At our operations in Western Australia’s Mid West, we have developed a mechanical aid to lift and align the open end of the roll cassette mechanism in mineral magnetic separator machines.

Rare earth rolls (RER) and rare earth drum rolls (RDR) are used in the Narngulu mineral separation plant to separate non-magnetic particles from magnetic particles. There are currently 32 of these machines in operation.

Due to the belt speed required to produce effective separation, combined with the high machine temperatures (>80°C), the polyurethane belts can track off, crease and/or seize which affects the grade of the mineral stream. When this occurs, replacement of the belt is required and is routinely completed by operators.

The task required manual handling to lift the open end of the roll cassette mechanism to release the cassette support bracket for removal of the belt, and again to reposition the support bracket after the belt has been replaced. This required awkward lifting practices and body position, increasing the potential for serious injury. 

This risk of injury has been eliminated by designing and using a mechanical aid that removed the need for the operator to lift the open end of the cassette mechanism. Mechanical advantage allows the cassette mechanism to be lifted while the operator simultaneously removes and relocates the support bracket, minimising the risk of manual handling injury.