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Monitoring of motor carbon ring in grinding mills

Faena: Sierra Gorda

Deadline 22/03/2022

Closing Time 4:00 pm

The grinding process at the Sierra Gorda SCM
concentrator plant considers as main equipment three
grinding mills of 7.9 x 13.4 m, with a power of 17 MW
and three sets of hydrocyclones (9 hydrocyclones per
set), one in each mill.
Among the critical components of the grinding mill are
the motor carbon rings, which are responsible for
making the electrical connection between the rotating
part (rotor) and the fixed part (stator) of the motor. From
time to time these carbon rings fail due to short circuits,
forcing the mill to shut down, affecting its availability and
ultimately the plant’s productivity.

Identify technological solutions oriented to continuous
and permanent condition monitoring of motor carbon
rings in grinding mills.

The following will not be considered in the
background evaluation process:
– Advisories, consultancies or engineering
– Proposals that require changes in the
design of equipment and/or structural
changes in the plant.
– Platforms that only consider information

The proposed technological solution must consider the
following requirements:
– Supply, installation and commissioning of the
monitoring system, with data delivery in control room
or in the server that the client decides.
– The system must provide at least one online and real
time measurement of coal temperature, as the most
important variable to be monitored, among others.
– Minimum maintainability requirements and Heavy Duty
constructability characteristics in the case of sensors
and instruments.
– The solution must have a TRL≥7 degree of maturity,
i.e., at least it must be tested in an operational
– For the online monitoring system, information such as:
portability and location; data storage and transmission
capacity; energy autonomy; transmission protocols;
required temperature and luminosity ranges; and
resistance to hostile environments (IP67 or similar)
must be provided.
– Comply with Sierra Gorda SCM’s security and
communications standards.

Reduce unplanned mill shutdowns due to
short-circuits in motor carbon rings.

– Reduced availability of ball mills.
– Plant productivity losses due to unplanned
– Increased costs due to unscheduled


Corrective maintenance of carbon rings.

No new technologies have been tested.

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