Keeping Crushers at Work

In most mines, crushing provides the gateway to mineral recovery, and proper maintenance is the key to reliable crusher operation

Located at the front end of any mineral-processing system, crushers are heavy-duty, high-cost pieces of equipment of which a lot is expected in terms of throughput and reliability. If the primary crusher goes down, the chances are there will be no backup unit to take over. The plant runs through its fine ore stock, and then stops. For this reason, if for no other, properly scheduled maintenance is vital to ensuring crusher reliability, with the world’s crusher manufacturers having invested a great deal in recent years in devising technologies that help make crusher maintenance simpler and safer. As with any piece of equipment, lubrication is one of the most importance aspects of machine maintenance. Any failure of the lubrication system can have catastrophic consequences, very quickly, as bearings and other rotating parts begin to wear, then break down or seize. In addition, damage to the wear surfaces within the crusher chamber can rapidly lead to cracking and even disintegration unless appropriate remedial work is undertaken urgently. Hence, careful inspection must be a key part of any maintenance program, as well as ensuring that lubricant levels are correct and that the lubricants themselves meet the crusher manufacturer’s specifications.

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