The Chilean Company HighService, specialist in automation, says that its Smart War Sensor (SWS) can reduce the maintenance frequency in SAG Mill, and at the same time can increase its availability. The SWS provides an effective tool for monitoring the bolts and reduce the necessary time for the Mill’s inspections.

Due to the fact that the bolts, inside the SAG Mills, are critical equipment they must been replaced frequently, to prevent the wear’s coating in Mill, so visual inspections and ultrasonic measurements of the wear in bolt, are the key for a effective maintenance. However, an earlier replacement increases the time detention and as consequence the operational costs increase, too. For this reason, it is important to maximize the service life of each component. At the same time, a later bolt replacement can result in serious damages in the equipment and significant extra costs. With a SAG Mill stopped the costs up to US 15,000 per hour, so it is clear that the running time should be maximized, because the mills are considered important “bottlenecks” for the full production.

According to HighService, the appropriate use of SWS in two SAG Mills at Los Pelambres Mining, can allow savings up to US 60,000/mill in one single year. The Smart Wear Sensor consists of 2 parts: a sensor wear and a display. The wear sensor is mounted within that holds the bolts inside the mill and at the bottom container, information is transmitted to a 915MHz receiver. The receiver’s characteristics are a console which displays the bolt’s wear state during the mill’s operation. The Sensors Container’s assembly is done at the critical mill, where the bolt’s wear record is monitored on-line.

The Company says that its first installation of SWS, in two SAG Mills at Los Pelambres Mining, has proven being highly successful. According to HighService, the equipment using at Los Pelambres, has saving 5 hours of operative time for both Mills, totaling more than US 145,000 in reliability terms. With over 220 installations around the world, which could benefit from using the SWS, HighService believes that its technology has a considerable potential and is focused on copper and gold applications.

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