Ball mill at Asarel Medet copper mine.

Ball mill at the Asarel Medet copper mine.

Using HD measurement technologies, Bulgarian copper producer Asarel Medet AD monitors the mechanical condition of critical equipment in the open-pit mine and flotation plant. This case study deals with the successful detection of outer race damage on a ball mill pinion bearing.

On the non-drive end bearing, the Intellinova online system initially indicated shock pulse levels that varied between green and yellow condition evaluation. This fluctuation was attributed to the operating conditions, with varying loads on the ball mill. Over the following months, bearing condition deteriorated, and when the bearing was replaced during a planned stop about eleven months after the first yellow readings, outer ring damage was verified.