With additional safety features and higher-quality materials, is a heavier screen mesh always better? The answer may be unexpected. Song Zhou, head of the engineering team at Anpeng Wire Mesh Filter Equipment Co., Ltd, explains how new technologies are changing the way screening medias are designed and manufactured.
There is an old saying about mining and quarrying screens: "The heavier the better." Traditionally, engineers wanted to combine additional, important safety factors with the highest quality materials to ensure a robust and long-lasting solution. Although this line of thinking may be more acceptable for certain types of equipment (such as pumps and valves), when applied to screens, it usually results in overweight designs in all the wrong places.
Today, digital calculations, simulation, modeling, and materials advancement allow engineers to challenge traditional designs and to build more reliable, safer, and more efficient screens without adding unnecessary weight. When the main function of the product is to move, the quality of the product itself is always a disadvantage. The airline industry is a typical example. Lighter aircraft always outperform heavier models.
So far, screen manufacturers have been unable to take advantage of best practices demonstrated in other industries due to the difficulties and inertia caused by manual design. However, as computer-aided design becomes more advanced, screen designers are now able to make changes to their products easily. The introduction of computer-simulated finite element analysis (FEA) enables design engineers to immediately verify any changes made, a process that was not possible before.
Without modern design tools, it is almost impossible to customize designs to meet the needs of each application on each specific site. By determining the features, dimensions, and materials wear life required in their intended applications, engineers are now free to reduce the weight of screen components, therefore reducing operating and manufacturing costs. Previously, screens were built to be large and heavy to ensure if anything were to happen, it would not be catastrophic.
Nowadays, there are tools to ensure that there will be no surprises when the screens are finally tested. Frequency response simulation is used to analyze each design using the actual forces that the screen may encounters on the site, enabling engineers to evaluate the high stress points of each part of the product and to reinforce the screen where it’s needed.
At Anpeng Wire Mesh, these design and testing processes are extensive and are performed by a team of experts who combine experience with innovation. The team tests new concepts and designs based on large number of verified data collected by our clients from screening applications in mines and quarries across the world.
Using these tools, screens can be built around the actual needs of a particular application, rather than for any potential problems that the screen may face. This can reduce the weight and complexity of the screen, thereby saving a lot of costs in terms of manufacturing time and transportation costs and making installation and maintenance safer and easier.
Using modern design tools, professionally customized screens can provide required sturdy structure and safety features without any "excess luggage". So, the next time you compare heavy screens, ask yourself if they are heavy because they need to be, or if they are heavy just because no one has worked hard to optimize them.