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University Spin-out making a global impact

Industry partnership: Curtin University, Scanalyse Pty Ltd and Outotec

OutotecScanalyse Pty Ltd was established to monitor the wear and tear in giant rock crushers and grinding mills.

Based on Curtin research, the Scanalyse technologies, MillMapper (for grinding mill monitoring) and CrusherMapper (for crusher monitoring) combines laser scanning technology with an integrated software suite to provide accurate measurement and modelling of the condition of the machines.

Giant crushers and grinding mills used to process minerals can typically consume 60% of a mine’s electricity. However, when their grinders wear out, it can cost the mine $100,000 an hour in downtime. Prior to this technology, operators had to climb into the giant machines to measure their performance and level of wear, a process that was both dangerous and unreliable.

Scanalyse services have quickly gained acceptance in the minerals processing industry in Australia and other mining countries, enabling the operators to optimise their asset performance. The company expanded globally and had operations in Australia, Brazil, Chile and the United States.

The company was acquired earlier in 2013 by Finnish mining giant Outotec, in recognition of the technology’s immense potential in the global market.

Following the acquisition, Scanalyse and Outotec won the 2013 Rio Tinto Eureka prize for Commercialisation of Innovation for their MillMapper project.

The Scanalyse example illustrates a successful path from research to implementation in a large-scale commercial environment and demonstrates IP Principles 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7.