The Asia Miner

JUL-SEP 2018

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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the asia miner • volume 15 • issue 3 6 LEADING DEVELOPMENTS An agreement between Downer, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the Innovaঞve Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC) kicked off a research project which hopes to revoluঞonise the way composite polymers are used to manufacture precision-engineered mineral separaঞon and mining equipment. Together, they plan to jointly to research soluঞons that will revoluঞonise the way addiঞve manufacturing can be used to improve the producঞon of mineral separaঞon equipment and create new manufacturing technologies. Anঞcipated to run over a three-year period, the research alliance covers the first phase of the project. UTS will house all project work at a new addiঞve manufacturing facility at its Broadway campus to network and brainstorm various conceptual ideas. Located in the Faculty of Engineering and IT, this project will be undertaken with Rapido, a unique rapid prototyping unit established by UTS in 2016 to help industry, government and community partners translate innovaঞve ideas and complex problems into viable products and soluঞons. Addiঞve manufacturing (AM), or 3D prinঞng as it is also referred to, is the fastest-growing manufacturing sector worldwide. This is due to the many benefits it offers companies in terms of new product development, ঞme to market, reduced waste and lower product cost. Herve Harvard, Director of Rapido, says the unit seeks research partnerships to engage staff and students in innovaঞve projects which help to bridge the gap between industry and universiঞes. Two PhD students will be allocated to the Downer/IMCRC project and mentored throughout its lifecycle. "Partnering with Rapido harnesses a unique capability in terms of the breadth and depth of experঞse, and advanced faciliঞes we have at UTS. We can assemble mulঞ-skilled teams to leverage the experঞse of high performing engineers who have extensive experience in commercial research and development together with researchers who bring world class academic experঞse in key technology Members of the research alliance working on 3D prinng project for the mining industry. Image source ©UTS Downer, UTS and IMCRC join forces to create precision-engineered mining equipment using 3D printing domains. This project demonstrates how UTS is becoming a leading university in addiঞve manufacturing and, in this parঞcular context, leading in the capability to develop bespoke 3D prinঞng technologies suitable for manufacturing funcঞonal parts," Herve said. Mineral Technologies Global Manager - Sales, Equipment and Technology, Alex de Andrade, is an associate professor with UTS and will provide industry partner leadership to the project. "This project will define an accelerated deposiঞon and curing technique for AM which will hasten the way in which composite polymers are deposited to manufacture our mineral separaঞon equipment, in parঞcular, gravity spirals. We expect to see posiঞve environmental impacts, such as decreasing the need for chemicals and reducing air contaminaঞon, which will significantly improve the operaঞonal environment for our manufacturing workforce," Mr Andrade said. It is anঞcipated that the new AM manufacturing methods will aract the next generaঞon of engineers and workforce who will become skilled at seমng up 3D printers as well as profile programming and CAD meshing development. David Chuter, IMCRC's CEO and Managing Director, pointed out that applying AM technologies will not only revoluঞonise the manufacturing process of mineral separaঞon equipment but the associated supply chain operaঞons, especially when the equipment is fied with IoT sensors. "Mineral separaঞon equipment is o[en operated in a remote and hosঞle environment. Deploying gravity spirals fied with IoT sensors will offer Mineral Technologies a clear picture of the product performance. We also see that this innovaঞve manufacturing approach and research could yield benefits for other sectors, such as verঞcal agriculture and other applicaঞons."

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