If clean water is mission critical – choose the right filter, choose Kleerflo.
Two decades ago, onsite engineers at a desert mine made a critical filtration decision – leaving a lasting legacy that continues to deliver optimal results in the harshest imaginable conditions.
The engineers were on the Tronox Namakwa Sands Open Pit Mine, a former Anglo American mine located 385km north of Cape Town.
1. The filtration effectiveness and cost challenge
The west coast of Southern Africa is extremely inhospitable, but its also a treasure trove of rare minerals. Here the Namakwa Sands mine lies exposed to harsh sun, extreme temperatures, high winds and corrosive sea air.
It is also utterly dependent on treated sea water as process water for cleaning and cooling throughout the mine. This means that a filtration failure at this remote, weather-beaten mine is a calamity, bringing all operations to a halt. And the likelihood of a failure is amplified here where the source water is a harsh brew of unfiltered chlorinated sea water.
Chlorination is required to prevent mollusks from growing along the inside of the pipework and choking the flow, but it also makes the source water doubly corrosive. Effective and reliable, low maintenance filtration to remove large marine debris, micro sand particles, mollusks and the shells from the ‘treated’ mollusks, is critical for the reliable operation of the entire mine, the process plants, and for the survival of the people working there.
Initially, large rectangular manual strainers were used. But because there was no automatic backwash, the solution required a full team of technicians continuously moving between the corroded strainers just to unbolt the screens, remove, clean and replace them – an extremely expensive process in terms of risk, labour, lost production time, and lost water flow.
2. The cost saving, productivity enhancing solution
In 2003, almost two decades ago, the onsite engineers chose to replace these manual strainers with automatic backwashing screen filters. With the assistance of specialists from Superior Filtration, two Kleerflo Automatic Backwashing Screen Filters were chosen for their ease of operation, automatic backwashing, corrosion resistance and ability to continuously filter at a flow of 1500m³/h.
Over the past 18 years, these filters have performed excellently to remove debris, while effectively eliminating manual cleaning and ensuring lower costs, minimal maintenance, downtime, and corrosion-related challenges, so the mine runs without interruptions caused by failing water filtration or damaged downstream equipment.
The mine has since chosen to install Superior Filtration filters on many other applications to protect all of its downstream equipment, including main process water, gland service water and spray nozzle protection within the primary and secondary concentration plants, feed prep and mill sections. There are now more than 10 filters on the plant operating at varying pressures and flows between 120m³/h and 1500m³/h.
To say that the process engineers at this mine are Kleerflo advocates is an understatement.
3. The key to low cost, low maintenance filtration
Poor filter performance can usually be traced back to poor diagnostics and poor decisions regarding the type of filters that should be prescribed. In low-risk environments standard- and dare we say, initially cheap filters, sometimes cope. But if the water quality is challenging, and if continuous operation is important, “intelligent” automated filters save running, maintenance and downtime costs that far outweigh the costs of customisation.
To ensure these benefits filters must be designed to suit the individual application with consideration for flow rate, water quality, pressure, and corrosive conditions.
This is the most important reason for the success of the filtration systems now installed in several different applications at the Namakwa Sands mine.
“In fact, recent independent research among design engineers in SADC provide some insights: 75% of surveyed design engineers said that they had encountered filters during their careers that “only partly or fully failed to deliver against expectations”. Says Albert Bam, director at Superior Filtration, the South African-based industrial filtration specialist that supplies filtration solutions in 32 countries. “Consulting a diagnostic specialist before specifying the filters to be used in any process is the simple solution to successful, long-lasting filtration systems.”
4. Quick, easy access to filtration diagnostic expertise
The Superior Filtration diagnostic team invites both design engineers and end users of filtration systems to make use of it’s no obligation diagnostic service.
“Our team, with more than 50 years’ experience, is well-positioned to provide crucial advice and consultation to end-users, as well as to engineers, consultants, contractors and project managers,” says Bam.
The features of Superior Filtration’s Kleerflo filters, which are ideal for harsh and remote areas, can be just as important in urban industrial uses.
5. Quick, easy access to filtration expertise
The Superior Filtration diagnostic team invites both design engineers and end users of filtration systems to make use of our no obligation diagnostic service.
“Consulting a diagnostic specialist before specifying the filters to be used in any process is the simple solution to successful, long-lasting filtration systems,” says Bam. “Our team, with more than 30 years’ experience, is well-positioned to provide crucial advice and consultation to end-user municipalities, as well as to engineers, consultants, contractors and project managers designing water filtration systems.
“Our specialists will not only assist you in addressing current filtration system problems, but also help you to ensure that sub-optimal performance and failures can be prevented at design stage – ensuring filtration solutions that work for decades, requiring minimal management and maintenance, and ultimately reducing risk, downtime and costs.”
6. Kleerflo filter features
- Reliability over decades
- Designed specifically for tough industrial applications
- No rotating parts
- Very few moving parts
- No close tolerance elements
- No electric motor
- Low downtime
- No manual pre-screens required
Completely autonomous function including backwash
Long uninterrupted filter runs
Efficient filtration and filtrate within standards
Virtually no downtime
Diagnostic and support service via telephone or WhatApp
- Low costs
- Quality, durable, stainless steel wedgewire screens never have to be replaced
- Low maintenance- and running costs
- Zero electrical energy consumption
7. Stay in touch
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