New Product: MDX RAMSL
What it is, what it does
Efficient pump operation in aggressive wear applications is only possible through precise weekly maintenance. One of the key maintenance procedures is adjusting internal clearance between the pump impeller nose gap and the suction liner. The RAMSL improves this maintenance procedure for the MDX-750, which is designed to be in continuous use for five months (about 4,000 hours).
According to Leo Perry, Lead Product Manager, “periodic adjustments to MDX cyclone feed lines historically have been made using hand tools. RAMSL allows for the adjustments to be made and monitored remotely at the touch of a button.” This makes the weekly gap adjustments much faster and more accurate.
What they asked for
Minera Escondida reached out to GIW and asked for an automated solution for nose gap adjustments. The manual process took three or four hours per pump. And because these adjustments must be made often, it resulted in higher maintenance costs.
Minera Escondida requested controls that could be managed from a smartphone or tablet — a handheld device that would perform adjustments quickly and safely, as well as increase efficiency. GIW worked in partnership with the customer to pilot the RAMSL solution and test it in the field after extensive lab trials.
How we made it real
According to the GIW South America Region Manager, “We reduced the time from three to four hours to just one minute per adjustment. Now, Minera Escondida is able to adjust all of their pumps in less than an hour. This enables them to increase the amount of adjustments which improves the overall efficiency of the operation and reduces costs.”
GIW evaluated different options for the RAMSL, but finally decided to base the design on mechanical components in order to provide a more robust product with easy maintenance features and high operational reliability. Other options were evaluated, such as a hydraulic or pneumatic design, but all of them required more complex configurations adding potential points of failure and demanding more maintenance time by the end-user.
“The RAMSL user interface serves as both the control panel for the operation of the unit and as an output source for critical data taken from the pump, such as real-time vibration readings and precise movements of the suction liner (to within 0.01mm),” clarifies Mr. Perry.
Benefits: easier, faster, and more accurate
This product enhancement carries two primary benefits: ease of maintenance and more efficient use of time and resources. “Both benefits stem from the ability to adjust the equipment against roughly 400,000 lbs. of force from a safe distance without exerting more effort than it takes to press a button on a touchscreen,” says Mr. Perry. “Peripheral benefits include the ability to match maintenance schedules to best suit the needs of each pump installation.” The RAMSL can also help minimize the potential for equipment damage due to over adjustments that can be caused from traditional methods.
According to GIW’s Product Development Manager, “This was a research and development project from the beginning.” This project with Minera Escondida was just one prototype, as further development work continues on the RAMSL. We are beginning to see how the collaboration of RAMSL with the internet of things (IoT) to collect and analyze data can benefit our customers in the area of predictive maintenance and inventory planning. Offering this product enhancement to other customers will, no doubt, only deepen our understanding and further facilitate the evolution of RAMSL. GIW is committed to remaining on the leading edge of slurry transport technology. As a company, we understand that advancements in IoT are key to providing innovative slurry pump solutions.
Since its commissioning in 2018, GIW’s RAMSL technology has delivered on its promise to reduce downtime and facilitate safe and reliable maintenance. The RAMSL technology helped the customer surpass their operational run time goal of 4,500 hours, proving the concept successful in a mining environment. In 2020, we look forward to collaborating with our strategic partners to provide further improvements on the product.