There are many different machine setup parameters and variables that affect the production of cone crushers in a mineral processing plant. One of these variables is the eccentric speed at which the cone gyrates. In June 2012, pilot tests were conducted on a 200 hp high speed cone crusher to determine the production and operating conditions over a wide spectrum of eccentric speed.
Every plant will have variations in the ore characteristics and feed rates throughout the life of the mine, and at times throughout a single shift of operation, which result in non-optimal use of the crushing energy and inconsistent process control. For high speed cone crushers, the crusher will exhibit a different capacity, power required, and discharge size distribution as the speed ranges over the design limits of the machine. This study documents the measured variation in production and energy efficiency both when the crusher ran at full capacity as well as when the feed to the crusher was not sufficient to run at full capacity. Overall, the results match theory and the capacity and power fluctuated by 25% and 17%, respectively, over the speed range when operated full while there was an overall trend of slightly coarser discharge size distribution as the speed decreased. The results with the fixed feed rate were more telling, as the crushers had 4-14% higher production when making a theoretical minus 12.5 mm product when operating at the optimal speed as compared to the worst speed in the “typical” speed range for this application. Secondary analysis of the fixed tonnage testing also showed that the power draw was more consistent with lower magnitude spikes at the higher speeds (higher cavity level), as on average the standard deviation of the power draw increased from 7% to 18% and the peak power spikes from 20% to 48% over the speed range tested.
The findings lay groundwork for more efficient plant design. Varying the speed of the crusher can be used to tune the crusher speed during commissioning, adapt to changing ore conditions over long periods of time, or be used as a dynamic input into an advanced control system. Each action above would serve to make the crusher(s) more productive and more energy efficient, and would also have mechanical benefits for the machine.
This paper was presented and published as an SME Preprint at the 2013 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit, February 24-27, Denver, Colorado.