Mongolia, a Central Asian country, is one of the most remote locations in the world, and yet the location for considerable deposits of coal, copper, gold, and iron ore — making it a center of mining activity. That makes Mongolia a likely spot for manufacturers supplying machinery and components for mining, including forged parts.
In recent years, Mongolian mining operations have made considerable increases in consumption of grinding media. The Darkhan Metallurgical Plant (DMP), about 200 km north of Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar, has installed two Schuler automated forging lines featuring 5,000-kg/hour short-stroke die forging hammers to manufacture of 100- to 140-mm diameter steel balls.
The project carried out late last year was Schuler’s first effort in Mongolia. According to DMP, the project will create more opportunities for developing the nation metallurgical industry in Mongolia.
In first step of the production process, round steel bars are cut into workpieces by a circular saw. After induction heating, a robot arm takes the hot parts from the conveyor belt and inserts them into the Schuler hammer.
A worker removes the forged steel balls from a discharge chute integrated into the die area. After quenching and hardening, and then a subsequent tempering process and quality control inspection, the grinding balls are ready for use.
Schuler designed the process and supplied the entire installation within seven months, including the dies and lubrication system. Installation began in November 2016, and set-up and testing were completed in mid-December.
Now, after commissioning, DMP is producing a new steel ball from each line every eight seconds. Total annual capacity is up to 25,000 metric tons per year.
“Our customer had no experience in forging, so we introduced him to this new technology step by step and provided operator, maintenance and security training,” according to Markus Bieg, head of Schuler’s Industry division in Weingarten, Germany. “Via Remote Service, we can assist DMP 24/7.”