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VIBRA-DRUM® Grinding Mill | Industrial Mineral Case Study

 by General Kinematics,


In May of 2001, an Industrial Minerals plant in TN was expanding plant capacity. They needed to purchase new equipment for fine grinding/comminution. They were open to the idea of moving away from their conventional rotary ball mills, provided they could eliminate some of the inherent shortcomings. Critical areas of focus included product quality, energy consumption, uptime, and maintenance costs.


In search of a solution to support plant operational and strategic goals, the facility manager approached General Kinematics to inquire about VIBRA-DRUM® Grinding Mills. The product requirements seemed a good fit, and the sub-resonant style of attrition grinding addressed many of the other plant needs. GK then collaborated with the customer to arrange qualifying test work. 


The tests proved the drum was a success and would have promising results. A 6’-0 diameter x 18’-0 long VIBRA-DRUM® Grinding Mill with ceramic liners was purchased, designed, and delivered as part of a closed-loop system. The drum design utilized a sub-resonant, Two-Mass drive system that transmits the grinding and mixing forces through vibrations. Test work validated the feasibility of the vibratory drum and was used to determine the scale of design and ancillary equipment.


The plant installed the VIBRA-DRUM® Grinding Mill in November of 2002. It is still in operation today with a reported 97%+ up time and 24 x 7 operation. It outperforms the rotary mills in all required metrics and has been so successful that the customer now owns 8 of the vibratory mills.


Mill Comparison


Type GK Vibra-Drum® Rotary Drum
Size 6’ Dia x 18’ Lg  6’ Dia x 5’ Lg
Circuit Type Closed Loop Batch
Capacity 650 lb/hr 200 lb/hr
Product Size  P50 = 8 microns P50 = 8 microns
Installed Power 100 hp 60 hp
Running Power  51 hp 52 hp
*Energy/Ton 114 kWh/ton 382 kWh/ton
Up Time 97% 95%
Liner Life   10 years 10 years
Yearly Maintenance   $2530 $15940
*Cost/Ton $0.92/Ton $19.16/Ton


General Kinematics Corporation, incorporated in 1960, was established to market, design, and custom fabricate innovative vibratory equipment for the foundry, recycling, mining, and processing industries. Today the company continues as one of the world’s largest suppliers of vibratory processing equipment and has evolved into an industry-leading EPC firm. Headquartered in Crystal Lake, IL, General Kinematics has seven global locations providing engineering and support to a world-wide customer base. GK is a third generation, family-owned company and is ISO 9001 certified.