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Process Control in Metallurgical

Plants: Towards Operational


Performance Excellence
Plenary lecture (& presentation)

by

Phil Thwaites P.
P Eng.
Eng
(Xstrata Process Support)

Objectives of Automing2008

AUTOMINING 2008 is organized to offer an international forum


where professionals can meet and interact about innovations and
recent developments related to automation applied to mining,
processing,
g, py
pyrometallurgy,
gy, hydrometallurgy,
y
gy,
mineral p
electrometallurgy, and metal manufacturing.

The objectives
j
of the Congress
g
are:
To promote the interaction of knowledge and experiences about
automation applied on the mining, metallurgical processes, and metal
manufacturing.
f t i
To discuss the emerging developments, identify the technologies
and successful automation practices in the mining industry
industry.
To promote an international network for collaboration and
g among
gp
professionals dedicated to develop,
p, to
technical exchange
operate and to maintain automation systems for the mining industry

Presentation & Discussion Topics

Objectives of AUTOMINING2008
Opportunities . To consider;
Xstrata Profile & Organizational Structure;
XPS ( Xstrata Process Support);
Definition of Process Control & Control Performance;
Importance of Correct Process; Control Objective
XPS Process Control Group;
Elements Necessary for Successful Process Control;
Good Process Control Implementation;
(Some) Enabling Technologies;
(Sandoz) Vision;
Concluding Remarks.
Remarks

Opportunities
pp
to consider
Operational Performance Excellence requires a solid performance of
the regulatory layer AND process optimisation.
For Plant Operators:

Is your feed stable?


Are your
o r instr
instruments
ments calibrated and performing?
Are you aware of wireless instruments (including vibration)?
Is your control system up to date and stable?
Are you in manual or auto control?
Are your Operators acting on alarms or are they nuisance?
Do you understand and accept your process variability?
Are you operating within the design targets and process constraints
(pumps, cyclones, supplies, roasters, furnaces etc.)?
Are you using your surge capacity, . or running tight level control?
Are y
you at optimum
p
and are the controls robust?
Are you benefiting from asset management systems?
Are failure / fault detection systems implemented?
Can you make the same product for less energy consumption?

Xstrata Profile
Xstrata Plc is a major global diversified mining group.
Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Xstrata maintains a position in
the following major international commodity markets:
copper, coal, ferrochrome, nickel, vanadium and zinc, and
additional exposures to platinum group metals, gold, cobalt, lead, silver,
recycling facilities,
suite of global technologies, (some are industry leaders).
The Group's operations and projects span 19 countries:
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia,
Dominican Republic, Germany, New Caledonia, Norway, Papua
New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain,
Tanzania, the USA, the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Xstrata employs more than 50,000 people (including contractors).

Xstrata Organizational
Structure
Xstrata Executive Committee
X Ni

X Cu

X Coal

XTS
XPS

X Alloys

X Zn

XT

XTS : Xstrata
X t t T
Technology
h l
Services
S
i
Thras
Th
Moriatis
M i ti London,
L d
UK
XPS : Xstrata Process Support Frank McGlynn Sudbury, Canada
XT

: Xstrata Technology Joe Pease Brisbane,


Brisbane Australia

XPS : Process Support


Process Mineralogy - Design,
Design implement and optimize
mineral processing flowsheets by matching the flowsheet
to the mineralogy.
Process Control - Identify and deliver robust process
control technology and engineering solutions.
Extractive Metallurgy Provide high-end extractive
metallurgy services. Flowsheet/project development
using
i
modeling
d li
and
d piloting.
il i
Materials Technology
gy - Improve
p
the reliability
y of
critical equipment through appropriate implementation
of well proven materials engineering practices at
essential stages of design, procurement and operation.

Definition of Process Control


(McKee, AMIRA P9L)
Process control is a broad term which often
means different things
g to different p
people.
p
Process control is considered as the technology
required to obtain information in real time on
process behaviour and then use that
information to manipulate process variables
with the objective of improving the metallurgical
performance of the plant.
plant.
C t l for
Control
f the
th purpose off process improvement.
i
t

Importance of Control Performance


(Emerson)

Process Control Will Not Correct


Inherent Design / Flowsheet Problems
(McKee, AMIRA P9L)
There is a need to determine
determine, and if necessary
correct, the condition of the plant as a pre-requisite to
control development
development. A good example is the
importance of classifier operation and its effect on
comminution circuit performance
performance.
Techniques exist (plant sampling, modelling and
simulation)
i l ti ) tto audit
dit th
the actual
t l plant
l t operation.
ti
Correcting plant limitations should be seen as a first
step
t in
i th
the control
t l approach.
h

XPS Process Mineralogy


gy
95% Confidence
1. Sample
3. Optimise

Sampling and Statistics

PROCESS
MINERALOGY

2. Measure

XT : Technologies
ISASMELT high intensity smelting process with low
capital
p
cost,, energy
gy efficient,, flexible scale.
ISA PROCESS and Kidd Process producing most of
the
h worlds
ld refined
f
d and
d EW copper. Experts in tankhouse
kh
design.
IsaMill step change in grinding technology.
technology Much
higher energy efficiency. Metallurgy improvements from
inert grinding media.
JAMESON CELL - high intensity flotation. Ideal in
combination with conventional flotation for low cost
circuit expansions
p
and higher
g
concentrate g
grades.
ALBION PROCESS simple atmospheric leaching. To
treat low grade or refractory copper streams.
streams

Overall Process Control


Obj i
Objective
Measure

Control

Optimize
Process constraint

hi h production
higher
d ti

unnits

setpoint

lower costs

poor control

better
b
tt
control

time
ti

best control

Poor to Optimized Control

Best Practise:
Necessary
y for:
Operational
Performance
E
Excellence
ll

General Process Control Hierarchy


Obj ti
Objective

F
Function
ti
Cash Optimization
Economics

Site
Plant
Optimization

Plant

Optimization
Advanced
Process

Optimize

Stabilize

O ti i i Control
Optimizing
C t l
L
Loop
Control
C t l

Field / Panel / DCS / PLC


Measure

I t
Instrumentation
t ti - Inputs
I
t / Outputs
O t t

Economic
Return

Processes

Regulatory
Manual

(ABB) Background for Optimisation


I
Impact
t on production
d ti via
i lloop structuring
t t i
Production cost
Lower

Knowledge
Based
Expert
p
Control

Degree of
Optimisation

Multi Variable
T h i
Techniques

Cross-Coupled
Cross
Coupled
Feedforward &
Cascade

Higher

Feedback
Lower

Higher

Production
or Quality

XPS Process Control Group


p
& its Business Niche

Complementing site resources,

Business Niche is:


ability to identify and deliver robust process control technology
and engineering solutions to Xstrata operations and strategic
projects.

Solutions implemented are based upon:


solid control engineering
g
g practice
p
and operating
p
g experience.
p

Managed from XPS, this is done using:


enabling (and appropriate) technologies
through the involvement of engineering specialists.

The Goal is: Operational Performance Excellence

Xstrata Operations Impacted by


the XPS Process Control Group

Strathcona Mill

Raglan Mill

Ni Smelter

Nikkelverk

Falcondo

Kidd

Brunswick Smelter

CCR Refinery

Horne Smelter

Alt
Altonorte
t Smelter
S lt

Collahuasi Mill

Pilot Plant Activities

Mt. Isa Cu Smelter

Sudbury

Raglan
B th t
Bathurst
Timmins
Montreal

FNA

Falcondo

Collahuasi
Mt. Isa
Lomas Bayas
Alt
Altonorte
t

Koniambo

Elements Necessary for Successful


Process Control in Mineral Plants
Tools:
Instruments;
Systems etc.

People:
Control / Process
Knowledge
Process
C t l ->
Control
Operational
Performance
Excellence

Actions:
Support
Management;
Technology
gy Transfer

Successes:
Results &
Examples
p

Good Process Control


Implementation
(McKee, AMIRA P9L)
A good implementation requires a well defined
operating strategy and an associated control
strategy.

Effective Process Control Cycle


(f New
(for
N
P
Processes
/ Plants)
Pl t )
Deliverable
(Stage)

Process Flowsheets &


Control Philosophy
(Development)

Process Opt.
(Production)

Overall Process Control Objective


Measure

Optimise
constraint

higher production
setpoint
p

units

As-builts
(C
(Commissioning)
i i i )

Control

lower costs

poor control

better
control

P&IDs
(Basic Eng)

best control

time
Falconbridge Limited - Process Control

Control Config.
(Construction-EPCM)

Logic Diagrams
(D il d Eng-EPCM)
(Detailed
E EPCM)

Enabling Technologies
1. Multivariable Controller in a PLC Function Block:
SAG feed control,, is generally
g
y done using
g an Expert
p system.
y

These systems often deliver improved control and 4 to 5% increased


throughput (e.g. Collahuasi and Raglan Mills);

XPS has recently implemented a complex controller in a (Concept)


control block, negating the costs of an auxiliary Expert System, and
training / support of this system.

(
(McKee,
1999).
) In g
grinding,
g control of AG/SAG mill circuits is the
dominant area. While some systems have emerged which provide a
reasonable level of control, there is still much not understood about
the dynamic behaviour of these mills, and there is considerable
scope for further development.
development

Entire Grinding Controls Focus:


(Lib ti efficiency
(Liberation
ffi i
and
d th
throughput)
h t)
Wipfrag
(Size analysis)

21-CV-04
ASRi
Sandvik Cone Crusher
Hydrocone H4800
(250 kW)

B
21-CV-06
150 mt
Surge Bin

Flotation

21-CV-05

21-CV-01
Cyclone Feed Density Control

SAG Mill
24 diameter
24
(2240 kW)

11-CV-03
Underground
Storage Bins

Cyc
CycO/F
O/F Density
Density by
by
P/Boxwater
water addition
P/Box
addition
DI

PI
PIC
RSP

OUT

DIC

CONSTRAIN circulating
load by trimming Cyc
Feed Density SP
LI

LIC

Select
Logic

OUT

SY
DI
H/L
Lim

Cyc Feed Density by


trimming O/F density SP

FFE Impact Meter

Metso Double Deck


Vibrating Screen (8 x 16)
1- 8 x 40 mm
2 5 x 4 mm, 3 x 8 mm
2-

21-CV-02

Ball Mill
14 dia. x 21
(2240 kW)

FI

MIC

OUT

H/L
Lim

ADJ UST FEED SP


OR
CYC FEED DENSITY SP

DIC
OUT

Ref: FTC Report Raglan: Cyclone Density Control, E. Bartsch, 11 November 2005

6 x 15 Krebs GMAX
Cyclones
Vort: 4.5, Apx: 3

SAG Charge Multivariable Fuzzy


Controller (Bartsch)
Inputs

Outputs

((Measurements))

(Set-points)

Power

Fuzzyfication

Charge
Impactmeter
Granulometry
(prediction !)

Fuzzy Rules

Feed Rate
Density
(water addn)
Crusher Gap

De-fuzzification
De
fuzzification

Assays
Programmed in
existing
i i plant
l
PLCs
C

Mill Speed

ASRi (Automatic Setpoint Regulation)


Sandvik Technology - Crushing Plants
Crusher Gap Control:
Kidd Mill -> Strathcona Mill -> Raglan Mill

Field Device

DCS
Display
(via OPC)

Enabling Technologies
2. On-Demand Sampling Automation:
Excellent practise is an OPPORTUNITY in our Canadian Mills!

Enabling
g Technologies
g
3. Camera Imaging:
-

Feed size analysis;

Froth camera
imaging;

Froth Camera Imaging Technology

Optical
O
ti l System
S t
for
f
cathode quality:
CSQA:
Cathode Surface
Quality
y Analyzer
y
(Aplik)

39

Rougher Level Disturbance


Level
Setpoint

Froth
Velocity

1. Velocity (mass pull)


changes by over
1000%!
2. Baseline pull is
2
only 0.5 1 cm/s! :
Level SP too low?

Escondida Froth Velocity is Cascaded


t Control
to
C t l Fl
Flotation
t ti Cell
C ll ((metso
t minerals)
i
l )
SP Aire

SP Velocidad

PV Velocidad

Escondida: Instalacin en la Flotacin


Primaria Lneas 1,2,3,4,5,6
(54 Cameras)
Camara

SP Nivel

Tapon

Celda WEMCO

Enabling Technologies
4. Rotating Equipment Machinery Health:

Enabling
g Technologies
g
5. Wireless Instrumentation:

HighService
INDUSTRIAL SUPPORT COMPANY

Business Case 3:
Smart Wear Sensor

2.- Proposed Solution


Electronic Wear Sensor (EWS) embedded in liners and
lifters fastening bolts
Main components of the EWS:
Transducer
8-12 levels

CPU (coder & signal processing)


statistical filtering

RF Transmitter,
Sensor Life: 18 month
GITE-322-05-PRE-15

FM FSK, 916 MHz, 1mW,


anti-collision algorithm
Rev 0 Fecha 100807 Pgina 19 de 29

GITE / DES

Enabling Technologies
Tankhouses (Outotec)

Kennecott Utah Cu;


Boliden Harjavalta Pori Refinery;
Boliden Kokkola;

Norddeutsche Affinerie;
Akita Zinc (21 Zn cells);
OMG Kokkola Chemicals.

Used
Used as a flow indicator
indicator

Tankhouse Automation & Management System


(XT and MIPAC)
e.g.
XTs Kazzinc Project
(startup late 2009)

Enabling Technologies
(Overall Process Unit Control)
6.

MPC (Model Based)


Production cost

Control:

Lower

Knowledge
Based
E
Expert
tC
Control
t l

Several tools are available:

Mintek (FloatStar)

Emerson (DeltaV MPC)

ABB (Linkman, Expert Optimizer)

Invensys (Connoisseur)

Honeywell (Profit Suite)

G
Gensym
(G2)

Prediktor

Metso (Adaptive Predictive Model)

Multi Variable
Techniques

Cross-Coupled
Feedforward &
Cascade

Higher

Feedback
Lower

g
Higher

Connoisseur ((Invensys)
y ) Overview
Neural Net
Connoisseur Environment

Adaptive Cont

Non-linear

LP Optimizer
O ti i

Fuzzy Logic
Inferential
P
Optimal
Setpoint
Director
ec
o
Calc
C
c
M
& MV T
Target
454 + S1 x + d

Model Predictive
j Controller
Constraint Management
D304
349 * L10
(LR or QP methods)

CVs, MVs & DVs


Regulatory Control System

Processes to which MPC has been applied


i the
in
th Mi
Minerall P
Processing
i IIndustry
d t
(Dr. D. Sandoz presentation Laurentian Conference, June 2006)

Xstrata:

Roasters (Connoisseur e
e.g.
g Kidd Zn - implemented in 1993)
Flotation Process (G2/Generalised Predictive Control
GPC) originally implemented by Noranda in 1999
Flotation Level Control (Mintek - e.g. Collahuasi Mill, 2004)
12 Nickel Shaft Furnaces (Connoisseur) at Falcondo (2002)
Kidd Cu
C Smelter
S lt (DIY on DCS) Matte
M tt Grade
G d Control
C t l (2002)
Ni Smelter Electric Arc Furnace (Connoisseur) Fe:SiO2
control (2005)
(
)

Ni Smelter
Electric Furnace
Auto
Calcine + Flux + Revert + Coke + Custom Feed
Unmeasured Disturbance: Coke Efficiency
AFFECTS:
1. Fe:SiO2 Control

Auto

2. Matte % Fe Metalization Control

Manual

3. Matte Grade Control

Manual

Model Identification : Expert


p
Knowledge + METSIM + HSC to
determine Dynamics for an Inferential
Model Based Predictive Controller

Fe

Enabling Technologies
7. Dry Feed and Injection to +/- 1% overall
addition accuracy minute to minute:
Clyde Technologies Objective to put the
Operator in control:
On-line mixing of materials;
Injection;
Bag house collection & removal of drag conveyors.

Kidd: Direct Limestone Injection


+/- 1% overall addition accuracy min. to min.

Graph illustrates improved draft


controll
Better draft control has also lead to
hi h bl
higher
blowing
i rates
t

Superior Concept
Clyde RotoFeed
Inlet Spheri
valve
Load
Cell
Inlet Spheri
valve
Lock
Vessel
Load
Cell

Converting Furnace Draft Profile Comparison


4
Isolating

Rotary
Feeder

Conveying
Line to
Lances

Batch Limestone Injection Spheri


Valve
Continuous Limestone Injection
Lower Limit
Upper Limit

3
2

Furn
nace Draft (mm H2O)

Dispense
Vessel

31

1
0

Draft Control Improvement


Converting Furnace Draft (mm H2O)
Batch Injection
Continuous Injection
Maximum
2.76
-0.85
Minimum
-4.01
-3.99
Average
-1.71
-2.21
Standard Deviation
1.21
0.58

-1
-2
-3
-4
-5

Time Series

Enabling
g Technologies
g
8. Off Gas Controls:

1. Design Good Draft Control

Process control must play an


increasing role to better control our
off-gas processes;

CPS Off-Gas Ductwork


Very Long Ducts ~50 m

Design is critical for achieving


responsive control
SULFURIC ACID
STORAGE TANKS

Fundicin Altonorte
October 2007

SPRAY
PONDS

#2 SULPHURIC
ACID PLANT

NEW #3 SULPHURIC
ACID PLANT

STACK
I.D. Fans

Major
Engineering
Design
Challenge

14

Ni Smelter Blower Suction Control

ID Fan

ESP

SLAG COOLING BEDS

ROTARY DRYER

BLOWERS AND
COMPRESSORS

BLOWERS AND
ROTARY DRYER COMPRESSORS

BINS

2nd CASTING
WHEEL

REVERB
FURNACE

CASTING
WHEEL

BINS

CONCENTRATE
RECEIVING &
STORAGE SHED

P-S CONVERTERS
CONTINUOUS
REACTOR

NEW
#1 Cv

NEW
#2 Cv

NEW
#3 Cv

ANODE
NEW
ANODE FURNACES
FURNACE

SLAG
FLOTATION
PLANT

Falconbridge Limited - Process Control

Enabling Technologies
9. Asset Monitoring:
g

p
provides
real-time asset monitoring,
g, notification,, and
maintenance workflow optimization of automation
equipment,
q p
,p
plant infrastructure,, p
plant equipment,
q p
, field
devices, IT assets, and production processes. (ABB)
Detect
D t t health
h lth and
d performance
f
conditions
diti
Assist in diagnosis
g
of the p
problem
Offer correction recommendations

Enabling Technologies
Plant Assets

IT

Asset Condition Monitoring (ABB, Emerson, E&H)


ABB System 800xA asset monitors are designed with the flexibility and
open standards in mind to support assets of all levels, from field
instrumentation, to major plant equipment and processes, to IT assets.
With a correctly configured and installed system, plant information can
be collected, aggregated, analyzed and compared to historical data to
provide advanced warning of degrading device, equipment, or process
performance and their impending failure.

Control

Process

Field

Predictive maintenance then becomes a reality.

- Plant Equipment:
q p
Motors, drives, pumps, mills etc.;
-

Control Network Asset Monitoring;


Control Loop Asset Monitor;
Production Performance;
PC, Network and software monitoring;
Field Devices (HART, Fieldbus, PROFIBUS)

Enabling Technologies
10. Control Room Design:

There is a recognised standard mostly


unknown to Engineering EPCM Contractors for control room design
design.
ISO11064:

1. Principles for design of control centres;


2. Principles for arrangement of Control suites;
3. Control room layout;
4. Workstation layout and dimensions;
5. Displays and controls . etc.

Production Stage gate

Control Room Design


ISO11064
Ergonomic Design

Update Aug 25th 2004


New Central Control Room at Nikkelverk
EPC Update for Stage Gate Approval Committee

1. Principles for design of control centres;


2. Principles for arrangement of Control suites;
3. Control room layout;
4. Workstation layout and dimensions;
5. Displays and controls . etc.
Nikkelverk, New Central Control Room Location

Production Stage gate


Update Aug 25th 2004

Alarm handling - Status and Target

Production Stage gate


Update Aug 25th 2004

Project Progress Documentation

Average numbers of alarms per hour, updated statistics


Sept 02
20
32
36

ER :
KL :
RS :

Mar 04
9
17
21

Aug 04
13
17
17

Target
10
16
18
KL / ER Ope rator Desk

T a r g e t A la r m R e d u c tio n s 5 0 % F N A

El/Guar
El/
Guar d desk

100
S u m k tr l.r o m (u te n s to p p )
T a r g e t k tr l.r o m
90

E k s k l. O v n -5
L in e r (S u m k t r l.r o m (u te n s to p p ))

R/ Oper
Oper.. desk
70

60

KL/ER operator de sk
50

40

30

04

-0

vo
N

ec

-0
ct
O

ep
S

/8

-0

04

.6

l-

n
g

Ju

-0
n
Ju

ro
P

04

-0

r-

ay

p
A

-0

-0
ar

eb
F

-0

-0
n

ec

Ja

03

-0

v-

ct

o
N

3
-0
ep
S

03

-0

l-

g
u

Ju

-0
n
Ju

03

-0

r-

ay

p
A

-0

-0
ar

eb

3
-0
n
Ja

02

-0

v-

ec

o
N

-0
ct
O

ep

-0

20

Anttall alarmer pr. time

80

New Central Control Room , July 15th 2004

Process Control Enabling


Technologies Summary

Enabling Technologies:
1.

Multivariable controller in a block for SAG Mill control;

2.

On Demand Sampling Automation

3.

Camera Imaging;

4.

Rotating Equipment Machinery Health;

5
5.

Wireless Instrumentation;

6.

Model Based Control;

7.

y Feed and Injection;


j
Dry

8.

Off-gas Handling Controls;

9.

Asset Monitoring;

10. Control Room Design;

Vision (Sandoz);

Concluding Remarks;

Perceptive Engineerings Focus:


(Vision Dr.
Dr D.
D Sandoz)
40
35

Soft Sensors

FeO

30

Classification for

25
20

Intelligent
& Soft Sensors

Quality Control

15
10

Optimisation
& Scheduling

20

40

60
Sample No.

80
100
Operating
Plans120

Management
Information Systems

Operating Constraints

Performance Reports

Advanced Process
Control
Setpoints

Conventional
Regulatory Controls

Early Warning Process


Condition Monitors

Control System

Valve position

40
35

SPE
Confidence Limit

30

SPE

25

Conventional Sensors
& Instrumentation

20
15
10
5
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

Time

Integrated Condition Monitoring


and Advanced Process Control

Integration

Concluding Remarks
Plant automation is often seen as the project deliverable, when
what is really required is plant control.
There are many approaches, instrumentation, and multiple
control systems, together with numerous advanced control
packages to select from.
Process control is more than just tools.
Successful plant implementation is reliant on these together with:
process knowledge, a solid control engineering background /
experience and
experience,
the operations team willing to act / implement / support the
implementations.

Together
Together, robust solutions can be realised,
realised minimising process
variation and optimising process performance.
This will result in an easier, efficient and safer process to operate.

At present metal prices the results from good control


control,
and Operation Performance Excellence are substantial!
Operational Performance Excellence requires a solid
performance of the regulatory layer AND process optimisation.

Organizational structure and human resources are important in


achieving Operational
Operational Performance Excellence.
Excellence
Thank you.