The Century Zinc SAG mill had been subject to two major advanced control projects since its commissioning in 1999.
The Century Zinc SAG mill had been subject to two major advanced control projects since its commissioning in 1999. Over time, both systems failed to meet the mill's needs and operating staff lost confidence, preferring to operate the mill semi-automatically. The first system used expert system technology and failed due to a lack of site-based experience and expertise. The second system, although DCS based, was unnecessarily complicated, failed to deliver performance and did not meet operating objectives.
MIPAC provided a practical solution for SAG mill control using four key strategies:
- Determining the real requirements of Century personnel
- Making the best use of the plant DCS (e.g. model-based control)
- Loop-tuning and commissioning skills
- Support for operators to understand and use the system.
The result is a robust control strategy which stabilises the SAG mill and meets operating objectives. Operators see this control strategy as a valuable tool in the day-to-day operation of the primary grinding circuit. With grinding circuit stability achieved, Century Zinc is keen to embark on an optimising control project.
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