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Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany

Smith A.,Sympatec Inc | Steigerwald S.,Sympatec Inc | Behrens C.,Sympatec GmbH
IFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline) | Year: 2013

Particle size control is important in efficient mineral processing, but today many milling operations are controlled using techniques which only consider the minimum particle dimension and assume that shapes of the particles remain constant Many process operations suffer from variation in efficiency which cannot be explained by conventional techniques such as screening This can be as a result of process changes such as ore source causing a change in particle morphology which is simply not detected when only the minimum particle dimension is considered Image analysis data will be used to demonstrate the key principles behind particle size measurement and the reality of mineral slurry shape distributions Unfortunately the application of image analysis techniques to on-line analysis of mineral slurries is not a practical proposition for reasons of sampling, statistics and cleanliness, therefore alternative techniques must be used on-line to obtain reliable and process sensitive data Ultrasonic extinction fulfils many of the requirements for on-line particle size analysis, being able to monitor vast numbers of particles at high concentration and since the technique responds to the area of the particles, a more process sensitive measure may be obtained The OPUS ultrasonic extinction system uses 31 frequencies to measure a full particle size distribution from approx 1um to 3mm and for the first time allows for parameters such as distribution width, fine particle levels and solids concentration to be measured reliably on-line in a single unit Data will be presented to show the potential for better process understanding through utilisation of the full particle size distribution information Copyright © 2013 IFAC.


Smith A.,Sympatec Inc | Stender M.,FH Flensburg | Pankewitz A.,Sympatec GmbH | Behrens C.,Sympatec GmbH
IMPC 2014 - 27th International Mineral Processing Congress | Year: 2014

Particle size measurement is one of the most important factors in obtaining peak performance of the mineral processing plant in order to ensure efficient milling and flotation circuit operation. Off-line particle distribution analysis technologies only allow an infrequent check of the ore slurry size and hence do not allow for timely process monitoring or intervention. Most existing on-line particle size analysers suffer from a variety of disabilities such as poor statistics, non-representative sampling or mechanically complex setup. This paper will describe an Ultrasonic Extinction based method which overcomes many limitations of existing online analysers and has proven its performance for mineral applications over many years. Installation examples will be given. Since new technologies usually raise e questions about comparability and agreement to common particle size analytical methods e.g. sieving or laser diffraction analysis, extensive studies were performed comparing these different technologies to quantify the quality of results as well as its mathematical robustness.


Pankewitz A.,Sympatec GmbH | Zeng S.,Jiangxi Copper Corporation
26th International Mineral Processing Congress, IMPC 2012: Innovative Processing for Sustainable Growth - Conference Proceedings | Year: 2012

The well-established on-line particle size analyzer OPUS manufactured by Sympatec GmbH, has been successfully implemented in several mining and industrial minerals project. OPUS monitors the particle size distribution in 31 fractions as well as the solid concentration in opaque and highly concentrated ore and mineral slurries on-line in real time e.g. behind mills or cyclones applying 31 ultrasonic frequencies for highest resolution. Ultrasonic extinction overcomes all limitations known from optical and mechanical systems like contamination, blockage and wear. OPUS measures slurries in their original state without any dilution, hence no extensive sampling procedure or sample conditioning is required thus no dilution errors occur. Due to the OPUS design and suitable algorithms entrained air bubbles do not affect the quality of analysis at all. The sensor covers particle size distributions from 0,01 to 3.000,00 μm and solid concentrations up to 70 % by volume and can be easily adapted to a number of production lines simultaneously. Jiangxi Copper's Dexing Mine is one of the biggest copper mines in Asia and among the first users for OPUS on-line particle size and concentration analysis in mining industry. OPUS is connected to 2 process lines. Jiangxi Copper has implemented OPUS for into their central control system for the grinding & classifying circuit of one SAG mill and one ball mill. Analysis data and process control as well as optimization based on OPUS particle size and concentration measurements will be discussed.


Pankewitz A.,Sympatec GmbH | Behrens C.,Sympatec GmbH | Geng J.,Sympatec China SYMSINO | Smith A.,Sympatec GmbH
XXV International Mineral Processing Congress 2010, IMPC 2010 | Year: 2010

Control of particle size in mineral processing is of critical importance for the efficient operation of downstream processes such as flotation, cyclone separation, magnetic separation, settling, drying or others. In order to optimise the process an early control of the particle size leaving the milling stage is essential. Ultrasonic Extinction based particle size analysers are capable of performing online particle size distribution (PSD) and solid content measurement of mineral slurries such as iron ore, copper ore, fluorspar, quartz sand or others directly in a tough process environment. The method does not generally require any sample preparation or dilution, hence instruments can be installed directly in the product flow without complicated peripherals. The OPUS ultrasonic extinction system produced by Sympatec Germany provides real time, on-line PSD of 31 size classes and can be applied for particles from nanometre range up to several millimetres with solid contents from only one per cent up to thick pastes. The OPUS sensor is designed as a rugged in-line probe which is highly resistant to the wear or contamination which plagues optical systems. The technique is independent of product flow, contamination, optical properties, vibrations, pressure or changes in solid concentration. Even air bubbles, known to evoke noise signal, are recognised and depressed by suitable algorithms. Various installations are presented.


Witt W.,Sympatec GmbH | Stubinger T.,Sympatec GmbH | Kohler U.,Sympatec GmbH | List J.,Sympatec GmbH | Jordan J.,Sympatec GmbH
Chemie-Ingenieur-Technik | Year: 2012

From ancient times size standards allow for comparing and converting different size measures. Nevertheless, in the field of particle size analysis no generally suitable standards are available till today with measured sizes traceable to the standard meter. So a qualification on an absolute scale of the measurement instruments is currently only possible with restrictions. Starting with the analysis of the current situation considerations are presented for the creation of a particular standard material. The concept is based on the idea to generate broad size distributions using mixtures of precisely qualifiable, spherical, monodisperse fractions (picket fence distribution). Essential material characteristics have been determined by simulations and a first standard material was produced. Currently an absolute precision of ±2% has been reached. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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