Spotlight Feature Articles PROCESS CONTROL - Page 7

Rockwell Automation believes the industry will see a lot more application of MES type Advanced Process Control systems in large scale crushing , screening and conveying operations
as the sensor up to the point it is used , there can be a lot of losses or if it is there , the mine doesn ’ t know how to use it . For our Connected Mine solutions , a big part of the strategy is applying as much information as possible to the decision-making process at the mine .”
Mielli says mining groups are asking for help with the information they have . Often , the complexity of minesite data means they cannot currently even view Overall Eq uipment Effectiveness ( OEE ) – Rockwell Automation technology allows them to do this . “ They know the potential benefits of digital transformation , but need a lot of support to reach the end game of higher productivity and efficiency . We help them create a roadmap for digital transformation – taking into account their goals and appetite for investment . Many mining groups want to benefit from the information they ’ re already collecting with a minimum investment – for example keeping existing infrastructure like the current DCS in place . We can do this .”
He adds : “ One of the things that I think differentiates Rockwell Automation is our concept of scalable analytics from the sensor edge level , right up to the top plant wide level . Doing analytics close to the actual process brings extra intelligence at the control level . For example , our AI module is located right inside one of our controllers -- which allows localised decision making close to the process . No need to send data to and from the cloud , or involve additional people or software .”
Rockwell Automation also has a partnership with PTC and in October 2020 extended their strategic alliance . The companies ’ primary joint offering , FactoryTalk InnovationSuite , powered by PTC , is the first comprehensive digital transformation software suite that offers fully integrated Industrial Internet of Things ( IIoT ), edge-to-cloud analytics , manufacturing execution systems ( MES ), and augmented reality ( AR ) – required for a connected enterprise in mining and other industries . FactoryTalk InnovationSuite makes it simple to rapidly develop , operationalise , and globally scale innovative solutions to operations .
“ The IIoT platform gathers data from the silos
where it lives , and then aggregates that data and provides context – think of a single pane of glass above everything . This includes data from different datasets , different softwares , different sensing technologies . A good example is being able to correlate energy and process performance data . Or to identify the top causes of downtime at one mine which might involve aggregating data from over 20 sources . Going to an ROC might mean bringing together this downtime data from four or five different mines to have a benchmark layer to compare different operations producing the same commodity .”
Although applicable throughout the mine , when it comes to mineral processing , Rockwell Automation says the Connected Mine offering really shines - ensuring a standardised methodology and preengineered content for control , monitoring , visualisation , alarms and reporting to Advanced Process Control , including Model Predictive Control ( MPC ) to optimise complex processes and deliver more throughput , better recovery and less variability all while minimising use of energy and reagents .
Rockwell Automation has also applied its Connected Mine technology outside a plant context . In the Pilbara , at an iron ore train loading facility , it applied a system not only to collect and aggregate data but also an MES where the system feeds data analysis results back into the control centre and actions are taken without the need for human train loader , conveyor and other elements , the Rockwell Automation MES , or ' decision automation ,' seamlessly allows the correct tonnage to be loaded in an autonomous process . This is another level up from a Management Information System or MIS . The traditional process that involves a lot of handshakes from one system to another means delays – now they can guarantee they are delivering the right tonnage in the minimum timeframe . Mielli believes the industry will see a lot more application of MES type Advanced Control Systems in these types of bulk handling as well as large scale crushing , screening and conveying operations due to there being a lot of variables that are suited to automation such as requirements for blending to product different grades , dealing with different ore types , multiple stockpiles etc . Traceability of inventories on a minesite is another application with a lot of potential .
FLSmidth offers an OEM solution
To meet the growing AI trend in mineral processing optimisation solutions in mining , FLSmidth has launched the latest version of its advanced process control solution , ECS / ProcessExpert ® V8.5 software , which now includes the ability to integrate new AI cognitive technologies and functions . " The new AI technologies are based on machine- and deep-learning algorithms that create their own understanding of a process by finding patterns in the raw process data . They then use this understanding to solve problems that help improve performance and sustainability ,” explains King Becerra , FLSmidth Global Product Line Manager , Group Digital .
As one practical example of AI at work , the ECS / ProcessExpert V8.5 software facilitates predictive modelling of process data signals that can be unreliable or unavailable . These are then used to create a more accurate model and controller of the actual process conditions . The benefits ? An improved ability to maintain optimal setpoints and a faster response to conditions that may result in undesirable situations . ECS / ProcessExpert V8.5 software also incorporates new features to promote collaboration and cooperation . Customers can integrate their own machine or deep learning algorithms into the software ’ s applications and control strategies via a new module known as PXP DataBooks , bridging the gap between automation engineer and data scientist . Another new feature of the ECS / ProcessExpert V8.5 software is a range of sustainability dashboards that contextualise the system ’ s performance in terms of environmental KPIs . With these dashboards , operators can clearly see how process improvements , such as higher energy efficiency , translate into lower CO 2 emissions . “ AI is opening the door to create new solutions that efficiently offer more value ,” adds Becerra . “ We are excited by the possibilities this brings to further improve the intelligence of our
Fabio Mielli , Rockwell Automation Market
operator input . Instead of multiple operators in touch
process control solutions , which is a big part of our
Development Manager – Mining , Cement and
by radio and software systems involved in loading
commitment to make mineral processing smarter ,
Heavy Industry
10,000 t on a train , including the stacker reclaimer ,
more productive and increasingly sustainable .”
JANUARY 2021 | International Mining