Voice of Customer Drives Innovation
“The mining industry is known to be very conservative. We’re bringing the industry together to co-develop disruptive technology that could never be developed by a single company,” Gillian says. Council members provide “technology experts and insights. They’re telling us what the market wants to adopt something that’s completely new and different.”
Through the CMIC, the voice of the customer is driving industry innovation.
“When you’re working together as a team, innovation happens at the speed of trust,” Gillian says. “You talk about real issues and what it will take to bring in technology and actually end up using it.”
Revolutionary New Grinding Technology
The CMIC has several exciting projects underway including the development of the Conjugated Anvil Hammer Mill (CAHM) and MonoRoll Platform. Together, these two machines have the potential to reduce energy consumption by 65% compared to the current comminution process. Another benefit is this revolutionary new technology will eliminate the need for secondary crushing mills, equipment and related transportation.
“Because we’re not using conventional steel balls as grinding media, we won’t have to produce and ship them. That’s a huge Scope 3 type of (carbon emission) reduction,” Gillian explains. “Not only are we going to reduce energy consumption, but we’ll ultimately simplify flow sheets and make the whole grinding process less costly.”
Data Collection Key to Commercialization
Initial machine testing has shown promising results for the patented CAHM and MonoRoll Platform. The project features several Rockwell Automation technologies including ControlLogix® programmable controllers, PowerFlex® variable speed drives, PanelView™ visualization software, and FactoryTalk® Historian software for data collection.
“We need to collect data to show not just that we can break rocks efficiently, but also how the machine is working so we can develop that next generation machine,” Gillian says. “Rockwell Automation’s technical team has been instrumental in helping us get the required data so we can build the next commercial unit.”
To commercialize and identify mine demonstration sites for the CAHM and MonoRoll Platform, the CMIC has formed ReThink Milling Inc. They hope to install and start CAHM demo testing in 2023 and secure the MonoRoll site in 2024.
Learn more about the work ReThink Milling (whose members include over a dozen industry leaders, including Rockwell Automation) are doing to drive innovation in the mining industry here.