Autonomous Crushing With SBM Mineral Processing's REMAX 600

In extensive field tests at the SBM plant and at customer sites, the series version of the REMAX 600 will be brought to market maturity by mid-2023 and the autonomous crusher technology will be optimized under real operating conditions. (SBM Mineral Processing photo)

Thu March 30, 2023
SBM Mineral Processing

For years now, the Austrian processing specialist SBM Mineral Processing has been one of the technology leaders in economical hybrid drives and intelligent, interactive process controls for track-mounted crushing plants.

Using the platform of its new REMAX 600 impact crusher, SBM is now taking the decisive step further towards "autonomous crushing".

Due to worldwide access to specially developed, database-based IT solutions, the plant will for the first time independently analyze feed material and production grain sizes, optimize its own operation in real time, and thus support operators and machine operators from project planning to actual operation and predictive maintenance, the company said.

The track-mounted impact crusher REMAX 600 has impressive values: 55 in. wide impact crusher for feed sizes up to 39 in., up to 600 tph production capacity with a compact 130,000 to 175,000 lbs. total weight depending on the equipment and up to five high-quality fractions in one pass due to triple air classification and highly efficient magnetic separation.

At the Munich show in late October, first customers opted for the high-performance plant. First deliveries are planned from middle of this year.

The REMAX 600 produces up to five products in a single pass due to extensive pre-screening and production screen equipment. (SBM Mineral Processing photo)

The new plant serves as a technology platform for the globally first fully automatic production monitoring and control that SBM is currently developing in close co-operation with researchers of the Montan University Leoben, Styria.

Based upon an innovative sensor system and video technology, powerful communication and IT networks, as well as technological innovations such as the automatic gap adjustment, "artificial intelligence" finds its way into mobile processing technique for the very first time.

In large-scale test runs with REMAX 600 all relevant system components will be optimized under practical conditions in the coming year. According to estimates the runs will be completed and market maturity of the autonomous technology that also can be transferred to other power classes will be reached in about 2024.

Even when fully equipped, the REMAX 600 achieves an ideal transport size: All screening equipment and conyeyors remain on the machine for fast, tool-free set-up. (SBM Mineral Processing photo)

Human/Machine Freshly Thought

The ambitious R&D project "Autonomous Crushing" with interdisciplinary teams consisting of members of the renowned Leoben Chair of Mineral Processing and SBM research departments has been running for more than two years. It is the task and the aim of this project to make the decisive step from today's already extensively monitored and in the interaction of all process steps optimized crushing to autonomous fully-automated production by means of "intelligent" self-learning mobile crushers.

In the already well-advanced project, the machine independently assesses feed material and final products via sensors and camera systems, registers even better than before the load conditions of crusher and conveyor equipment, and optimizes all separation processes down to overbelt magnetic separators and wind sifters, the manufacturer said.

The sophisticated SBM control system CRUSH CONTROL validates all operating conditions and material properties in real-time and sends the values to the SBM headquarters via cloud. A "digital twin" compiled there matches the real machine data with thousands of stored reference data coming from 1:1 quality testing, laboratory tests and computer simulations (rock properties, grain-size distribution curves, particle shapes, etc.). The hence determined optimization potentials are sent back to the machine control system, and this allows for immediate and permanent adaptation of all process steps on site without any stoppages.

According to SBM, autonomous crushing shall considerably support and relieve users and operators: Based upon specific data the plant can be configurated to exactly meet the requirements by selecting the right screening equipment already before the plant is relocated or the feed materials are changed. By means of an interactive menu control even inexperienced operators can precisely adjust the production process — depending on whether maximum output, minimum fuel consumption ("eco mode") or quantity-optimized production of certain valuable grain sizes are required, the manufacturer said.

The newly integrated tool monitoring in the impact crusher is another benefit as it counteracts shortfalls in quality due to wear during production, and also provides key support for preventive maintenance.

The longitudinal discharge of the magnetic separator above the main discharge conveyor ensures great efficiency. (SBM Mineral Processing photo)

New Benchmark for Productive Mobile Crushing

Even without "AI inside" the performance data of the new flagship of the SBM REMAX series are very impressive: With the 600 t/h-capacity of its impact crusher 13/14/4 with 55 x 39 in. inlet opening, the transport-friendly dimensions of max. 72 x 11.5 x 12.5 ft. (l x w x w) and a total weight of 130,000 to 175,000 lbs. only, this crusher defines a completely new power segment in mobile crushing, the manufacturer said.

REMAX 600 offers a complete package of standard equipment plus options that assure high added value due to providing a multitude of premium-quality final aggregate fractions. In addition to the serial pre-screening via a double-deck circular vibratory screen, there are three optional secondary circular vibratory product screens (1-, 2-, 3-decks) all facilitating recirculation of oversize material, and highly cantilevering discharge conveyors for large product stockpiles.

Even fully equipped, the plant allows transportation in one piece and short set-up times (approx. 45 to 60 minutes) with no further auxiliary means even in one-man operation. According to SBM, this is unique in this mobile market segment.

As with all mobile plants made by SBM, the consumption-optimized diesel-electric "hybrid" drive also is a decisive argument for REMAX 600: A compact unit comprising a 15-liter Cummins turbodiesel (Tier iv final) and 520-kVa generator powers all electric drives — from the 250-kW strong electric motor of the crusher through the complete conveying and screening equipment to the two electrically driven hydraulic units of chassis and working hydraulics system.

The high-torque drive system convinces with permanently low speeds, which results in addition to low environmental impacts especially in a documented favorable average fuel consumption of 10.5 gal/h even with high utilization of all ancillary components.

As all hybrid electrified SBM Mobiles, the REMAX 600 offers in specific market regions an optional all-electric grid operation. Once activated, all plant features and functions remain available, while considerably reducing on-site emissions (exhaust fumes, noise) and bringing energy savings to new levels compared to other only partially electrified hybrid concepts on the market.

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Typical of SBM is the user-friendly control panel, which allows even for the REMAX 600 an easy start-up at the simple push of one button. (SBM Mineral Processing photo)