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.