Quality control improvements in Bessemer matte production at the Vale Copper Cliff Smelter

CIM Journal, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2012
M. Zanini and D. Wong, D. Cooke
Abstract Metals market improvements in 2005 drove the desire to increase nickel throughput and the production of nickel oxide sinter at the Vale Ltd. Copper Cliff smelter. Significant difficulties were encountered due to the unreliable quality of Bessemer matte being produced. Concentrate feed changes and the loss of technical and operational expertise during the previous market downturn contributed to the challenge of making the required improvements. Significant progress has been made in the converter aisle by focusing on employee engagement and standardizing best operating practices for a new generation of skimmers. This paper documents these initiatives and seeks to balance the art and science of converting.
Keywords: Quality control, Best practices, Operator engagement, Employee motivation, Operations management
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