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Aug 13, 2021

Four reasons why a mill lining contract is a good idea

Jan Öhlund
Jan Öhlund
Director, Global Product Management
Partnering with a grinding mill liner supplier is a continuous improvement tool to achieve higher grinding performance and more profit. Understanding and agreeing on the benefits of a deeper partnership in grinding mill performance is easy, but participating in such an initiative may feel laborious or even intimidating.
When there’s an ongoing partnership between a mine and mill liner provider, both parties work closely together and improve with each reline

If you’re a mining professional and haven’t yet bought into the idea of a partnership defined by commonly agreed targets, you might want to reconsider. Below are four reasons why:

1. Superior lining optimization

A mill lining is a customized wear part, and its design must be constantly optimized to fit your current operating conditions, targets, and throughput. Analyzing worn linings has a great role in optimizing the design. With a mill lining partnership, the service provider starts to know what you need – even before you do. If you choose to take a holistic and long-term approach towards mill linings, the service provider gets to know your site, process, and targets on a deeper level – and that leads to better results. A partnership also means that you get early access to the latest technological advances and an opportunity to try new solutions that can improve the process and offer a competitive edge. Liner design can be optimized to achieve higher availability levels by extending the intervals between stoppages and synchronizing the wear life of liner components. Also, the longer-lasting liners significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Moreover, an OEM service provider knows the potential of your equipment (whether it supplied by them or competitors) and can work to reach and even exceed equipment design capacity for maximized throughput.  

2. Safer and faster relines

Precision handling of individual liners (which can weigh more than 7 t) inside a confined space requires the correct procedures, trained reliners, and reline-specific tooling. When there’s an ongoing partnership between a mine and mill liner provider, both parties work closely together and improve with each reline. Firstly, installations can be carried out in a safer way with customized and smartly designed, easy-to-handle components that are faster to change and have a perfect fit. Secondly, the shutdown and installation practices can be analyzed in detail and optimized to fit the needs of your site. That, in turn, makes shutdowns faster, as performance predictability increases from job to job. You also get access to products, solutions, and methods that improve safety. Another benefit is the potential 1-3% increase in mill availability, due to shorter shutdowns. 

 3. Lower commercial risks

Cooperation with a reliable service provider that has a comprehensive product range can help lowering your commercial risk. While strong results are ultimately what every miner wants, the actual contract structure has a significant role in reaching these goals too. Ideally, a preferred contract provides benefits and security without surprises, improves your cash flow, has fair clauses, with easy termination, and provides protection against sudden price changes. Depending on the scale of your needs, you might consider options like a fixed monthly fee for stability and predictability, or performance pricing, where you pay for the actual wear life. A cost-per-ton-based contract is the culmination of cooperation: your targets become the service provider’s targets, as both strive towards improved performance. This type of contract allows you to benchmark consumables costs against the production, creating clarity on production costs per ton.

4. Secured supply with a replacement readily at hand

The most critical parts of your process tend to be those that are custom made, have long lead times from order to delivery, and severely compromise production or safety when they break. For this reason, miners usually prefer to have mill liner replacement readily at hand; there is an expensive price tag, if the largest machine at the plant stops working. A reliable partner with global manufacturing available regionally secures your supply of liners and reduces your risks. A partnership means you can be confident that the production volumes you need are reserved especially for you. Furthermore, a service provider with its own manufacturing reduces third-party vendor risks and streamlines your supply chain by improving your logistics, reducing lead times, and saving potentially money on transportation costs. If your target is to improve inventory optimization while tying up a minimum amount of capital in inventory, a contract that allows you to pay for the liners after they are installed might be the right solution for you.

Close collaboration in mill linings means better results

Ultimately, the added value of a partnership and the higher uptime and lower maintenance costs it brings should mean more revenue for you. A long-term commitment with mutually agreed targets facilitates optimization, allowing you to achieve more. The benefits of a partnership include: 

  • Significant improvements in liner wear life

  • Faster installation time per piece

  • Additional production hours

  • Less lost revenue due to increased uptime 

  • Significant reduction in maintenance hours

  • Safer and more sustainable operation

 

We are proud of our 60+ years of experience in optimizing grinding mill liners and implementing best practices. Metso Outotec offers the market’s widest range of products and services to choose from.  

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