Atlas Copco compressors in Mexican manganese mines

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Autlán, one of the world’s largest manganese producers, uses Atlas Copco E-Air V1100 electric variable speed compressors (VSD) at its manganese mines in Mexico.

Compressed air is an essential ingredient in the production of manganese nodules. Autlán’s mineral sorting machine, which helps classify manganese ore, blows air over rocks that do not contain high ore grades and separates them from high manganese grade rocks. This requires clean, dry compressed air, the temperature of which does not exceed 20°C above the ambient temperature.

The amount of Free Air (FAD) needed to accomplish this task is 45 Nm3/min. at 150psi. Atlas Copco Power Technique Mexico worked closely with Autlán to understand and define the optimum airflow for the process. Atlas Copco told Autlán that constant airflow was not necessary as the air injections were not continuous (only when low manganese stone needs to be separated).

The solution chosen was to install three mobile E-Air V1100 VSD compressors: two compressors for production and one for emergencies. Featuring Variable Speed ​​​​​​Drive (VSD) technology, these electric portable air compressors are designed for use in harsh outdoor conditions. Because of its robustness, Autlán did not require a dedicated installation or compressor room.

Atlas Copco’s E-Air VSD comes with the standard spill containment frame, providing 110% liquid containment and providing reassurance from potential on-site spills. This was a key feature for Autlán as it avoids the possibility of contamination of the heavily regulated pit floor. In addition, the compressors feature potted motor windings to prevent dust and water ingress, an IP65 certified controller, an IP67 certified water-cooled drive, a single steel sheet, an unwelded undercarriage and a three-layer anti-corrosion system. painting system.

As compressed air quality is critical for this project, Atlas Copco recommended adding the UD+ filter after the cooler to ensure the air guns do not become clogged. The UD+ filter is a patented two-in-one coalescing filter that removes oil aerosols, dust and water, delivering clean compressed air with virtually no pressure drop or loss of efficiency.

Portable electric air compressors with a variable speed drive range include Atlas Copco’s PACE (Pressure Adjusted through Cognitive Electronics) system. They allow the user to regulate the pressure between 5 and 12 bar in precise increments of 0.1 bar, thus adjusting the flow to the optimal level for his application. Because of this, one compressor can handle various tasks that previously would have required multiple units.

The VSD E-Air is equipped with the easy-to-use Smart Air Xc4004 controller. This innovative and powerful controller increases operational efficiency by providing information and features an easy-to-use interface that puts users in control. The 7 inch screen allows multiple parameters to be displayed simultaneously, including pressure and flow. Therefore, there is no need to switch to check the flow rate at a given pressure. Finally, the structured alarm settings above allow for monitoring of operations.

The E-Air VSD range also comes standard with an aftercooler that delivers high quality air for applications such as blasting.

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