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Particle analysis and cloud computing produce mining solutions built to last

Rocky DEM and Rescale expanded Metso Outotec’s ability to offer dependable mining and aggregate equipment to its customers

Metso Outotec (MO) historically used Ansys tools to optimize its hoppers, crushers, screeners, and conveyers. The one area that needed to be more accurately included in the simulation was how rock loads behaved as they were transferred into the equipment.

MO decided to add Rocky DEM software to Ansys structural simulation, including the transient behavior of particles and their loads on the equipment in a way that reflects real-world conditions. The team complemented their in-house computing capabilities by running their simulations in the cloud at Rescale, a platform for managing and running high-performance computing (HPC) workloads.

The seamless combination between Ansys software, Rocky DEM, and Rescale sped up the entire equipment design process, providing great cost savings and putting the power of the latest NVIDIA GPUs to work for MO engineers at a minimal, one-time cost.

Now that we know we can rely on our simulation results, Rocky DEM has improved our whole design process. We can do more runs, study more-complex problems, and get results faster. Before we added Rescale, we had to wait until our local hardware finished its run to start the next project. Now we have extra compute capacity when we need it. The combination of Rocky and Rescale gives us the confidence that the design is really valid, and we don’t need to rely on prototype build and tests as much as before.

Wiljami Nurmela

Engineering Manager, FEA & Simulations - MetsoOutotec

Metso Outotec needed to verify that its rock hopper’s structure could withstand the huge loads that mining customers pour into it ─ as much as 100 tons at a time, repeatedly. The company’s reputation as a frontrunner in sustainable mineral processing equipment was at stake. The build/test prototype process involved manually estimating and roughly scoping the loads, which produced less-than-optimum results.

The engineering team turned to EDR Medeso, an engineering solution provider that suggested adding discrete element modeling (DEM) to MO’s simulation software toolkit along with a cloud computing solution to speed up solve time. Rocky DEM was the right fit for particle flow analysis, delivering accurate results and compatibility with MO’s existing Ansys structural software. The Rescale platform added the ability to manage computation complexity, significantly speed up solve time, and tackle its most-challenging problems.

The combination of Rocky and Rescale has expanded MO’s ability to offer dependable mining/aggregate equipment to its customers. Rocky DEM gives engineers the capability to look inside “black boxes” to study how particles impact walls and contribute to load stresses. Rescale’s platform enables engineers to run their most demanding software on the world’s largest cloud network, with no disruption to operations.

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You will be inspired to implement Rocky DEM in your business and will soon also become a success story.

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