Polydeck presented a look into the future of screening at MINExpo. Below are a few highlights pulled from The Future of Screening presentation.
Q. What's next for screen media?
A. The biggest opportunity we see in the industry is through the digital monitoring of screen media health. Screen media has always been a key part of process reliability and efficiency through proactive management practices. As operators seek to deliver more production with fewer resources, our customers are challenged to maintain these proactive screen media practices. The trend towards digital monitoring of production processes across many industries has accelerated as organizations continue seeking increased productivity. The rise of the technologies and infrastructure associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) creates an opportunity to provide operators with timely, relevant information regarding the health condition of their screen media. We are focused on implementing sensors within screen media panels that will monitor a variety of health-related factors.
Q. Why smart panels?
A. Smart screen media panels will provide critical data for assessing screen panel status and performance. These data provide actionable insights for optimizing plant operations. We see these data focused on delivering two different types of critical information. The first type of information is based on tracking long-term usage and performance patterns of the screen media. Data used for this will include the age of the panel, the wear level, and the physical location. The goal is to use this data to build predictions of wear life, and in turn, recognize when maintenance might need to be performed or replacement parts need to be ordered. This information can be used to optimize maintenance planning, avoid stock-outs, and ensure the most efficient use of screen media.
The second type of information we are seeking to deliver relates to the detection of critical events that may require an urgent response. Events of this type might include the dislocation of a screen panel or an impact that breaks or punctures the screen media. Today, if a panel comes loose or fails catastrophically in some way, you often don’t know until it’s too late. By using these embedded sensors and connecting operators with the screen panels through digital technology, we will help users avoid costly downtime and repairs and reduce the chance for misplaced material within a circuit.
Q. So where will you start?
A. We know that smart panels aren’t going to happen overnight. This is a development journey that requires customized digital sensors connected to new networks and advanced software tools. We have a plan that will build out these solutions in phases. Each phase of development is driven by the critical needs of our customers.
Our first step in this process is creating and embed unique identification numbers in our screen panels. This is a building block for us and what we will spend time in 2022 perfecting this implementation. Creating embedded unique identification numbers will allow us to have individual traceability for every single panel. We are working to actively couple this traceability with wear level monitoring. Over time, we will be able to track the product from the day it is manufactured to whichever deck or machine it ends up on, determining how long it was in service and its wear rate. This will give us a more complete understanding of the overall cost of screening in an operation.
Q. Is there anything more you'd like to add?
A. At the end of the day, we want to create something that is going to reduce the complexity of screen media management for our customers and further optimize their screening operations. Based on the testing we have done to date and the input we’ve received, we believe this digital transformation will deliver on this objective. Our team is serious about this endeavor and are actively working to create, test, and implement the foundational technologies that will deliver on the promise of digital monitoring of screen media health.