IOC uses Advanced Process Control to Optimize Pelletizing

CIM Montreal 2007
Robert John Kuhne, Corey Hennessey, Sheryl Morris, John Walker,
Abstract IOC has successfully used model based advanced control and soft sensors (since 2002) to control the six, straight grate Dravo pelletizing lines at Labrador City. The initial objective was to reduce energy consumption. However, the plant Operations staff exploited the improved control and process stability to deliver a sustained production rate increase.

Advanced Process Control (APC) is the supervisory control layer above the DCS. APC changes the heat addition rate on a given machine to control the fired pellet quality. The key element in the quality control is the use of model based soft sensors to predict the fired pellet tumble and compression.

The Induration APC’s at Labrador City employ Expert Systems like ‘rule-based control’ and Soft Sensor based Model Predictive Control (MPC). This paper discusses the practical and successful implementation of 18 MPC applications over three phases with the following outcomes:

1) Induration Damper APC – reduced fuel consumption and increased grate factors on 6 machines.
2) Induration Quality APC – developed Compression and Tumble real-time estimators (soft-sensors) and closed the loop on machine firing conditions on 6 machines.
3) Balling APC – stabilized the balling the behaviour on 26 modules and increased tonnage.
Keywords: Balling, Pelletizing, Advanced Process Control, APC, Mineral Processing, MPC, Model Predictive Control
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