UK-based International Innovative Milling Technologies Ltd
(IIT) has developed a new low energy milling technology, the
M350 milling system, for a wide range of powder processing
applications, expanding on its m-series of vertical roller
The product is the culmination of a three year collaborate
project headed by Procter and Gamble’s Technical
Centre as part of the UK government’s Advanced
Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI), with the aim
of developing new technologies for advanced powder handling
and processing applications.
According to IIT, the mill provides a flexible solution for
the size reduction needs of a range of bulk materials across
the hardness scale up to 9.5 Mohs owing to its design, which
accommodates an output capacity range of up to 4.5t/hr for
single pass applications and 500Kg/hr for finer products
As such, the mill is suitable for mineral and industrial
processing including glass, sodium bicarbonate, iron slag,
sodium sulphate, limestone' zircon sand, silica sand,
pet-coke, fly ash and different types of blast furnace slag.
"We already have interest in the new mill from companies
involved in limestone and dolomite quarrying and also from
producers of ultrafine powders, particularly in relation to
relatively small volume product runs for niche applications," a
spokesperson for the company told IM.
IIT has also seen interest from the fillers and extenders
market, where the M350 allows some uses to look at the
processing waste glass and fly ash for building applications.
The size and versatility of the mill make it ideal for
smaller reserves and mobile exploitation solutions, an area in
which the company has seen growth.
In terms of new applications, IIT noted potential in the
perlite sector for mill-only and classified product
applications, while there has also been some interest from
customers for material pre-treatment before traditional
jet-milling in hard minerals and abrasives applications.
|The M350 Mill without its
enclosure. (Source: Innovative Milling
Downturn driving economic solutions
The downturn in both mining and oil and gas has resulted in
customers holding back on both greenfield investments and
upgrades to new technology. However IIT told IM that it has
benefited from growing market interest in better and more
economic milling solutions.
Companies in the minerals industry looking to new product
development or to expand market share have expressed interest
in the product.
"As an innovative new technology introduction in a fairly
conservative market place we have attracted considerable
attention," the company told IM.
However, IIT also said that while producers have looked to
cheaper investments in the downturn, these have not always
reaped the anticipated benefits.
"To some extent there has also been a rebound in the
minerals processing industry from recent low cost market entry
efforts that have not been regarded as successful –
'not just another cheap Chinese mill’ is how one
of our customers welcome our product introduction," IIT told
The biggest challenge for IIT is one that persists in the
sector regardless of market sentiment – a conservative
attitude in mineral processing has seen traditional
technologies become firmly established and the company has had
to overcome resistance to change when it comes to new
"Our challenge will be to break down the barriers associated
with new product and process evaluation," the company said.
"These are now largely based on outmoded technology which
doesn’t meet the modern day need to deliver
economic market evaluation and development rapidly."
Smaller is better
A number of M350 design features mean that the size of milled
product remain consistent and allow for the accurate control
of particle size distribution.
The mill’s design is based on a patented
centrifugal grinding mechanism, utilising a special pivoting
roller assembly and a static grinding ring to provide a highly
energy efficient size reduction capability.
The modular assembly of the M350 is designed for efficient
strip-down, cleaning and maintenance and includes a variety
of construction material options for different markets and
According to the company, the design also minimises induced
airflow through the mill, which reduces the ancillary equipment
needs associated with similar mills, making the complete
installation significantly smaller and better value.
As the company designs technology for tonnages for around
10-15 tph for high value products, batch production and
R&D, it does not need to compete with larger established
market players for high volume milling applications.
Instead, IIT told IM this small scale enables the company
flexibility to adjust to customer requirements.
"We work closely with customers to bring a dynamic and
creative approach to their projects," the company told IM.
"This helps to ensure that effective solution options are
provided early in the economic evaluation of new product
development programmes and minerals processing projects."