Optimisation of Grinding Circuits

The Conundrum system for optimising grinding circuits is designed for the realisation of maximum performance of the circuit while simultaneously maintaining optimal requirements for product quality. The integrated system can work both in advisory mode and in automatic mode.
Example of grinding circuit
Example of grinding circuit

Challenge

These factors can lead to losses in processing potential and a reduction in overal performance of the circuit, especially:
Losses resulting from suboptimal use of available potential in the equipment
Higher consumption of energy, water and other consumables (balls and others)
Control instability: overloads, emergencies, shutdowns, defects, and more
The control of grinding circuits is complex, with many factors to account for:
A high degree of variability and volatility in the grinding processes itself
Natural irregularities in ore properties with no means of gathering operational information about it
No means for obtaining direct information about the current operating modes of equipment
Variability in management control resulting from operational regime (shift change, maintenance schedule and other factors)
Opacity of constraints imposed by sequential alterations in ore in each step of the circuit
Variability in equipment design, capacity, and performance as well as amortisation (mill lining and other factors)
Intelligent APC

The Conundrum optimisation system for the grinding circuit consists of three basic components:

Intelligent APC — responsible for the control and stabilisation of the grinding circuit

  • Determines and predicts the mode of operation of the grinding circuit and individual equipment units;
  • Predicts potential emergency situations;
  • Evaluates and takes into account the wear of the lining;
  • Evaluates the possibility of additional loading of the grinding circuit;
  • Performs predictive control on parameters with manual settings (power, speed, etc.);
  • Performs predictive control on the operation of feeders to stabilise the power supply and minimise discrepancies;
  • Determines optimal proportions from feeders to supply required granulometric composition.
ntelligent APC — responsible for the control and stabilization of the grinding circuit
To identify the optimal control system for the circuit, Intelligent APC:
Determines and predicts the mode of operation of the grinding circuit and individual equipment units; Predicts potential emergency situations; Evaluates and takes into account the wear of the lining; Evaluates the possibility of additional loading of the grinding circuit; Performs predictive control on parameters with manual settings (power, speed, etc.); Performs predictive control on the operation of feeders to stabilize the power supply and minimize discrepancies; Determines optimal proportions from feeders to supply required granulometric composition.

How Intelligent APC works

Plantwide Recipe Adviser

Plantwide Recipe Adviser — connects the grinding circuit with the operation of the entire plant, takes into account ore properties and throughput of consecutive stages, and controls the entire circuit with recommended power settings and operating modes

  • The current maximum allowable setpoint, taking into account the quality of the ore and the state of subsequent circuits;
  • The refined quality of ore from circuit to circuit depending on their settings;
  • The effect of planned treatment on the stability of the circuits;
  • The effect of gradual wear of the equipment on the calibration of the control system settings;
  • The manner in which discrepancies in sensor readings are taken into account;
  • The way in which the design of the process scheme and changes during operations are taken into account.
Plantwide Recipe Adviser — connects the grinding circuit with the operation of the entire plant, takes into account ore properties and throughput of consecutive stages, and controls the entire circuit with recommended power settings and operating modes
To facilitate the optimal functionality of the Intelligent APC system, the Plantwide Recipe Adviser identifies the optimal system settings in response to the following:

How the Plantwide Recipe Adviser system works

Real time plant diagnostic

Real time plant diagnostic — responsible for the quality of incoming data, as well as for recommendations on retrofitting the circuit in order to improve its efficiency

Real time plant diagnostic — responsible for the quality of incoming data, as well as for recommendations on retrofitting the circuit in order to improve its efficiency
  • Assesses the quality of available data and warns of their degradation;
  • Provides recommendations for upgrading the circuit by installing additional sensors or equipment in order to improve throughput and management efficiency.

How the Real time plant diagnostic system works

The Conundrum system works with all types of grinding circuits and can realise improved efficiency even with incomplete mounting of sensors

Solution Visualization Screen
Solution Visualisation Screen

Results from integration of the Conundrum system

Upto 60% reduction in the variability of indicators
1−3% reduction in energy consumption
Downtime prevention
2−5% increase in average hourly throughput
Industrial AI for metals & mining
Copyright © Conundrum Industrial Limited, 2022
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Merlin Place, Milton Road, Cambridge, United Kingdom, CB4 0DP
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