A new, comprehensive solution combines frother and collector chemistry with technical service and digital innovation aimed at helping customers maximize flotation performance.

Nalco Water, an Ecolab company, announced the launch of Flotation 360, described as a holistic approach to flotation in mineral processing. The solution combines Nalco Water’s flotation chemistries with a global technical service team and digital diagnostic tools that monitor the chemical, operational and mechanical levers influencing performance.

According to Nalco Water, mineral processing plants face the dual pressures of responding to growing demand while also adapting to increased variability. Variability can come from many outside influences, including changes in the ore body itself, shifting customer demand or quality requirements, natural resource constraints and more. To manage increased demand and minimize the impacts of variability, mining companies must be more agile than ever, continuing to evolve their production strategies.

The company said Flotation 360 solution combines existing chemistry programs, new digital diagnostic tools and a cross-functional service team in a comprehensive package:
• The chemistry program includes a variety of advanced frothers and collectors.

• The digital diagnostic tools tap into existing IoT at customer sites and use innovative algorithms to give both realtime diagnostics and predictive analytics on several flotation factors, which enables Nalco Water to offer actionable insights on performance.

• The service team measures and monitors a variety of performance indicators, then recommends and implements changes to customer systems.

According to Nalco Water, these three elements when combined enable it to give customers end-to-end support for their flotation circuits — Nalco will supply the chemistry and then monitor its efficacy, as well as overall system performance. Flotation 360 uses emerging technology to respond rapidly to changing dynamics. For example, a mobile bubble analyzer enables the team to measure froth height and other characteristics. The service team also leverages their global network of sales support and research labs to deliver a wide range of testing capabilities for customers.

In addition to the improvements for overall recovery and grade, Nalco Water said the increased visibility offered by Flotation 360’s real-time and predictive analytics can help a customer achieve multiple benefits, such as reduced float cell valve failures, reduced troubleshooting time, optimal chemical reagent dosage, and fewer product quality violations or smelter penalties.