Global ore deposits have become more complicated to reach and process in a safe and cost-effective manner.
The mining industry is therefore looking to leading technology providers like thyssenkrupp for innovative products and services that will make their operations more efficient, safe and cost effective.
This article first appeared in Mining Elites in Africa 2019
Technology-driven companies that can solve the mining industry’s problems through cutting-edge solutions will set the future pace for this market sector.
“One of our primary focus areas is Industry 4.0 and automation,” says Philipp Nellessen, CEO for thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions Sub-Sahara Africa. thyssenkrupp is a specialist in a variety of mining-focused areas including materials handling, minerals processing and communition.
“Our substantial and ongoing investment into research and development (R&D) has and will continue to generate innovative design improvements in the digitalisation and automation space that boost the capabilities and performance of our products and make our equipment more efficient with reduced impact on the environment.”
thyssenkrupp’s Minerals Processing division specialises in communition and has one of the largest crushing and grinding technology ranges tailored to customers’ plant process requirements.
The company offers two new technologies in this sector:
- Its new eccentric roll crusher (ERC) which has been designed to deliver a high throughput for hard rock crushing and features a low footprint, making it ideal for underground crushing applications. The ERC has been welcomed by the market and thyssenkrupp has already sold its first unit for a mining application.
- Innovative high-pressure grinding roll (HPGR) applications. thyssenkrupp has used its +30 years of knowledge and experience in grinding technology to improve the application of its HPGR technology through the development of several innovative process designs.
In addition to improved efficiencies, the company also focused on energy efficient technology that reduces carbon footprints by minimising the use of natural resources through lower electricity usage and reduced water consumption thanks to its dry grinding capabilities.
“We want to continue our growth track by firming our foothold on the African continent. Wherever there is a plant, no matter how remote its location, we want to be able to be able to offer complete project and field service solutions,” continues Nellessen.
thyssenkrupp wants to bring technologies out of its global network into Africa and combine this with its sound local knowledge and expertise.
But in order to do this successfully, it is essential that it gets closer to its customers and the company believes the most efficient way to do this is by working through its local offices as well as its distributors.
Thyssenkrupp wants to push more into Sub Sahara Africa. Its three offices in the region, South Africa, Mozambique and more recently Zambia, assists it in delivering its products, technology and services to customers.
The company’s offices in Ghana and Nigeria provide it with a strong foothold on the western and northern regions of the continent.
thyssenkrupp provides complete holistic solutions across Sub Sahara Africa and has been involved in the process design and optimisation of various mines in Sub-Sahara Africa.
“Our focus extends well beyond the supply of equipment. We look at the operation holistically. This means getting involved in the project from the feasibility stage; performing in-depth analysis of the customer’s requirements using our testing facilities and process expertise in Johannesburg, mine planning and process design, to the design and development of an optimised system with full automation,” highlights Nellessen.
The company’s testing facilities and deep knowledge base places it in the unique position of being able to offer customers the correct solution from the start.
Digital technologies such as advanced control algorithms and drone technology also come to the fore.
Drones provide an extremely accurate view of a mining operation, including details of the existing structures and equipment within the plant. In addition, they allow inspection of equipment in dangerous or potentially dangerous areas without exposing people to any danger.
Strategic partnership approach
Alongside collaborating with its customers, thyssenkrupp also wants to work more closely with our strategic partners as it believes that it is extremely important that it develop a project together with its partners.
Developing a symbiotic partnership means that thyssenkrupp’s partners open their (R&D) pipelines and share necessary information with us which in turn enables the company to align its resource planning and R&D pipeline.
In addition to the company’s technical engineering expertise, it also endeavours to assist customers by offering them financial engineering solutions.
In order to do this, it is imperative that it understand the customers’ perspective as to what makes them profitable. This involves site visits and analyses by thyssenkrupp’s highly trained engineers.
thyssenkrupps’ success is based on the exceptional skills of its people. The company’s recently launched Technical Training Academy at its Service Centre in Chloorkop, east of Johannesburg, enables it to develop exceptional skills in Africa for Africa.