Smart Diver

With process automation forcing its way through minerals processing plants, now even some of the measurement and control applications thought too difficult are coming to the fore.

The PLA SmartDiver is one example. This instrument is a ruggedised mud diver that provides measurement of mud levels, settling zones and overflow clarity in thickeners, clarifiers, washers and decanters. Tank profiling (suspended solids vs depth) is also provided, as it is specific gravity profiling and bed level measurement. Process engineers, armed with the kind of data this level measurement instrument provides, can attack process optimisation of flocculation and underflow density control head-on. Operations can almost cease manual “dipping” of the tanks and get detailed analysis of what is flowing in and out of their tankage.

SmartDiver has been designed around easy to access non-proprietary components to ensure long term maintainability even in the most remote locations.  The open platform adopted by PLA Process Analysers,  uses standard brand name PLC’s and motor drives, this ensures bugs or faults after commissioning are more easily eliminated. Remote 3G dial-in using “team viewer” is supplied standard with almost everything in the PLA range to make monitoring and troubleshooting operations easier.


  • Accurate and repeatable measurements provide historical data of the behaviour of the interfaces in the thickener and allow the user to visualise the operations performance through trends and graphical representations of the tank solids.
  • The device provides the operator with more operational parameters to control the thickener performance (clarity, interface, mud bed heights).
  • The system allows the operator to identify changes in the conditions in the thickener through integrated DCS alarms, trends of the various solid levels and tank profiles. Control can then be established using existing variables and the new measurements provided by the SmartDiver.

The SmartDiver is a low capital & maintenance option to:

  • Enhance overflow clarity
  • Increase underflow density
  • Obtain superior rake torque control
  • Optimise flocculant & reagents consumption
  • Enhance preventative & predictive maintenance (PM/PDM) capabilities through correct control of the tanks, reducing tank maintenance intervals.
  • Increase availability of the thickener through proper control.

PLA SmartDivers are being used in the alumina, nickel, copper, uranium, mineral sands, and gold mining industries.  We now boast more than 200 successful installations worldwide.

PLA Smart Diver
PLA Smart Diver
PLA Smart Diver

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