SmartCyclone delivers new opportunities for process optimisation

A unique combination of wireless and sensor technology brings condition monitoring capabilities to traditional hydrocyclone processes.

Condition monitoring is becoming increasingly important as a means of improving equipment and plant productivity. The SmartCyclone is a universal hydrocyclone conditional monitoring and encompassing process optimization solution, with a special focus on closed-circuit grinding optimization. Using process sensors with advanced control software, reductions in costly production interruptions and improved recovery rates can be realized.

SmartCyclone features include wireless wear detection and roping detection sensors, combined with process sensors such as cyclone feed pressure and valve status, that acutely measure the operating efficiency of both individual cyclones as well as the entire cyclone circuit within an 'island of optimization'.

“The SmartCyclone is the first control solution to target the closed-circuit grinding process with a dedicated automation philosophy.  Using wireless sensor technology, it helps optimise the flotation feed and maximise production,” says Jon Culbertson, Sales Director, FLSmidth Krebs.

An industry breakthrough

With a SmartCyclone-equipped process, the cyclone sensors can help indicate the functional state of the cyclone by monitoring the conditions of the slurry flow for each cyclone individually to optimize downstream particle size. This particle size distribution has a direct impact on the efficiency of downstream processes, such as flotation.  The sensors also report the wear status of the cyclone components, so that parts purchasing and maintenance operations can be planned with greater control. Finally, the sensors also report when a cyclone is experiencing an upset, such as 'roping' - a breakdown in the classification. 

SmartCyclone is pioneering a new segment of control solutions. It is one of the first to formally target the closed-circuit grinding process with a dedicated automation philosophy using sensors
— Jon Culbertson, Sales Director – FLSmidth Krebs

New opportunities for productivity

Using the SmartCyclone, plants can achieve maximum process efficiencies through quick upset condition identification and correction, resulting in less process downtime and reduced flotation feed variation leading to:

  • Improved mineral recovery
  • Stabilized cyclone operation
  • Continuous wear monitoring and management
  • Predictable cyclone circuit maintenance
  • Increased production capacity by permitting the process to be operated closer to the limits of the cyclone manifold design
The roping sensor is synced to the wireless handheld controller

The roping sensor is synced to the wireless handheld controller

Handheld simplicity

The new wireless SmartCyclone sensor system operates with a centralized, handheld wireless controller that can communicate with up to 16 wireless sensors per unit providing real-time detection and communication of roping and wear data from the SmartCyclone sensors for forwarding to the control room workstation.

The system’s handheld wireless controller unit allows the user to easily set operating parameters for any desired sensor. When the controller unit is reconnected to its docking station, it charges itself and communicates live operating data back to the control room.

The SmartCyclone solution comes in three levels of sophistication from a basic cyclone monitoring system to an expert system for incorporating additional sensors and control algorithms to maximize process throughput and further reduce variations in cyclone overflow particle size distribution.

Contact: Barry Buttler, Product Technology Manager, Cyclones: Barry.Buttler@flsmidth.com