Case Study

A client was manually crushing large lumps of a metallic material to a size suitable for feeding a grinding mill. This process was time consuming, labour intensive and dangerous.

  • The process had a high risk of causing a serious hand injury.
  • The process was difficult and time consuming.
  • Rework volumes were high due to the size variability of the crushed product. The next stage mill was often blocked or restricted, resulting mill breakdown and delays in production.
  • The equipment was clumsy and not designed for the task. This led to frequent overheating and equipment breakdown.
  • The material itself was very hard, and difficult to break.


Identified the following:

  • The input material was characterised in terms of size distribution and hardness.
  • The input material specifications for the grinding process were defined.
  • The process specification for the crushing process were defined.
  • Equipment suppliers were contacted and a short list of possible equipment drawn up.
  • Process trials were arranged at a number of equipment suppliers.


  • Suitable equipment supplier was identified and equipment verified.
  • Equipment specification reviewed and confirmed by all stakeholders.
  • Review of siting, controls, procedures and hand-over plan completed and reviewed.
  • Installation and commissioning of equipment.
  • Hand over to operations.


  • Significantly safer operation.
  • Removed bottleneck.
  • No rework required.
  • All crushed product suitable for next operation.