Challenge

BHP

Cleaning systems for belt scales

Challenge

Cleaning systems for belt scales

Aim and Scope

Technological solutions are required to clean or prevent the accumulation of copper concentrate in belt scale system installed on the conveyor belts in the shipping area of Minera Escondida.

Solutions must meet the following requirements:

  • Robust and prepared for industrial operating conditions.
  • Feasible to install in small spaces considering that the system is caged.
  • Minimal requirement of on-site workers for operation and maintenance.
  • Operation should not affect the sensitivity of the equipment.
  • Have a technological readiness level TRL>= 5, i.e. at least one prototype validated in a complex or relevant environment.
  • Meet Minera Escondida quality and safety standards.

Excluded solutions:

  • Consulting or engineering studies.
  • Solutions for only monitoring the belt scale system.

 

Operation and processes involved

Minera Escondida. The potential areas to deal with the problem are: Operations and Maintenance.

 

Challenge

During the copper concentrate shipment operation, measurement of the weight of the product is carried out using belt scale systems installed on the outbound conveyor belts. The belt scale systems is a ThermoFisher Scientific Ramsey Series 14 with 4 load cells; 4 systems above the weigh bridge, 6 systems before the weigh bridge and 6 systems after the weigh bridge.

The system is designed to allow a maximum error of ±0,25% in the weight measurement, however, due to the copper concentrate accumulating on the load cells there is an increased error in the belt scales.

 

Consequences

Unavailability of the system due to daily cleaning requirements. Increase in zero error and/or span, decreasing the reliability of the weighing system. This causes possible economic losses due to the error in the weight of the copper concentrate shipped.

 

When does the problem occur?

It occurs every time copper concentrate is accumulated on the belt scale system.

 

How is it currently resolved?

Daily cleaning of the belt scale system is carried out by manual washing with water.

 

Tested technologies

No technologies have been tested