Optimize mill operation – with gearless mill drives

Grinding Process: Gearless Mill Drives

Siemens has provided almost 100 SIMINE Gearless mill drives to the mining industry since 1980. In these thirty-plus years, SIMINE Gearless mill drives have accumulated a combined total of over 500 years in operation time – and this number is steadily growing even as you read this. This is a benchmark we are immensely proud of.

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SIMINE solutions for beneficiation

Optimize your entire beneficiation process

For the overall performance of your mine the grinding is a critical process step. SIMINE Gearless mill drives and SIMINE Pinion mill drives redefine operational reliability, availability, maintenance costs, and energy efficiency. In addition, we offer innovative and intelligent solutions such as condition monitoring that help you achieve highest availability over the entire lifecycle of your plant.

Thanks to optimized processes and intelligent condition monitoring, you benefit from lower energy consumption. This pays off in the long run and also allows contributing to environmental protection. Further operational savings decrease costs over the entire lifecycle of your plant. Additionally, precise measurements as well as high reliability and quality increase your beneficiation’s productivity. Regardless whether gearless or pinion mill drives, Siemens has it all and designs solutions that span the entire beneficiation process, integrating mechanics, electrical engineering, automation, and drive technology.

Gearless mill drives

From Norway to Zambia, from Mongolia to Chile – for decades, mining operators all over the world have been counting on SIMINE Gearless mill drives.
Their most important features include a small footprint and less weight than conventional drives. Today, functions like Frozen Charge Protection and the optional Frozen Charge Shaker™ further reduce downtimes and increase productivity.

  • High availability and reliability throughput the entire lifecycle – thanks to robust, proven design and the skillful planning of maintenance tasks
  • Highest operational reliability in the market
  • Lowest costs per megawatt grinding power
  • Comprehensive worldwide service support
  • Minimized downtime – proven track record

The SIMINE Gearless mill drives pump system significantly enhances concentrator productivity by eliminating the reducer gear between motor and pump and all corresponding maintenance. In addition, the cyclone pumps with variable speed can adjust their energy consumption to the optimized flow of pulp, resulting in energy savings of up to 30 %. The availability of the cyclone pump increases sharply by omitting the reducer gear, eliminating the downtime needed for its replacement.

A “frozen” or “baked” charge can destroy the mill body and bearings if it drops from the top of the mill after a 180° revolution. This can cause extended downtimes and thus result in considerable production losses. In normal operation, the charge starts sliding after the mill reaches a certain angle of between 40° and 70° and the load torque decreases. This decrease in torque is monitored and used by our “Frozen Charge Protection” to stop the mill before a dropping frozen charge damages the mill. After stopping the mill, the charge keeps in “frozen” condition and must then be broken up with mechanical means and water. This also takes time and causes production losses. SIMINE Gearless mill drives provide a “Frozen Charge Shaker”, an automatic solution that breaks up the frozen charge and unglues it from the mill body – saving time and costs compared to a mechanical breakup of the frozen charge.

Pinion mill drives

Accurate speed control is essential to complete the grinding process and produce materials that are properly sized. SIMINE Pionion mill drives are optimally and specifically sized and constructed to improve speed control and operational efficiency, while also reducing maintenance and energy costs.

  • Up to 24 MW of power (higher power upon request)
  • Smooth mill start to minimize wear of the whole drive train
  • High flexibility and availability at low budget
  • Availability of "Frozen Charge Detection"
  • Excellent load sharing for twin drive systems to reduce wear & tear
  • Water-free solution to preserve valuable water resources
  • Suitable for installation up to 5,000 m elevation

Pinion mill drives are widely used in the mining industry to grind materials to a requested size. If the equipment is operating at optimum efficiency, this has positive impact on production and operating economics. Drive solutions are needed for speed and torque control. Among the resulting operational benefits, longer maintenance intervals and lower energy costs are the most important. Mining companies need drive solutions that improve speed control, lengthen maintenance intervals, and lower energy costs.

Digitalization for Grinding

Rapid advancements in electronics and computer technologies have allowed significant progress in the control technology of mill drive systems. This pays off in the long run and also allows contributing to environmental protection. Further operational savings decrease costs over the entire lifecycle of your plant. Additionally, precise measurements as well as high reliability and quality increase your beneficiation’s productivity.


Maintaining highest availability: Asset Health Analytics

Availability is the basis for a productive mining business. Equipment failures or losses in performance have to be avoided by all means. And that’s where our digital asset health management comes in: It is basically consisting of the enrichment of condition monitoring systems with analytic and predictive functionalities as well as self-learning abilities. Its purpose is to recognize long-term changes to the general condition of mission-critical mining applications during their operational lifetime and to accordingly derive specific recommendations for conducting maintenance tasks in time.


Optimizing beneficiation in the real world