Metals

As the market for metals becomes increasingly competitive, many metal mineral processing companies must focus on obtaining the best performance from their production facilities. Increasing use of custom feedstocks - and the exploitation of more variable ore deposits - means that metal processing facilities need to react quickly to changes in conditions, with a minimum of wasted or low-grade product. Additionally, both new and existing metal processing operations face the considerable challenge of meeting and exceeding new environmental standards. Often the penalties for exceeding allowable emissions levels are severe.

The automation level in the steel industry is relatively high, to meet the need for better productivity and higher quality.
But companies are now looking for ideas from other sectors that will give them an advantage.

Perceptive's technology is now being exploited by steel makers, to monitor and control cast furnaces, blast furnaces and annealing lines. Furnace integrity - critical to safe operation of many plants - can be assured through Real Time Model-Based Advanced Monitoring.

Our experience with on-line multivariate data analysis - across both the hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurigical disciplines - has demonstrated that conditions can be highlighted in the process that would otherwise be missed through simple visual inspection. The on-line approach provides practical and timely information for operators and process control systems - by amplifying errors before they lead to process failures, out of spec production or simply inefficient operation.

Blast Furnace Integrity Monitor

Company:
Glencore Xstrata


Challenge:
Improve reliability and robustness of furnace sensors


Results:
Increased furnace life, automatic detection of sensor faults, earlier warning of catastrophic failure, reduced opex, lower insurance premiums

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

Continuous operation of modern furnaces poses serious operating challenges. It is of critical importance that the physical integrity of the furnace is known and understood at all times. Furnace refractory linings have failed catastrophically in the past, resulting in unplanned shutdowns and extreme risk to health.

These unplanned shutdowns represent a considerable expense in an industry where continuous operation is of paramount importance to maintaining cost effectiveness.

An additional challenge is in managing and prioritizing the process information displayed to the process operator. It is impossible to manually keep track of the many hundreds of thermocouple signals that may be presented, and traditional univariate alarming schemes can create nuisance false alarms without delivering the sensitivity required to spot faults before they cause irreversible damage.

SOLUTION

A real-time multivariate statistical monitoring tool, able to detect and warn of early failure without false alarm. This provides the ability to maintain operation with high levels of confidence, or initiate a safe and controlled shutdown of the furnace when necessary.

Our Clients & Partners

Selection of our clients and key partners we work with to improve process efficiency