Foundry Daily News

Co-creation as a means of delivering efficient plant design

In recent years the issues of productivity and efficiency have risen to the top of the agenda in the global materials processing industry. There has been a shift in emphasis from one founded on the principal of ‘more capacity’ to one which seeks to ensure that every individual operation is extracting maximum value from the material being processed.

This presents a new challenge for most equipment manufacturers who will now have to go beyond their previously self-imposed boundaries and get closer to the end user to ensure that the equipment they provide will meet the productivity and efficiency requirements that are now driving investment decisions.

Every application has its own unique challenges and in order for equipment manufacturers to provide fit for purpose processing systems they need to ensure they are at the very centre of the discussion. This is especially true in the wet processing and classification market where understanding the specifics of the feed material is a critical factor in the delivery of a successful project.

The change in emphasis from ‘capacity’ to ‘productivity’ has sharpened the focus on every processing phase within the complete system as operators seek to identify where the inefficiencies lie and put a plan in place to address these. This increased focus can reveal an array of process issues that previously went unnoticed – unnecessary material spillage, inefficient separation systems which result in poor quality final products and good quality material being lost to the water treatment or waste management phase.

Any processing plant including several different processing phases must be much more than a number of individual equipment items in sequence. In order to deliver on the productivity and efficiency requirements of the industry a robust plant design process is required which requires a considerable level of consultation between manufacturer and end-user. It is only by adopting this approach that a full understanding will exist of the requirements of the project.

This process should take account of a number of issues and ensure that the plant is configured to ensure delivery of the most efficient processing system. These include material testing and analysis, space restrictions, civils design, proximity to waste storage areas, transfer point technology, water management and maintenance access.

Our experience over the last two decades in the design and delivery of successful materials washing projects has been built on the theory of co-creation – a partnership between us and you, the end-user to understand your objectives, address the issues you are facing and ensure that the processing system is designed with the in-built flexibility to ensure that any future changes in your requirements can be accommodated with the least amount of disruption.

A successful materials washing plant is built on a detailed understanding of your project as something unique and the design and specification of the appropriate technologies to ensure your objectives are met. To try and achieve this with a limited range of standardised, mass produced equipment is not possible – and the success we have enjoyed in the materials washing arena over the last 20 years is testament to this.

By conducting extensive material testing and analysis in our own laboratory a full understanding of the nature of the feed material is gained. While testing will indicate whether the final product specifications desired by the end-user are able to be achieved it is the further detailed analysis of these results that will potentially reveal opportunities to maximise product yield from the feed material. It may be possible to look at production of additional sand specifications which will not only reduce waste volumes but provide an additional revenue stream. This will often require the introduction of more complex processing systems if a specialist sand can be produced - sports sands, filter sands, foundry sands for example. While this will require additional investment the return on investment argument is a compelling one given the potential to produce a product for one of these high value applications.

By conducting a process audit on existing sites we can focus in on the areas where specific actions are required in order to improve efficiencies. This will help us to identify what the important issues are to you in that specific situation and ensure that any new processing system is built to tackle these and deliver on your requirements for increased process efficiency, productivity and plant availability.

A key element of the co-creation process is the design workshops that we undertake. These workshops typically involve a number of representatives from the customer – operations personnel as well as senior management – as well as an extensive project team from CDE. This will include a senior Technical Engineer who will be involved to discuss plant specification in detail with you and ensure that there is clarity around the site infrastructure (civils design, water requirements, power requirements).

As well as dealing with these pre-sales elements our design workshops will also introduce you to the delivery processes we have in place to ensure project delivery goes to plan. This is an area which is often overlooked and the costs of poor delivery underestimated. Our washing centric ProMan system has been proven to deliver hundreds of materials washing projects successfully and the design workshop will involve meeting with the individual Project Manager who will take ultimate responsibility for the delivery of your project and act as a single point of contact until project completion. You will also be introduced to all of the other elements of our project delivery process and meet the team of people involved in your project – logistics, design, install & commissioning, post commissioning support, training.

In summary, mass produced and standardised equipment is designed around the principle of making a production facility efficient rather than delivering successful materials washing projects. The success we have enjoyed in the global washing sector is evidence that successful plant design and delivery involves a huge level of direct contact between us as equipment manufacturers and you as end users of the equipment. Each and every plant we build is co-created with our customers and this applies whether we’re delivering a single item of equipment or a full turnkey processing system integrating many different processing phases. Our M2500 is the perfect example – almost 100 machines sold in the last 3 years and no two machines are the same.

It is this ability and our agility in regard to the plant design process that ensures we are in a position to help you deliver on your requirements for the most efficient, most productive processing system available.


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