The the South African mining industry being at an inflection point, in which newer, innovative technologies have the potential to unlock new ways of managing variability and enhancing productivity, is no point of contention, says comminution and separation solutions provider IMS Engineering marketing manager Penny Höll.
“IMS Engineering believes that the local mining industry is fully aware of their need to innovate,” she says, noting that the local market is dramatically more receptive to new technology and innovation to ensure it keeps pace with global industry trends.
To respond to the need for innovation, IMS Engineering showcased several new cutting- edge innovations, from innovative crushing, sorting and screening technologies, to better monitoring and optimisation solutions for existing equipment at this year’s Electra Mining Africa show in Johannesburg.
A key innovation displayed at Electra last month includes the IMOST system, which is an acronym for integrated management and engineering systems; optimisation of the equipment and process performance; support to site through an expert group; and using leading-edge technologies and tools. IMOST remotely monitors and manages customers’ IMS Engineering’s equipment in real time by means of telecommunications. This assists customers in improving their plants’ intelligence, reliability and performance.
While traditional methods of monitoring and control using programmable logic controller and supervisory control and data acquisition systems are well established in the mining industry, Höll reasons that these were designed for a world of central management and control, tailored for the production environment, and not necessarily suited to the new world of business imperatives, such as increased plant availability, reduced environmental impact, lower operating costs, reduced labour resources and increased ‘green’ credentials.
In addition to IMOST, IMS Engineering also showcased another new interesting technology recently added to its product offering – General Kinematics, which is a two-mass vibratory technology that is more effective than conventional vibratory equipment.
IMS also displayed an Astro Jaw, as well as a Cybas-i cone crusher at its stand.
Reflecting on the changing priorities of capital equipment owners, Höll notes that the industry has moved away from just product suppliers to end-to-end solutions providers.
“We have aligned ourselves with a trend we have identified; today’s customer no longer wants a supplier to just deliver goods. Our customers have evolved and are looking to align themselves with strategic partners whom they can build long-term relationships with and look up to as process experts,” says Höll.
In line with this trend, IMS has, over the years, evolved as an organisation. “Long gone are the days when merely supplying a product was ‘good enough’. An integral component of our evolution was the move to unlock value in comminution and separation processes, with a view to enhance our customers’ business operations during the complete life cycle,” says Höll. She adds that to accomplish this, IMS Engineering ensures that all its technologies are leading and proven in their respective markets.
IMS Engineering has developed the expertise to look at an entire flowsheet and make suggestions as to how the customer can further optimise their operation.
“This we do through our extensive range of leading-edge technologies, state-of-the-art testing capabilities and extensive in-house experience – making us a true total solutions provider as opposed to a once-off product supplier,” concludes Höll.