In any mineral processing application, fluids are introduced to separate the coarse from fine material, the heavy from the light and the valuable material from the waste. After this, dewatering is essential to remove water or other fluids from the final solid product or waste material.
Dewatering centrifuges are commonly used in various mineral processing applications.
A centrifuge is a machine that uses centrifugal forces to separate the feed slurry, based on their density.
When the centrifuge spins, it creates a strong centrifugal force, the solids are then dewatered by passing over a screen. Continuously operating centrifuges are the best solution for mechanical separation of solids from liquids, from a technical and economical point of view.
They can dewater large quantities of solids to low final moistures, while needing little space, energy or time. A simple process, but as with all simple processes – they’re never that simple! One company in Australia is well aware of what it takes to ensure a high-quality output, through the use of high-quality equipment and technology.
Siebtechnik Tema is an Australian company that is part of a globally operating group of more than 80 companies and over 3500 employees. The company specialises in manufacturing high quality centrifuge, drying and screening equipment for the Australian and global mining industry.
Originally, the company Siebtechnik GmbH was founded in Germany in 1922, and continues to be a market leader in centrifuge innovation, design and manufacture. In Australia, the company is already operating for over 40 years (previously trading as Tema Engineers).
It also manufactures a range of other major equipment including vibrating screens, sand filters, settlers and other dewatering equipment (such as belt presses and gravity drainage decks).
Since the 1960s, more than 1600 vibrating and screen scroll centrifuges have been proudly manufactured at the 4000 m2 manufacturing plant in Revesby (greater Sydney, NSW). Siebtechnik Tema predominantly supplies locally manufactured centrifuges for coal and salt dewatering purposes.
Since Siebtechnik Tema is part of global group of companies, the range of centrifuges for other mineral processing applications such as the dewatering of lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate, ammonium sulphate, potash, schoenite and iron ore are part of the standard portfolio.
According to the General Manager Henry van As, the company offers a centrifuge for any application, ranging from small laboratory scale up to large scale mineral centrifuges that can handle many hundreds of tons per hour.
Screening is an integral part of every mining operation, where granulated ore is separated into multiple grades by particle size. The company manufactures and supplies a range of mechanical screens, such as vibrating, banana screens, grizzly, horizontal, multi-deck etc.
Mr van As said, no matter what the screening requirements, Siebtechnik Tema can offer a solution.
“We can offer reliable and clean separation of heavy, light, large, small, dry, dusty or even wet and sticky screening materials,” he said.
“While we manufacture the more common screens such as grizzly, horizontal or banana screens in Sydney, we can also source screens from our German colleagues for specialised screening applications. These would include LIWELL or Flip-Flow screens for sticky and normally difficult to screen materials.”
Service , Spares and Consumables
Apart from the head office and factory in Sydney, Siebtechnik Tema branches are conveniently located in the main mining regions:
- Hunter Region (Rutherford, NSW)
- Bowen Basin (Mackay & Emerald, QLD)
- Perth (Wangara, WA)
Siebtechnik Tema provides a single solution for all your onsite service and maintenance requirements, where highly skilled engineers and service technicians perform site work. It provides experienced specialist labour to support the mines maintenance department and servicing of processing equipment.
Additionally, the company also stocks high quality OEM Australian manufactured spare parts and consumables. These are commonly used in centrifuges, screens, belt filter presses and crushers. The consumables include items such as wedge wire centrifuge baskets, filter press belts, grizzly screen decks and ceramic wear resistant parts.
“We can supply and install spare parts and consumables not only for our own machines, but also for machines from others OEM’s, which sets us apart from our competition,” the Operations Manager said.
Custom rotable equipment maintenance systems can also be set up after careful consultation with the client to ensure that the specific needs and maintenance targets are met.
The additional availability associated with rotable swaps is significant when one considers that a machine can be down for up to a week compared to one day by simply craning the old unit out and swapping in new unit.
Siebtechnik Tema has the capability to provide a range of water treatment equipment, including continually self back-washing filters, lamella clarifiers, belt presses and gravity drainage decks – all manufactured in Australia.
The components can be used for treatment of mine water run-off, process water, mine camp water including grey water, slurry, sludge removal, and tailings treatment.
With Siebtechnik Tema’s water treatment equipment there is little to no spare parts or maintenance required. The belt presses can also be used for high specific gravity slurries such as coal tailings.
“We have designed some features for the most optimum dewatering possible in a wide range of applications, especially in the mining sector,” said one of the sales engineers.
The mineral extraction process is as long, as it is complex and at every step of the way there is a push from all directions for continuous improvement.
Two particularly innovative after-market value-adding offerings include the SENSOTEQ wireless vibration monitoring system and LuCoTec air suspension system – both products developed to tackle the problem of machine vibration, each with a different approach.
Siebtechnik Tema currently has the sole rights to supply SENSOTEQ and LuCoTec equipment in Australia and by adding both products as optional extras to their equipment the client can expect to add serious value to their systems and save on both scheduled and unscheduled downtime.
SENSOTEQ Wireless Monitoring System
SENSOTEQ is a complete monitoring system that collects live data on vibration, heat, bearing condition on critical equipment.
It uses Bluetooth to provide fully wireless monitoring across multiple portable devices that allows technicians and supervisors to monitor the status of the equipment online on any common mobile device.
Where traditional units are typically hard-wired in, the SENSOTEQ unit quickly adheres to the machine using magnets, so the portability of the equipment is extremely high and allows the operator to periodically change the unit out to monitor different machines.
The SENSOTEQ unit can be setup with custom parameters and thresholds to trigger alerts, warnings and automatic shut downs, and can cover a wide range of operating equipment such as pumps, fans, compressors, gearboxes, centrifuges, screens, and any other vibrating equipment.
By attaching the SENSOTEQ unit to a vibrating piece of equipment, bearing or shaft, it can alert technicians as to when preventative maintenance may be required (for example if any out-of-the-ordinary vibration is measured), and can also be used to sense vibration in equipment that shouldn’t be vibrating at all.
LuCoTec Air Suspension
Traditionally, vibrating screens and feeders have relied on conventional coil springs or solid rubber buffers to absorb vibration and isolate the vibrating machine from its supporting structure.
While the traditional means of vibration dampening are effective, the LuCoTec air suspension system provides superior oscillation isolation which extends the lifespan of vibrating components and mounting structures.
The LuCoTec air spring system is an air bellow (or ‘cushion’) that replaces conventional steel springs as suspension and protects the substructure on which it is placed.
Before servicing, a traditional coil spring suspension is typically jacked up and springs removed to completely de-energise the system before service can start.
With LuCoTec, the bellows are simply deflated and then re-inflated after service, saving time and reducing manual handling hazards.
New Equipment Outlook 2021
In 2021 Siebtechnik Tema are launching a new vibrating coal centrifuge, which is in the final stages of development in conjunction with their German research and design office.
“Currently Siebtechnik Tema is busy developing a new vibrating centrifuge, adding a new model to our current portfolio of vibrating centrifuges,” Mr van As said.
“The new centrifuge will typically be used in coarse coal dewatering applications, which was identified as a key market for this new model.”
“The detailed design phase is ongoing and trial runs will take place early in 2021, before the new centrifuge line will be rolled out commercially towards the end of 2021.”
Siebtechnik Tema has been on the forefront of equipment design and manufacture for almost 100 years already. Over the years, hundreds of robust and high quality machines were installed all over Australia and are strongly positioned to continue confidently into the future.