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Feb 20, 2018

New concentrate/matte burner improves process accuracy and reduces maintenance costs

One target of Outotec’s recent product development has been to improve process accuracy and reduce maintenance costs. This has led to the development of a new integrated velocity control solution based on two accurate and integrated servo-controlled linear actuators. The actuators are completely dust tight (IP65S) and there is no need for greasing or other regular field maintenance. They also have no visible moving parts, which increases safety, and are highly accurate and self-calibrating after maintenance, thanks to their machined surfaces and machined home position. Moreover, burner alignment is quicker than before, since the desired sleeve position can be entered in the local control panel. The following illustration shows a picture of the new burner equipped with the new control devices.
concentrate/matte burner
Figure 1: new concentrate/matte burner.

The actuator greasing interval is one to two years compared to the recommended three-month interval for the Auma actuator, which requires field maintenance. Maintenance of the servo-actuator equipped system can be performed on the spare Central Jet Distributor (CJD) in the workshop. Actuator replacement can be carried out in the workshop and the setup can be completed before taking it into use. It is also possible to replace the actuators in the field without lifting up the CJD. To do so, the actuator units are simply lifted using a hoist and put into a mechanical lock position. After replacing the actuator(s), the lock position is released and the sleeve is driven to the home position for automatic recalibration.

The actuators are protected from heat with a heat shield located towards the feed inlet box. The heat shield also serves to mechanically protect the actuator. If the process air is preheated, the actuators can also be equipped with a cooling air connection to ensure a sufficiently low temperature (< 100°C is recommended). The actuator is also equipped with a temperature sensor and an alarm to alert the operator if temperatures rise too high. The servo drives are equipped with brakes that activate if the electricity supply is cut off. Synchronization and overload of the drives are monitored. All-in-all, servos provide more information for predictive maintenance purposes.

The whole surface of the shell is machined and the home position is in the machined position. When the sleeve drives to the home position, the momentum limit will stop the sleeve and recalibrate the position. This means that during sleeve setup there is no longer any need for tape measures or any other tools. The positional accuracy of the actuators is very high and there are no gaps from gear transmission to cause further uncertainty in position.

burner’s new velocity control unit
Figure 2: Close-up of the burner’s new velocity control unit.

The local control panel contains a touchscreen, which includes all relevant local controls. Optionally, the panel can be equipped with additional push buttons if the customer does not want to use the touchscreen for all local controls. The servo drive unit is normally connected to the local panel in the field; optionally, the servo drive unit can be located in a nearby electrical or automation room.

As before, the burner is operated in remote mode using the automation system.

Burner’s local panel screen.
Figure 3: Burner’s local panel screen.
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