This technological innovation replaces automatically and remotely the the Trommel palmettes during programmed stops at the SAG mill, improving safety and productivity.

Maintenance robot is already a reality. MIRS, a subsidiary of HighService Corp, and Minera Escondida, began the exploration of opportunities and collaboration within the framework of the BHP World Class Suppliers Program.

This gave rise to the automation of the change of the Trommel palmettes, an innovative robotic solution that responds to the challenges posed in the road map of the National High-Mining Program and the objective of increasing productivity.

“One of the main characteristics of this equipment is that it allows replacing up to 100% of the palmettes during the change of coatings of the SAG mill, avoiding operational problems, such as the interruption of the process”, explains the Commercial Manager of MIRS, Igor Elías, during the demonstration event, held at the beginning of March in Antofagasta.

The executive adds that this robotic application minimizes emergency maintenance and reduces the changeover time, improving flexibility and operational precision. “The final result is an important advance in the availability of the equipment, adding, as a result, value to our customers.”

The Challenge

On a physical level, the Trommel is attached to the SAG mill (Semi-Autogenous Grinding) and when the mill stops for maintenance, the palmets must also be changed.

The problem is that the duration of the pallets of the Trommel is not the same as that of the coatings of the mill and, therefore, the availability of the SAG grinding process is affected by stopping only to change the palms of the Trommel, generating a high impact on production.

The risk of accidents is another factor to consider, since the palmettes weigh between 80 and 100 kilos, approximately. By making a manual exchange, operators are not only exposed to possible accidents, but also to possible errors in the installation process.

Security and value for all

The manual process of replacing the palmettes takes approximately 23 minutes for each piece, while this same task is performed in just 3 minutes by the team developed by MIRS: one minute to extract the palmette and two minutes to place it.

That is to say, the automated process reduces up to 85% the replacement time of the Trommel palmettes, in SAG mills of any brand.

For all this, the objectives of this robotic solution are to preserve the safety of the workers and increase the productivity of the concentrators.