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Metso Minerals’ New Mining & Construction Division Outline Their Goals

First published in the September 2014 issue of Quarry Management as Solutions Specialist

With the UK economic recovery gaining momentum and confidence slowly returning to the mineral products sector, QM spoke to Adrian Wood, director of MAC UK, Ireland and European Distribution at Metso Minerals (UK) Ltd, about the new market trends and long-term goals for the newly formed business division

A key challenge facing the quarrying industry is the need to supply aggregates in an environmentally friendly and economical way, and many businesses fully understand that to achieve long-term sustainability they need to constantly measure their own performance, improve energy efficiency and reduce operational costs.

Like good health and safety practice, energy management has become the norm for mineral products suppliers – and this is something that Metso Minerals UK’s newly formed MAC (mining & construction) division will be focusing on delivering to customers seeking optimum plant and equipment availability, reduced production costs and greater flexibility to better follow market trends.

‘In today’s market it’s not just about the equipment, but the total solutions package on offer from plant and equipment manufacturers,’ said Adrian Wood, the  division’s new director of UK, Ireland and European Distribution for Metso Minerals UK.

‘Construction materials suppliers want their processing equipment on site to deliver longer-term value, ranging from complete performance management and optimization of machines to full repairs, servicing and maintenance of products. We’re finding that many of our customers are keen on addressing equipment-related issues; so in response Metso’s package of combined products and services has been specially tailored to set the industry benchmark in terms of equipment-management solutions and aftermarket service offerings.’

Metso Minerals UK have a strong reputation for helping customers to find the best minerals processing solutions and the creation of the mining and construction unit will further strengthen the company’s position as a leading product support provider in the UK, Ireland and European markets.

‘The construction materials market has no doubt changed in recent years, as quarry/mining operators want to deliver the lowest-cost-per-tonne production in the safest possible way at their sites,’ explained Mr Wood.

‘The importance of supplying bespoke solutions to help customers manage their machinery assets and associated costs is, therefore, growing ever more. Ten years ago, around 70% of our annual turnover came from capital equipment sales while equipment-managed contracts made up the remaining 30%. Today, the services business counts for 50% of our net sales and one of my key tasks is to ensure there is a stronger focus on after-sales service and product support through the mining and construction line.’

With mineral products operators striving to reduce their operational costs, make efficiency gains and optimize productivity, it comes as no surprise to learn that bespoke equipment-management packages are increasing in popularity across the industry.  

Typically, customer support agreements with Metso have seen the maintenance, servicing, repair and lifecycle costs of crushing and screening plants all taken care of by the equipment manufacturer. In some cases however, operators are pushing the boundaries and shifting the responsibility of managing the overall processing operation to Metso. 

Mr Wood said: ‘We’re finding an increasing number of customers looking at the bigger picture when it comes to site efficiency, performance and maximizing their return on investment. Whether it is fuel-efficiency gains, energy cost savings or improving health and safety; they are willing to go a step further by taking a collaborative, long-term approach to optimizing their equipment assets. 

‘Having Metso Minerals as a partner, quarry/mining operators have access not only to the global experience and expertise of the company, but also the vast availability of resources on hand to meet equipment challenges.’

Research and development has always been, and continues to be, a cornerstone of Metso’s business-growth strategy and this complements the company’s equipment services business by supporting customers, driving technological innovation and developing new products and processing solutions.

Mr Wood firmly believes Metso’s client-focused approach, aspirations and ability to deliver tailored equipment solutions puts them in a perfect position to meet the evolving needs of the mineral products sector, not least health and safety. 

‘Metso are fully committed to health and safety improvements and nothing is more important than working with employees and subcontractors to establish a strong safety culture,’ he explained. ‘We have invested heavily in training, mentoring and continued professional development of our staff to ensure there are zero accidents and near-misses in the workplace. One of my goals at Metso is to maintain a safety-focused culture where employees understand and see the value of strict safety procedures, and look out for each other.’ 

Safety has also become a high priority for Metso when it comes to designing new products and revising their existing equipment portfolio. Mr Wood continued: ‘Designed for mines and large quarries, our recently launched Nordberg C150 jaw crusher is a fine example of offering reliability, crushing efficiency and versatility in stationary, mobile and portable applications with safety and ease of use in mind. It features optional robust composite flywheel guards that allow quick and safe access to all service points and includes lifting tools for jaw dies and cheek/toggle plates to ensure operational safety when changing wear parts.’

A new crushing solution designed for increased safety and performance is the Nordberg NP15 impact crusher. Developed for use in secondary and tertiary applications, the NP15 features a steeper feed angle that increases material penetration into the rotor and makes the discharge curve less sensitive to blow-bar wear and more consistent over time. The impact crusher accepts feed material up to 400mm and is powered by a 355kW motor on a single drive.

Another key safety feature of the Nordberg NP15 is the crusher’s maintenance bridge that provides safe and easy access to the highest side liners, as well as a patented self-rotation rotor which acts as the centralized point for adjusting the settings and changing the blow bars. The impact crusher also features a removable breaker plate cassette that allows breaker plate liners to be changed safely. A spare cassette can be prepared in advance to further ease and speed up the changing of the liners.

Another Metso product acclaimed for its high level of safety design is the revised Nordberg CVB screen. It is said to offer the most comfortable space between the decks in the category of inclined circular motion screens. Having a large space reduces the risk of injuries and helps make the replacement of screening panels easier and quicker.

To increase safety even further, the Nordberg CVB screen is equipped with rubber stabilizers, high-safety belt guards and a centralized, conveniently located greasing manifold, along with coil spring covers to minimize the risk of pinching accidents. In addition, wear protection liners are bolted on to make them safe, easy and quick to replace unlike the glued rubber liners found in similar screens on the market.

Whether it is helping customers to increase processing efficiency, reduce energy consumption, optimize machine uptime or improve safety and maintenance, Metso’s new generation of high-performance crushing and screening machines will be playing their part in meeting these key industry challenges.

A mobile plant that Mr Wood is clearly excited about since its launch earlier in the year and one that represents a major innovation in aggregates processing is the Lokotrack LT220D.

‘The machine is a game-changer in the market – it combines a cone crusher (Nordberg GP220 or HP200) and screen into a single track-mounted plant offering the benefits of lower fuel consumption, easier transportation, reduced maintenance and rapid set-up times,’ he commented.

‘The LT220D is also designed with contractors in mind, who often haul equipment on a daily basis. Thanks to its compact dimensions, transportability and ease of installation, contractors using this machine can work on smaller contracts, moving from one job site to another that previously would have been impractical and costly to carry out with conventional plant.’

He continued: ‘As well as offering mobile flexibility, the Lokotrack LT220D is also one of the most fuel-efficient products in the Metso mobile range. The fact that both crushing and screening elements are powered a single Cat C13 diesel engine helps deliver higher levels of profitability to the plant operator’s bottom line.’

The innovative LT220D model has been very well received since making its debut at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 and Mr Wood is confident the hybrid machine will revolutionize the way aggregate contractors operate around the world.

With the UK economy currently going through a period of sustained growth, construction equipment manufacturers will continue to develop a variety of new and exciting solutions to help aggregates operators and suppliers respond to the market as demand increases. 

Companies understand all too well the clear competitive edge that innovation brings, and that sustainability forms a key part of their current and future commercial success.

Encouragingly, investment in product enhancement, innovation and R&D at Metso has always been strong and with the mining and construction segment up and running, Mr Wood is confident Metso will continue to be at the forefront of embracing and leading innovation in materials processing.

‘Our core focus is on the continuous development of intelligent, value-added solutions that will improve sustainability and profitability for our customers,’ said Mr Wood. ‘It’s not only a long-term challenge but also a strong growth area for the business. The creation of mining and construction is to ensure that we are a one-stop-shop organization for all minerals processing needs across the industry, which will further strengthen Metso Minerals’ status as a truly global total solutions provider.’

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