A bigger package

BALLS and all. That is what FLSmidth is promising to look after with its purchase of the ANI Mill intellectual property for the Bradken ANI grinding mill business, writes Noel Dyson.
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The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, includes all the associated design, engineering and service documentation for mills throughout Australia as well as Europe, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.

FLSmidth had already been providing a service, support and maintenance package for owners and operators of ANI grinding mills under a licensing agreement with Bradken for more than 10 years.

According to FLSmidth country manager Mark Clifford, while the licence agreement had worked out well the acquisition of the IP would give the company the opportunity to develop and introduce an expanded service and support package. That will include introducing engineering and technology improvements.

The initial focus will be on maximising customers' mill productivity and return on investment.

Allied to that approach will be a reduction in response times.

"Mills are a major investment for any mineral processing operation," Clifford said.

"Expectations are a 20-year service life. We are looking to improve mill service life and increase overall mill availability to improve profitability through greater productivity at a decreased cost."

Clifford said these were attainable goals for mill owners and operators. He said increasing the availability of the mill and lengthening the time between scheduled service intervals was key to that.

"Mills are tough environments," Clifford said. "They are physically imposing and they need to run at maximum availability.

"The last thing any operation needs is an unscheduled shutdown. As a specialised supplier to the sector we need to get smart about mill operations to improve the overall result and reduce the impacts of the process."

Engineering and technology improvement are key to the comprehensive approach to mill operation FLSmidth is developing.

"With mills generally accepted as the single biggest consumers of energy, a goal must be to reduce the demand for energy without compromising mill performance and/or output," Clifford said.

"A reduction in energy consumption will have substantial positive impact on the bottom line."

FLSmidth is also investigating additional technological improvements including consumables.

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