Nalco Water, an Ecolab company, has announced the launch of Flotation 360, a holistic approach to flotation in mineral processing. The solution combines Nalco Water’s advanced frother and collector chemistries with a worldwide technical service team and digital diagnostic tools that monitor the chemical, operational and mechanical levers influencing performance.
Mineral processing plants face the dual pressures of responding to growing demand while also adapting to increased variability. Variability can come from many outside influences, including changes in the ore body itself, shifting customer demand or quality requirements, natural resource constraints and more. To manage increased demand and minimize the impacts of variability, mining companies must be more agile than ever, continuing to evolve their production strategies.
The Flotation 360 solution combines existing chemistry programs, new digital diagnostic tools and a cross-functional service team in a comprehensive package:
The chemistry program includes a variety of advanced frothers and collectors.
The digital diagnostic tools tap into existing IoT at customer sites and use innovative algorithms to give both real time diagnostics and predictive analytics on several flotation factors, which enables Nalco Water to offer actionable insights on performance.
The service team includes a global network of service engineers, consultants, and lab personnel that measure and monitor a variety of performance indicators, then recommend and implement changes to customer systems.
When combined, these three elements enable Nalco Water to give customers end-to-end support for their flotation circuits – customers have a partner to supply the chemistry and then monitor its efficacy, as well as overall system performance.
“Flotation 360 is a game-changing innovation,” said Arjan Boogaards, senior vice president and general manager of global mining, Ecolab Industrial. “The solution is unique in its combination of advanced chemistry, technical expertise, digital innovation and predictive, actionable insights to achieve the highest level of flotation optimisation. This ultimately translates to a positive impact on product recovery and grade.”
Flotation 360 leverages emerging technology to respond rapidly to changing dynamics. The Flotation 360 service team utilises innovative systems to measure performance on-the-go. For example, a mobile bubble analyser enables the team to measure froth height and other characteristics. The service team also leverages their global network of sales support and research labs to deliver a wide range of testing capabilities for its customers.
In addition to the improvements for overall recovery and grade, the increased visibility offered by Flotation 360’s real time and predictive analytics can help a customer achieve multiple benefits, such as reduced float cell valve failures, reduced troubleshooting time, optimal chemical reagent dosage and fewer product quality violations or smelter penalties.
“At Ecolab, we are always striving to deliver new solutions that combine chemical and technical expertise with the knowledge that only experience can bring,” Boogaards said. “By combining our existing chemical solutions with new digital tools and teams with cross-functional expertise, we are creating a comprehensive, end-to-end flotation solution that is unique in the mining market.”
Nalco Water, www.ecolab.com/nalco-water