Weir Minerals Africa is focused on partnering with customers to drive efficiencies using its proven technology-driven solutions.
According to Grant Ramsden, Regional Managing Director of Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East, the company’s successful evolution over a century and a half continues with a strong sustainability vision for the modern mining, minerals processing and the sand and aggregate industries.
“As our mining sector customers look to reduce their carbon footprint, we are engineering solutions for a future that prioritises energy efficiency and raises productivity,” says Ramsden, who stepped into his new role during the economic lockdown in 2020. “With leading brands all the way from ground-engaging tools to processing equipment across the mill circuit, we have an exciting year ahead with our continuously expanding equipment range.”
Among the solutions that will raise most interest, he says, are the company’s high pressure grinding rolls (HPGRs), which are more energy efficient than traditional ball mills and utilise dry processing. With most of the global mining sector having readily embraced this technology, there is still plenty of scope for its adoption in Africa.
“Another exciting area of opportunity for us remains our GEHO positive displacement pump range, where we continue to see substantial interest,” he says. “These pumps represent the latest advances in hydro-transport, and will also add to the efficiencies that we can bring to mining across Africa.”
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ramsden says that Weir’s Synertrex® condition monitoring and smart analytics platform will also attract more attention in 2021. Developed by Weir Minerals to complement its portfolio of mining equipment, Synertrex® monitors product operation and feeds data automatically to the cloud and control systems. This also allows for remote monitoring where employees or management may not have regular physical access to plant operations.
“With our service-focused approach, we are able to become directly integrated into the customer’s operation, through having one of our own experts in the mine’s control room helping to monitor equipment and possibly even procuring the necessary spares,” he says. “Synertrex has already proved itself in South Africa’s minerals sands segment, and similar interest has been expressed from other commodity miners in our region. This system can also streamline procurement by alerting customers when new spares may be needed.”
Ramsden also emphasises the value in Weir Minerals’ wear resistant technology (WRT), which has demonstrated increases in the life of impellers and throat bushes of Warman® slurry pumps by up to 30%. These improvements significantly extend pump life and reduce total cost of ownership for our customers.
As an established original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in South Africa, Weir Minerals Africa is planning further investment in upgrades and process improvements at its Isando foundry. It will also be directing resources for a technology upgrade at its Isando rubber plant, one of two local facilities contributing to the company’s range of IP-protected rubber products.
“After a difficult 2020 for everyone, it will be exciting to be investing and expanding to assist our customers to meet their production targets,” he says. “We also look forward to continuing our investment in local skills, which includes supporting 22 graduates – 90% of whom are drawn into our business after qualifying from their university studies.”
Ramsden highlights the importance of the Weir Minerals’ Mill Circuit University in providing essential training to our staff – helping to keep the company and the broader mining industry operating at the highest levels of performance.
“The technical experts in our business constantly leverage new technology, applying it to our products to the benefit of our customers,” he says. “The use of 3-D scanners, for instance, enhances the capability of our process engineers when they visit customer sites. This enables them to quickly generate the measurements they need to develop quality proposals for productivity solutions.”
He is also confident about the prospects for the Middle East, where comminution is the main focus of the company’s offerings – serving the considerable demand for infrastructure works in that region. Its local capacity has been further enhanced by the recent unveiling of a new world class service centre in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
“This aligns with our mission to be available wherever and whenever our customers need us,” he concludes.