Date of Submission
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Dr. Robert Keyser
Dr. Awatef Ergai
The Tube Mill Optimization Project is in partnership with Imerys for Tube Mill 81 at their Marble Hill site in Georgia. Tube Mill 81 is a dry ball mill that operates 24/7 and makes an intermediary product for Plant 3. Tube Mill 81 needs quality improvement and a production rate increase to meet demand. Imerys’s quality specification is between a particle size of 12-18 microns and an acceptable production rate of 5 tons per hour. This project focuses on the development and implementation of three solutions: increase the amps on the separator to increase production, replace missing classifier blades in the separator to improve quality, and put new media balls in the tube mill to improve grinding efficiency. Before and after each change, product samples are analyzed to measure changes in quality in particle size (microns). A rate check shows the production in tons per hour (TPH). The baseline data analysis revealed the average product size at 41.5 amps is 13.86 microns and production is 3.84 TPH. After increasing the separator amps from 41.5 to 43, the production increased to 5.28 TPH. This is 1.44 TPH more and a 37.5% increase than the baseline results. This change is expected to yield 12,614.4 additional tons produced per year if it is kept at the higher amperage. The increase to 43 amps also shifted the average quality to 14.6 microns, an increase of 0.74 microns or a 5.34% increase. Though this measurement is larger than the baseline result, it is still within the 12 - 18 micron acceptable range. The next steps for this solution include increasing the separator amperage in 2 amp increments until the quality leaves the acceptable quality zone or the fan limit curve threshold is surpassed and the production rate decreases. The classifier blades were ordered and installed to help improve the quality. Quotes for the media balls have been gathered and a decision will be made on the best solution. The addition of fresh media is expected to increase grinding efficiency and production rate. Overall, the team helped increase production and identified ways to help improve the quality.