sales support manager for the Asia-Pacific market, based in Brisbane. He has worked with operators in the quarrying industry since 1986, when he first worked for Melwire in Clayton, Victoria.
In 1991, Bill Ziogos joined Svedala, which eventually became part of Metso after the merger with Nordberg in 2001. Metso has recently amalgamated with Outotec to become Metso Outotec in 2020. With his screening background, Ziogos has progressed through each transition and his breadth of experience and knowledge has been undoubtedly valuable in every iteration.
The Trellex brand has been renowned for a very long time. Many of the old quarry managers still refer to me as the old Trellex man, he laughed. Its just lived forever, so now its about passing on this information to the up-and-comers.
Metso Outotecs screen media range consists of three types modular, panel and tension systems. Modular screens, available in rubber and polyurethane, are designed for fine to medium coarse applications. Panel systems are suited to medium to primary (coarse) applications, and consist of a self-supporting screening panel with an integral steel and cord reinforcement vulcanised within each panel. Poly panels are suitable for wet screening applications and for use in sand plants. Tensioned screens are suited for fine to semi-coarse applications.
Wire predominantly makes up the bulk of the tensioned cloths in the quarry industry, followed by rubber and polyurethane, Ziogos explained. However, he has little doubt about the future direction of screen media.
Modular screening is the way of the future, he said. When looking at it from a global viewpoint, there is certainly interest in moving away from the traditional wire-tensioned systems to a modular system.
Ziogos added modular screens allow for selective change-outs of individual worn panels, as opposed to a complete tensioned cloth that need changing if one section of it is worn. It also provides for fine tuning of grading envelopes through strategic placement of apertures across the deck.
Modular screen panel retrofits can be performed to most screens currently suited to cross-tensioned cloth. The advantages of installing modular panels is not only the wear life benefits but the panels are smaller and safer for operators to handle. Manual handling is minimised, reducing the risks to operators performing screen change-outs. There is also a reduced cost in labour and less downtime, Ziogos explained.
In 2017, the New South Wales Resources Regulator and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment released a guide on the management and maintenance of screens in the extractive industries. The guide had a heavy emphasis on the importance of proper screen management, as musculoskeletal disorders can pose a considerable risk to screen operators.
To that end, Ziogos said the modular media has an advantage in minimising health and safety risks due to its lighter weight and manageable size. It also offers significant noise reduction. More urban quarries are looking for ways to operate with reduced dust and noise.
Rubber screen media is an option to reduce noise emissions and frequency of change-outs. Other safety features across Metsos entire screen range include comfortable room between decks, noise and dust reduction technology.
The durability of Metsos range has been tested by clients in more than 50 countries, and Ziogos said his relationships across Metsos Asia-Pacific clients have endured over the years such is the strength of Metsos customer satisfaction.
Its always a pleasure to assist our customers when they are seeking advice on how to screen more efficiently, Ziogos said. The way I approach it is that we are not looking to offer a product but to offer a solution to screening problems being experienced.
Ziogos outlined plenty of examples of local success stories. For many quarries around Australia, the installation of Superflex cloths has reduced pegging and blinding on site, improved grading quality and also throughput. The bottom deck of the tertiary screen is the most difficult one to access so less frequent screen cloth change-outs is more attractive to operators who gain in productivity, throughput and reduced risk on site. Another great success story and one of my favourites was at a quarry in central Victoria. We converted a conventional cross-tensioned screen into a modular panel system. The benefits of this conversion lead to other screens being converted in both the crushed rock plant and tertiary plant.
Whatever the screening application, there is a screening media solution to match, Ziogos summarised. Screen media is adaptable to all environments and tasks. The range is designed to offer maximum productivity without compromising quality.
When fitting a modular system, our Trellex Trellstep system is the easiest to install, as there is no need to convert existing screen decks. Its a quick, easy retrofit by installing our Snap-On rail to an existing deck.