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SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide


Condition monitoring solution for West African SAG mill
February 2018, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

SKF supplied a custom-designed heavy duty bearing housing assembly and two IMX-S conditioning monitoring systems for a 12 MW SAG mill operating on a gold mine in West Africa. “This is the first combination online condition monitoring system and drive train solution for a SAG mill supplied by SKF,” says project manager, John Storm. The end-user purchased the complete new SAG mill for the gold mine from a South African project house. The application presented a number of challenges which prompted the project house to approach SKF for assistance. “We had to find a solution to address the significant loading that the dual drive mill places on the bearing housing caps,” explains Storm. “Furthermore, as the entire plant is automated with instrumentation feedback to a control room, it was imperative that the mill comply with existing protocol.”

SKF’s turnkey solution included South African designed bearings and sleeves, complete with custom-designed heavy duty pinion housings. SKF customised the housing assemblies to include an uprated cap bolt and housing shell thickness to ensure that the housings are able to withstand severe cap loading on drive train A and B for increased lifespan and improved uptime for the end-user. The scope of work also called for the supply of a spare pinion. “To provide additional protection to the bearings from contamination ingress we incorporated special custom sealing arrangements to customer specific requirements,” adds Storm.

SKF’s solution also extended to a customised IMX-S based solution for on-line condition monitoring and analysis. IMX-S was rebuilt into an IP66 rated panel complete with a dust canopy. Two IMX-S units were supplied to monitor both drive train A and B of the 12 MW mill. Storm explains that the system provides Modbus RTU to Modbus IP/TCP conversion for real-time integration and asset status feed to the end-user’s control room. SKF’s customised turnkey bearing housings and online monitoring system designed in accordance with customer specifications fitted the end-user’s existing infrastructure and met all the required safety factors on the mill’s A and B mill drive trains. “We supplied a world-class quality, rugged, cost-effective, easy to install solution that delivers increased productivity through higher machine efficiency and availability for the end-user,” concludes Storm.

For more information contact Samantha Joubert, SKF South Africa, +27 (0)11 821 3500,,

Supplied By: SKF South Africa
Tel: +27 11 821 3500
Fax: +27 11 821 3505
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