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SKF saves mine nearly 700 000 USD per year in unplanned shutdowns

The challenge

A Latin American mining facility had been enduring repeated unplanned shutdowns in its SAG mill for years, along with resulting lost production costs of $960 000 annually.

All the while, vibration levels in the mill were growing steadily worse. Unsure of the cause of the failures, even after consulting with several local experts, the company looked to SKF for answers.

The SKF solution

After capturing a range of machine operating data, SKF Engineering Simulation Services engineers applied it to a series of advanced analyses, including Vibration analysis, Operating Deflection Shape analysis and Finite Element Analysis.

The investigation revealed that years of service under heavy loads had caused the pinion bearing housings to loosen and lose stiffness. Additionally, the steel frame embedded in the foundation of the electric motor was structurally weak. SKF proposed stiffer bearing housings for the pinion shaft and recommended stiffening the steel frame of the drive motor.

The results

The proposed SKF solution eliminated the unplanned shutdowns and, following modifications, even boosted production capability by 2%, resulting in a revenue of about $470 000 in the first year alone.

Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Annual lost production costs: $667 000
  • Total investment in SKF solution: $195 000
  • Total ROI 243%

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