System Integration & Control Systems Design


Honeywell's predictive control in mining

July 2011 System Integration & Control Systems Design

Profit Controller has helped mining companies improve production rates by up to 10%.

According to Honeywell, mining companies have increased production rates by as much as 5% – and in some cases, 10% – using its Profit Controller advanced control and optimisation technology. The announcement came as the company completed its 100th mining installation of Profit Controller, which is being used to control more than 200 process units and more than 20 different types of mining processes worldwide. The solution is applicable for all mining industries, including copper, alumina, gold, and iron ore.

The news exemplifies the trend of mining companies turning to advanced multivariable predictive control (MPC) techniques to improve production rates. MPC technology such as Profit Controller allows mining companies to design, implement and maintain advanced control systems, which can drive processes to maximum economic benefit.

Designed for highly interactive mining processes, Profit Controller is uniquely suited to deliver and sustain production improvements because it stays on control up to 40% more than other solutions to generate maximum benefits during process changes. Many mining companies using Profit Controller report time-on-control at a rate greater than 90%, a rate they failed to achieve with other strategies.

As a standalone, off-the-shelf solution, Profit Controller can integrate with most control systems. By collaborating with Honeywell’s local automation experts on design and using Profit Controller’s proven automated and control modelling, many miners have been able to implement MPC strategies rapidly to improve operations. Combining this with a rich toolset such as Profit Stepper, an automated modelling tool, allows most installations to be completed in two months – a timeframe crucial for sites that need to reap immediate benefits, such as mines expected to face closure.

Additionally, Profit Controller’s robustness reduces the effort needed to implement and support the system, an added benefit for mines with limited resources. Mining companies have used Profit Controller’s remote support capabilities, a feature that allows fewer engineers to manage applications more effectively in operations at different locations. A leading South American copper producer uses it at multiple sites to compare APC efficiency across its entire operation, making sure the various mines are producing at their maximum outputs. Many leading mining companies have partnered with Honeywell to leverage their limited resources to deploy MPC strategies with more sustainable and profitable results.

“In the past, mining companies hesitated to use MPC because they believed it to be difficult to implement and maintain and that it was a longer-term solution not suitable for immediate payback or for small operations,” says Bob Jonas, Honeywell Process Solutions’ mining and metals marketing manager. “Now, newer automated features combined with collaborative support have eased those concerns and more miners are starting to see that MPC can provide fast results that make business more profitable.”

For more information contact Debbie Rae, Honeywell Southern Africa, +27 (0)11 695 8000, hsa@honeywell.com, www.honeywell.co.za



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