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Bosch in Chile

Avoid a ton of risks

More safety and productivity with Bosch’s technology for closing and isolating silos and chutes.

silos, chutes, technology for closing and isolating silos and chutes, mining process

Extracting minerals involves several steps and one of them is beneficiation, a process that adjusts minerals to the industry and enhances its quality.

Minerals are not always found in nature in a way that can be used by the industry, be it because of its granulometry (grain size) or concentration or because it’s associated to other materials that can compromise the industrial process.

For proper beneficiation, equipment such as silos or chutes must work continuously. They store and/or transfer dozens of thousands of tons of material.

A broken mechanism under these pieces of equipment, such as apron feeders, belts, vibrating screens, or crushers, can lead to major problems in the operation. After all, proper maintenance demands immediately stopping the flow of minerals. That is not an easy task, considering the magnitude of the activity.

One of the traditional ways of doing this is needling, which consists of inserting metallic lances that can weigh up to 66 lb. It’s not hard to imagine, therefore, that this procedure presents considerable ergonomic and safety risks to the workforce, since the “needles” have to be inserted manually.

smart feeder application

Needling also takes time: with long-term stops (real cases have reached 24 hours and can potentially be even longer), depending on the place and on the possibility for the crew to work, impact on production can be substantial. Another alternative for this is washing silos for complete drainage, also a slow, manual task.

Bosch offers an innovative solution that can literally eliminate tons of risk. With automated triggering, Bosch’s Guillotine Valve comes with a smart hydraulic system that can automatically block mineral silos and chutes in any stage of the operation. One or two highly abrasion-resistant steel shutters stop the flow of minerals.

hydraulic motor, guillotine valve, belt tensioner

This system certainly increases agility: complete stoppage takes under 10 minutes in the worst-case scenario - if the silo is clogged; in a flow situation, however, it only needs up to a minute. As far as safety is concerned, the difference is also major: stoppage is completely automated, without human intervention in places that offer risks to the workers.

Aside from considerably increasing productivity (see infographic), the Guillotine Valve also allows for the automation of sampling processes, which are traditionally imprecise and demand a lot of energy. This allows all actions to be taken as frequently as you want without the intervention of the workforce.

guillotine valve, smart feeder, high performance, faster and safer than the mannual process
benefities of the guillotine valve, safety, energy efficiency, operational efficiency, sustainability

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