Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  21 Jan 2009

Engineering: Multotec Cautions Market Regarding Mill Liners


Recent Gauteng Business News

Multotec Rubber has cautioned the market regarding mill liners which is especially relevant when the international mining sector is in a time of uncertainty. A common reaction to the current financial situation is to adjust buying policies to purchase on price alone and this could have severe long-term ramifications in terms of operating cost. In turn, this could at the end of the day result in purchases costing far more than the actual perceived saving achieved through this policy of buying cheap.

“Often project houses and OEMS select product based purely on purchase price and not on total cost of ownership or life cycle cost,” Mike Griffin, managing director of Multotec Rubber says.

“However, the market would be wise to acknowledge that there are three pitfalls to this approach. The first, and most obvious, is a shorter life which means more downtime. The second is the need for more frequent relines and the third is catastrophic failures,” Griffin adds.

Spike Taylor, director Multotec Rubber, adds that lower cost products are not necessarily better products as often companies/suppliers, in seeking to reduce the cost of production, use cheaper, out-of-specification raw materials which ultimately results in inferior products. “This can cause premature or catastrophic failures whereas the use of good quality products results in extended running time with longer periods between shutdowns, thus offsetting against a higher purchase price.”

Griffin says that the solution can be found in improved design and technology, coupled with greater involvement and closer cooperation with the rubber liner suppliers as well as the customer. In this way, all parties operate smarter, resulting in a lower cost per ton milled.

“Multotec Rubber’s operating ethos has always been one of closer partnering with our customers to arrive at viable solutions and ensure that the lowest life cycle cost is achieved on installation,” Taylor says.

“Tests conducted over the past eight years have proved the superiority of the Multotec Rubber mill liner, which is associated not only with the high grade of our rubber formulations but is also due to the high closing pressure on our presses,” Taylor adds.

Griffin says that being successful in the rubber mill liner market can be attributed to a thorough understanding of the processes and milling technology.

“We make a continued investment in our rubber manufacturing facility; in our skilled, competent people and in the technology and design capabilities used to achieve superior products. We invested in new plant during the recent boom and this has given us added versatility because of the alternate manufacturing technology now available. We hold extensive intellectual property for our product technology, which allows for a wider range of solutions for our customers,” Griffin adds.

“All this investment has resulted in a direct and tangible improvement in the performance of our mill liners,” Taylor adds. “We design according to the conditions that need to be accommodated, which often vary depending on the milling circuits. This necessitates on-site assessments by our engineers, whereafter the most appropriate mill lining solution is offered to the customer.” In a recent installation by Multotec Rubber some 30% more life has been achieved by supplying an application-specific rubber formulation.

“Combinations of regular condition monitoring provide the necessary information for improvement and delivery accuracy and lower inventory levels for mines which benefits the mine through cost containment,” Taylor says.

“Through our alliance with high steel alloy mill liners company ME Elecmetal, we have become a single source supply of rubber and steel mill liners,” Taylor says. “This includes mill liners for autogenous, semi-autogenous, ball and rod mills, concaves for primary gyratory crushers, and track pads for electric shovels and hydraulic excavators.”

ME Elecmetal is a global leader in the supply of high quality mill liners and other mining/crushing related wear parts and differentiates itself from its competitors in a number of ways, including the use of a superior computer controlled melting practice and sophisticated computer modelling to ensure soundness of all new components; as well as unsurpassed vacuum moulding for dimensional control and consistency and 100% inspection to ensure dimensional accuracy and correct BHN hardness values.

Multotec Rubber is able to offer customised service level agreements in line with mine and application requirements. Since no inventories are required, this means a lower risk to the mine. “In this way we not only eliminate emergency shutdowns because maintenance is controlled, but we also provide customers with improvements in productivity and lowered operating costs. This sort of arrangement has proved to be beneficial to both us as suppliers as well as to our customers, and we anticipate a growing trend towards this as a result of the current situation,” Griffin concludes.

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