Coal Age

JUN 2019

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24 June 2019 slurry pumps continued clients and our perspective clients," he said. "What if we can provide all of these things?" With the release of the updates that provide exactly that, the question becomes how to market a ground- breaking solution in a space common- ly viewed with some skepticism. "Our clients used to say density meters are snake oil. They all claim to work. They don't work," he said. "Well, we work. We can prove it categorically." Adopting the V2 could be seen as the same bold step as adopting any other new IoT or Industry 4.0 solution, he said, but it shouldn't be. "The initial investment seems high. But it is actually not," Ornstein said. "The return on investment on these new systems, and not just the V2, and what they can provide in terms of un- derstanding, in terms of datasets, in terms of making your process more efficient, removing human error, and having irrefutable data to determine if processes were followed or not fol- lowed, is beyond valuation. And it is the main thrust of the new age of technology that we are in." 21 st Century Modelling AFT Fathom 10, software for fluid sys- tem modelling, can help miners cut costs, improve safety and otherwise evolve in an increasingly demanding economic environment, Applied Flow Technology (AFT) reported. "Pumps, fans and compressors in your facilities are usually the biggest energy users," Trey Walters, president and founder, AFT, said. "In some fa- cilities, we're talking more than 50%. Most are oversized and inefficient- ly use energy," he said. "AFT Fathom system models can help pinpoint op- portunities to reduce energy usage." The software is pitched as capa- ble of accurately simulating individ- ual system components, integrating equipment data, and providing an array of features. Among those features is the ca- pability to experiment, change input data, import layouts and dimension- al data, export to Excel, specify alerts, enable cataloging of components, and assess viscosity and frictional changes associated with pumping non-settling slurries, the company reported. Foremost among the benefits im- plied is accuracy well beyond what historically is obtained using strict- ly Excel. "Here we are two decades into the 21st century and there are still a surprising number of engi- neers using spreadsheets," Walters said. "Spreadsheets will always be used in engineering, but as systems get more complicated it is all too easy for something to be overlooked or oversimplified in a spreadsheet. AFT Fathom allows engineers to look at many more potential operation- al situations in a short time before committing to hardware, thereby en- suring their designs will be safer and more economical." All without significant additional effort. "Engineers can enter data on their solid particles, density and size distribution, and AFT Fathom can pre- dict the piping pressure drop as well as the pump derating," Walters said. Ease of use is a benefit that should speak to many engineers, he said. "Engineers are always busy and have too much on their plates, and if we can help them leverage other existing data within their compa- ny to save them time on their fluid systems, they should consider it," Walters said. Further, "I would ask whether the current tools they use have evolved to meet changing re- quirements they encounter regard- ing safety, responsible energy use, and being able to exchange data with other tools their company uses like pipe stress, CAD and even Excel." Fathom 1.0 hit the market in 1994 as a graphical drag-and-drop model- ling tool. At the time, such solutions did not exist, making the release "a major milestone for the global engi- neering community as it meant en- gineers could start moving from text- based tools like Excel and in-house software to using visual tools like AFT Fathom," Walters said. Which speaks to another of the benefits offered. "All AFT software is desktop-based," Walters said. "Our cus- tomers have largely told us they want to keep our software and their models, which are sometimes proprietary, and sometimes have national export con- trol issues, behind their firewall." Walters said the ideal customers are owners "who may have struggled with operational problems in their pumping systems, a history of safety issues, high pump repair costs, or have mandates to reduce their energy use," he said. "In the end it is the engineering design firms who are our biggest customers." One such example is a mine in Indonesia that had a dewatering sys- Above, a 550-mm hydraulically actuated Flowrox pinch valve in a tailings system at mine site in Africa. (Photo: Flowrox)

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