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Polydeck visualizes screening’s future at AGG1

By |  April 5, 2022
Ryan Johnson, director of research and development at Polydeck, showcased Smartpanel Manager at AGG1. Photo: P&Q Staff

Ryan Johnson, director of research and development at Polydeck, showcased Smartpanel Manager at AGG1. Photo: P&Q Staff

Polydeck offered a look at the future of screen management last week at AGG1 Aggregates Academy & Expo.

Smartpanel Manager, an upcoming tech development from Polydeck, aims to provide quick, accurate updates on the health and operation of screen media panels. Although it is not yet available to the public, Ryan Johnson, director of research and development at Polydeck, demonstrated the technology at AGG1.

“If we have something happen on a screen, we have a panel get loose, we have a heavy impact event – it might break or damage a panel – we want to know that and we want to know that quickly,” Johnson says. “What we’ve been building is the infrastructure to monitor and report that type of data.”

According to Polydeck, Smartpanel Manager will work by scanning panels that are tagged with a sensor, allowing users to look up information about any panel within a deck. The scans can identify the panel, when it was made, when it was installed, how many are in inventory, the wear level of the panel and more.

Johnson says the goal is to provide a map of the screen deck that shows the exact location of all panels on the deck.

“If we have that, we can really start to understand where we have hot spots on the deck, where we have opportunities to select a different panel, and manage the maintenance of the screen over time,” Johnson says.

Smartpanel Manager will also provide critical alerts, according to Johnson. These will allow operators to quickly know if a panel comes loose, gets hit unexpectedly or is broken.

The technology will show the motion of specific panels over the last 24 hours, with snapshots taken every four hours. It will also illustrate impacts on the screen and provide statistics such as 24-hour and 30-day averages, peak acceleration and temperature values, and more.

Additionally, operators can see how a screen operates and moves without material on it versus when it is loaded.

“What we’re trying to do is highlight some of the foundational components of this system,” Johnson says. “The tag technology going into the panels, the ability to scan and locate those panels and the ability to further understand what is happening at every location on a deck by having additional sensors placed in the panels.”

Logo: Polydeck

Tackling operator concerns

Trey Rollins, director of marketing and inside sales at Polydeck, says the company is working on this technology to address three main concerns operators have regarding screen media reliability and availability.

The first concern, Rollins says, is the reliability of screen panel fastening.

“Operators need to be confident all screen media panels are securely fastened during installation and remain fastened during operation,” he says. “Displaced screen panels can block material flow, send misplaced material through the process, and potentially damage equipment. Our technology ensures an operator can detect fastening issues before a panel becomes displaced and alerts an operator so that action can be taken quickly to prevent contaminated product piles.”

The second concern is screen availability related to media performance and wear life.

“The media health technology designed in our panels will help operators more precisely understand the wear life of a screen panel and be able to plan maintenance activities based on the predicted life of panels in service,” Rollins says. “The ability to measure panel wear life in real time creates an opportunity to optimize screen media selection by location on the deck and develop media maintenance plans that balance cost and performance.

“The ability to detect specific panel locations gives an operator insight into specific wear patterns and opportunities to drive efficiencies throughout their process,” Rollins adds.

The final issue Rollins hopes Smartpanel Manager addresses is screen media being installed in the proper location on a screen deck.

“Due to screen decks often having two or three different aperture-sized panels on a screen, operators need to be confident that all media panels are placed in the proper location,” Rollins says. “The correct placement of the media ensures an operator is set up to achieve their target separations and maximize efficiencies.”

Future functionality

Rollins says Polydeck’s main focus so far has been testing and proving out the key building blocks of the digitally connected smart panels.

This year, he says the focus will be on testing larger installations of the panels, with an emphasis on building communication infrastructure necessary to connect all screen panels on a machine or deck. Rollins says Polydeck will also continue to explore uses for the data collected from panel sensors to predict when critical events may occur on a screen deck.

“Our first goal with a smart panel’s capabilities is to ensure screens are set up with the media that will provide optimal production and, secondly, to minimize the resources required to manage screen media health,” Rollins says. “The feedback provided through our smart system will allow operators to select screen panels that optimize the balance between production rates and media wear life. Additionally, it will automate the processes of reordering screen media and planning for media changeouts.”

Adds Johnson: “This is something we believe is going to be important for the next generation of screen management. We’re looking forward to bringing this to the market when it is ready.”

Jack Kopanski

About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or jkopanski@northcoastmedia.net.

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