The largest bauxite mining producer boosts productivity with Clear Edge’s innovative solutions
One of the world’s largest integrated bauxite mining, alumina refining and aluminium smelting producer, boosts productivity with Clear Edge innovative solutions
Since the dawn of the aluminum industry, Our Customer has been synonymous with operational excellence and leadership in the production of Bauxite, Alumina, and Aluminum products.
In today’s aluminum market, where lean operation is critical, Our Customer’s comprehensive portfolio of assets and operating experience are uniquely built to lead. They are known worldwide as a values-based company that holds to the highest standards of excellence–operational, environmental, and ethical—as essential for business and sustainability in order to deliver the best products and outcomes to customers and shareholders.
Our Customer needed an improvement in their cloth service life, liquor volume over cycle time, and maximise set point flows at its refinery in Western, Australia.
Most of the filtration equipment used in Our Customer’s facility are process critical filtration steps of the Bayer circuit. It is therefore essential to supply the correct filtration stage appropriate media for each application.
A trending surge in Kelly Cloth usage was evident from mid-2020 in line with process changes implemented to increase productivity at the refinery. The perceived advantage by modifying the process in the Digestion Stage was negated by Clear Edge filter media performance in the liquor polishing filter press building.
Their aim was not only to scale up production but to upgrade to a higher manufacturing standard, for increased safety, efficiency, and energy savings. Hence, looking for a supplier who can address the below requirement and contacted Clear Edge based on products, service, solutions, and reputation in the market.
- Increase cloth service life
- Increase liquor volume over cycle time
- Increase average cycle flows
- Maximise set point flows
In collaboration with Our Customer’s Technology Delivery Group (TDG), a series of laboratory bench-scale filter media screening tests were conducted. As a consequence of these tests, an alternate media was identified and tested in the field. What was expected to take place, would see a stepwise change in media characteristics which could lead to potential replacement of multifilament to monofilament product.
The savings are shown in the below table.
Field trials were carried out in a stage process whereby an initial “sighter” single filter press trial had to be completed to assess benefits. The recommendation based on the “sighter” trial resulted in a transition of the monofilament quality 26210W across the entire building which holds 45 Bayer filter presses (765 frames).
|Media||Average Volume Over Cycle (m3/hr)||Average Cycle Flow (m3/hr)||Average Set Point Flow (hrs)|
|Percentage Change (%)||+8||+16||+17|
A major logistical challenge emerged as it was evident that switching to our monofilament was possibly surpassing expectations and by not transitioning rapidly was to potentially cost Our Customer significant productivity gains.
In a collaborative approach, both Clear Edge and our Customer stakeholders were able to engage input from Clear Edge’s production teams to fast track weaving of the new media. Our Customer provided their confidence in the transition across to monofilament by raising forward orders for over 3,400 cloths whilst Clear Edge production teams met lead time goals within 2 months.
Thus, the investment in Clear Edge exhibited its mission of making our customer
SAFER – By reducing cloth changes and minimising manual handling
HEALTHIER – Limiting operator exposure to a hazardous environment
PRODUCTIVE – Maximising performance and profitability of a process stage
With increased service life and far fewer changeovers, less manpower was required resulting from the increased machine uptime. The cleaner filtrate also adds benefits in terms of longevity of tool life, resulting in additional indirect cost and material savings. The approx. calculations are shown below.
Improved Liquor Flow: up to +144m3/hr liquor flow
Productivity: up to 70gpl
up to144000*70 = 10T hydate/hr
Say: up to 8T Al2O3/hr
up to 8*24*365 = 70,000T/annum
up to@$300/T = $21ML
Or up to $57K/day
The customer was very satisfied with our solution as its improved productivity, uptime, and reduced waste.
“Due to this change in filter media by Clear Edge, the filters are running very stable and smooth, helping us achieve new productivity record,” says the Customer. “Clear Edge filter media products provide stable, safe, and durable products that assure non-stop production.” the Customer adds.