We invite you to register on our platform and characterize your technological solution, so you can participate in the open innovation processes that we carry on for the main mining companies in the country

Register here

Eliminate man-machine interaction when changing SAG mill liners


Deadline 21/04/2020

Closing Time

Solutions are sought to eliminate potential hazardous conditions for maintainers during liner changeover tasks in SAG mills.

Solutions are sought to eliminate potential hazardous conditions for maintainers during liner changeover tasks in SAG mills. Solutions will be considered that:
• Avoid the proximity of the maintainers and the machine used for the change of linings.
• Allow for tasks that are currently performed within the confined space of the SAG mill outside of the machine.
• Support or replace manual tasks (welding, bolting, moving parts). The solution must be easy to implement, non-invasive and compatible with the use of the telescopic arm used for liner loading and positioning.

Operation and processes involved:
Escondida Mine, Concentrating Plant SAG Mill

Current situation:
In the SAG mill liner change activities, a hydraulic machine is used which is installed in its main part outside the mill and extends a telescopic arm inside allowing to take, lift and position each liner piece. Additionally, for the liner change, a crew of 4 to 5 maintainers is required inside the SAG mill to perform tasks such as: verifying the correct position and adjustment of the part, bolting and working with oxyfuel, among others. The work of the maintainers is carried out in a reduced space, so it requires special attention to the movements and displacements of the telescopic arm to avoid possible work accidents.

Exposure to the risk of crushing.

Problem occurrence:
During scheduled maintenance (minor and major) when the SAG mill lining is changed.

Working protocols are applied. Reviews and safety talks.

Proven technologies:
Proximity sensors were tested so that when the maintainer approaches, the machine slows down and stops. This development did not meet the objective since, being in constant interaction within the mill, the machine produced more stops than estimated, generating longer intervention times.


Challenge page

Supply Innovation BHP

aims to promote the development of projects between the Company and the Suppliers with an associative approach, where the design and construction of the solution for the “Challenge” detected by an area of the Operation is addressed jointly. In this way, the generated projects develop solutions that add value to the Company and the suppliers build capacities and competencies that translate in more and better business opportunities.

Expande program

The Open Innovation in Mining Program, Expande, is a public-private initiative designed and carried out by Fundación Chile. The purpose is to drive innovation and make possible a better future for global mining, promoting the mining ecosystem in Chile along with building a collaborative model that enables the best solutions for the high complexity challenges of mining today and tomorrow.