Metso sets sights on becoming global leader in crushing and screening

Finnish quarrying and aggregates company Metso says increased global urbanisation will continue to drive demand for its products. At the recent bauma expo in Munich, it also set out its ambitions to become the leader in all the main geographic regions of the crushing and screening market. Liam McLoughlin reports – in our sister title Aggregates Business. 

Several prevailing global megatrends are helping to support the business of Metso, and the company is also planning to become the “undisputed” leader in all the major global crushing and screening markets.

Those were among the observations to come out of a meeting with the press held by the Finnish quarrying and aggregates equipment company at April’s bauma construction expo in Munich.

Metso president and CEO Pekka Vauramo said that urbanisation and increasing standards of living – in many developing countries especially – mean that the demand for minerals and aggregates is rising. He said this provides long term growth vectors for a company such as Metso.

“Urbanisation means growth in the middle class and they consume more,” said Vauramo. “Metal consumption grows with the increase in GDP, and China and India are an almost vertical part of that ‘S curve’, meaning that any growth in the GDP leads to a remarkable growth in the consumption of metals. A similar curve exists for aggregates and that’s why India and China are important markets for us.”

Vauramo also observed that climate change issues are putting the focus on companies to look at their impact in this area and what they can achieve in terms of energy and water efficiency and decreasing their emissions.

He added that digitalisation is driving technology and the various applications of it at the moment. “With this sort of growth, companies like us that are manufacturing heavy equipment and providing services do not grow without investing,” he said. “We are investing in our supply capability and in technology as well. We just opened the latest part of our Alwar Metso Park facility in India where we manufacture aggregates equipment and pumps.”

In a few months Metso will expand the capacity at its Vadodara foundry in India to meet growing global demand for cast wear parts for the aggregates and mining industries. The Vadodara facility makes parts primarily for crushers.

In the sustainability area, Vauramo highlighted Metso’s Vertimill grinding mill. Traditionally grinding mills have been horizontal drums that grind ores into finer material. Vertimill uses a vertical drum, which is designed to use much less energy, and Metso claims it is 35% more energy-efficient than a traditional ball mill. It says that, according to externally verified figures, 1,482,000 MWh of energy and 652,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions were saved in 2018 through the use of Vertimills.

Metso also states that its Lokotrack Urban LT106 crusher produces significant reductions in noise levels, with the required protection distance dropping by up to 60%. The Lokotrack range is designed to cut dust emissions and eliminate unnecessary transportation of rock material. Metso states that 30,506,000 litres of diesel and 81,700 tonnes of CO2 emissions were saved through use of Lokotracks in 2018.

Metso has set a target of becoming the “undisputed” leader in all the main geographic areas of the crushing and screening market, according to Markku Simula, president, aggregates equipment business area at the company.

Simula added that, while Metso’s claim is that it is the biggest crushing and screening equipment provider in the world, it is not number one in all the main geographies.

“Europe is an extremely important market for us, and a considerable part of our sales are here,” he said. “The US is another tremendously big market. Business has been developing quite well in both these markets recently, and customers have been investing which is very good.”

In Asia, Metso’s major markets are India and China, and Simula says their importance will continue to grow significantly. “We are making a lot of investments in China and India and developing our business there,” he adds.

Metso wants to build its presence in the four main crushing and screening product areas – equipment selection and commission, operation, maintenance, and upgrade/new equipment.

“In equipment selection we have tremendously good process understanding and a lot of process engineers that can help customers to choose the best equipment for their needs,” said Simula.

“We have a wide range of products to satisfy different needs, such as the recently released Lokotrack Urban [mobile crushing plant] where you need equipment that can run in an urban environment, close to people or buildings, where you don’t want to have noise, dust or emissions.”

He added the Lokotrack can also be important in the operations sector with increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

“Regulations are getting tighter, which is very good as we want to preserve the environment for future generations,” said Simula.

The Lokotrack Urban model range is claimed to significantly restrict noise and dust emissions compared to conventional crushing, enabling more sustainable construction operations in cities.

“In maintenance we want to be there helping our customers to maintain the machines and keep them running for a long time,” he added. “When there is a need for new equipment, was are helping customers to choose next generation equipment that is more environmentally friendly. More and more recycling of constructions materials is needed to be done in cities.”

Digital solutions are increasing rapidly in predictive maintenance, preventive maintenance, equipment performance monitoring, remote support, maintenance scheduling, and process optimisation.

Metso says that all means that there is an ever-greater amount of instrumentation and measurement involved in the machines that it is delivering to customers, adding that this digitalisation means customers can get more data and help on how to make better decisions to run their business.

Swedish Metso customer Abbema was concerned with meeting environmental regulations. Abbema’s model was to contract jobs on an ad hoc basis, with varying rock materials and end products. With a strong interest in environmental issues, Abbema chose the Lokotrack Urban LT106 mobile crusher. The company found that being able to crush rock in densely populated areas was a major advantage.

In terms of future activities, Simula says the most important thing for Mesto is increasing its investment in innovation.

“We have launched more machines at this bauma than at the previous event [in 2016], and can assure you that at the next bauma [in 2022] there will be more new machines than at this one,” he said.

Metso has seven aggregates technology centres around the world in Tampere (Finland), Mâcon (France), Örnsköldsvik (Sweden), Sorocaba (Brazil), Alwar (India), Tianjin (China), and Shaorui (China).

“In the last year-and a-half we have roughly doubled our R&D investment in aggregates machines,” said Simula. “Our customers choose machines by their availability, so improving global availability of our machines is another important factor. We are developing our distribution network and our factories and improving machine availability for customers.”

He added that the company is offering an increasing number of products to meet the range of different needs of its customers.

“The R&D investment in aggregates is not in any single area – it is on both the crushing and the screening side, and for mobile and stationary machines,” he said.

Source

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