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Smarter Simulation Design and Modelling to Improve Bulk Material Handling Equipment Performance

Smarter Simulation Design and Modelling to Improve Bulk Material Handling Equipment Performance

The reliable design and operation of bulk materials handling and processing plants can be difficult when dealing with complex geometries and difficult-to-handle materials, such as wet and sticky bulk solids. There is increasing pressure for mining and engineering companies to reduce operating costs by optimising equipment design for maximum cycle life and availability. Often a deterioration of bulk solids handling characteristics requires modification of plant equipment to increase efficiency and productivity of mine operations.

A lack of detailed design and analysis of bulk material flow can lead to sub-optimal performance and can result in substantial financial cost from delayed-start up, unscheduled downtime, reduced throughput and increased maintenance costs. These problems can occur due to inaccurate characterisation during design, inappropriate assumptions and extrapolations, miscalculations of particle trajectories and velocities and a lack of engineering tools to thoroughly visualise and analyse material flow through complex dynamic designs.

Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) is a powerful simulation method used to virtually prototype and test the performance of transfer equipment throughout a design cycle. When developed and applied correctly, DEM can provide insight into performance that exceeds the traditional, analytical methods.

This talk explores the ways engineers can leverage the power of particle simulation tools including the development of calibrated DEM Material Models and multi-physics capabilities to reduce operating costs and to examine the role that simulation-driven design tools can play to optimise the design and operation of material handling systems.

Presented as part of the virtual ATCx DEM in November 2022.
Speaker: Dr. Andrew Grima, Chief Operating Officer, Bulk Materials Engineering Australia (BMEA)
Duration: 32 minutes

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