kwatani
Kwatani CEO, Kim Schoepflin with Tendai ‘Beast' Mtawarira

This year’s Electra Mining Africa exhibition will see leading vibrating screen and feeder OEM Kwatani showcasing its wide range of product offerings across industries – from its custom-built 4.3 m wide ‘beast’ for coal to its smaller industrial separators.

Visitors will recognise the image of rugby star Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira on Kwatani’s exhibition stand, signalling the power and duty delivered by this equipment.

A replica of the nose of its largest screen will be on show at its stand, giving visitors a full appreciation of its scale.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 8 2018

The real screens are in operation at a large South African coal mine.

With product testing as a vital component of its business philosophy, Kwatani will also have a test screen on show at Electra Mining Africa.

“Our capacity to develop customised solutions will be on show, built with our experience of 42 years in the business,” says Kwatani CEO Kim Schoepflin.

“With some 15 000 units in over 30 countries, we are the largest producer of customised vibration equipment, and have used this experience in the field to design and construct customised units that match exactly the customer’s need for continuous tonnage, high uptime and low cost of ownership.”

With large screens measuring 4.3 m wide and 11 m long, and capable of screening 7 000 iron ore tons per hour, the capability of Kwatani’s technical facilities and design expertise is well proven, while quality is ensured by the company’s ISO 9001:2015 certification.

The scale of the work is made possible by its state-of-the-art facilities in Spartan near Johannesburg, which has capacity to manage up to 250 t of steel at a time in the manufacturing process, while maintaining high production rates for large orders.

“Our in-house design expertise equips us well to design fit-for-purpose solutions that serve each customer’s specific requirements,” says Schoepflin.

“The varied applications of our screens mean that they can weigh from less than one tonne to over 50 t; whether big or small, each customised screen receives the same attention to detail from our engineering experts.”

The ability to customise the screening solution means that Kwatani can adapt the design to fit the customer’s existing footprint and conditions, rather than the customer having to make changes in their own plant infrastructure.

“Another important aspect of serving today’s mining industry is aligning with the Mining Charter; so we are proud to be the first – and still the only – manufacturer of vibrating equipment to be black-owned,” she says.

“This means that our Level 3 BBEEE status makes a valuable contribution to the efforts of our mining customers to demonstrate their transformation in terms of the Charter’s requirements.”

Schoepflin emphasizes the importance of testing in the production process, to ensure that all equipment is ready for duty when it leaves the workshop.

Kwatani conducts physical extensive testing on completed units, to demonstrate how they will perform their actual duty on site.

“To demonstrate how we prioritise our testing, we will be placing a test screen – which could be called ‘a metallurgist’s dream’ – on our stand at Electra Mining,” she says.

“This will give visitors an appreciation of how carefully we research their mined material before advising on the most appropriate screening solution.”

Kwatani has cutting-edge software and engineering expertise to develop desktop designs, calculations and simulations, but its engineers go beyond the simulated level in developing the solutions that achieve continuous tonnage at the lowest cost of ownership.

Using the versatile test screen in the laboratory, Kwatani experts can change all the key screening parameters – such as the speed, the angle of the deck, the angle of the drive, the amplitude and the screening media – to test the behaviour of the particles on the screen.

Experimenting with these parameters allows for greater understanding of the metallurgical issues that face customers in their plant operations, so that the screening solution can be designed and fine-tuned with those challenges in mind.

“We can also measure exactly where on the screen the majority of the screening actually takes place,” she says, “by placing different outlets under the screen to observe the results for each part of the screen.”

This practical testing is another important way that Kwatani partners with customers to seek solutions for the most difficult screening applications.

It checks the theoretical predictions made by the desktop work and is particularly valuable to customers who encounter very specific challenges with their material and their process, and who are struggling to solve them.

For instance, the screen will shortly be testing large samples of platinum, bauxite and iron ore from major players in the mining sector.

Visitors to Electra Mining Africa will also enjoy ‘a sweet taste of Kwatani’ by witnessing their finer screening capability – in this case, sweets.

The company’s range of smaller screens for industrial and food-related applications is now providing screening solutions for almost 50 different materials and products including sugar, rice, pet food, tea, coffee, wax beads, gold slurry, diamonds and bunker sand.

The company supplies and services the Derrick range of machines for coarse and fine screening, as well as the 100-year-old Lockers Engineers brand of screens and feeders.

The 30-inch round separator planned for the exhibition stand will demonstrate the gentle, effective spiral screening motion that reduces breakages in products of high value.

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