Honeywell has announced that 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.
While the news marks a key milestone for Honeywell, it also further exemplifies the trend of mining companies increasingly turning to advanced multi-variable 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.
A fully stand-alone, 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 modeling tools, many miners have been able to rapidly implement MPC strategies to improve their operations. Combining this with a rich toolset such as Profit Stepper, an automated modeling 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 more effectively manage applications in operations in 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 rapidly and widely 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," said Bob Jonas, Honeywell Process Solutions' mining and metals marketing manager. "Now, newer, automated features combined with collaborative support have greatly eased those concerns and more miners are starting to see that MPC can provide fast results to make their businesses more profitable."